Jack Wemp was born in Seattle, Washington in 1925. At the beginning of the Great Depression, his father moved the family to Vancouver, Canada. Encouraged by his artistically talented parents, Jack began to draw and paint at an early age and art was always his favorite school subject. In high school, he had the benefit of having a very talented and professional artist for an instructor. However, as much as an art career appealed to Jack, it seemed at the time, that a more stable career should be pursued.

During his high school summer vacations, he worked as a cowhand on the vast Half-Diamond-One cattle ranch west of Calgary. This experience led him to the agricultural college of the University of Alberta, but after six months he volunteered for service in the Royal Canadian Artillery and went overseas to England. When World War II ended, Jack was appointed as a staff artist by his commanding officer and this experience reinforced his desire to pursue art as a career.

After his discharge from the service, Jack went on to study at the Art Center School in Los Angeles. After a year of free lancing, he moved to New York City where he began work as an illustrator for a large Mid-town studio and later became the studio's art director. After three years, he opened his own studio in Manhattan producing illustrations, graphics, and film.

In 1977, after years of being a frustrated "weekend painter," he gave up his commercial art business to begin painting full-time. A keen interest in 19th century sailing ships and farming helped to shape the subject and style of his paintings. He says of his work, " I try to capture a timeless moment, whether on land or sea, which will draw a person into the painting to become part of it."

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