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The Artistic Stylings of Scott Jacobs
Scott Jacobs has done it all. From skydiving to bodybuilding and starring in a prime-time television show, he has built an extraordinary list of adventures and achievements.
Jacobs began his career working at an art gallery while still in high school. During this time, he drew illustrations for his school’s newspaper.
At the age of 19, Jacobs was able to purchase a brick-and-mortar gallery in New Jersey. He went on to work successfully as an art dealer for the next 25 years.
After meeting his wife, Jacobs was motivated to begin painting again. As a Christmas present several years after they married, Jacobs received a new set of paints along with an easel and canvas.
“I tried abstract painting early on. I tried abstract, I tried cubism, I tried architectural works,” Jacobs says. “Every time I did photorealism, I got more positive compliments on the photorealism and that’s probably the direction, why I went in that direction I should say.”
Jacobs often begins his paintings with photographs of his subjects. From there, he can focus on the details, often able to work on multiple canvases at a time.
Jacobs creates a basic line drawing on the canvas from his photographs, followed by brushstrokes. Many times, he will begin to improvise once he has started painting.
As he paints, Jacobs works in layers while maintaining fine edges and outlines. Using a paintbrush with a tip the size of a pencil point allows him to finely execute his artistic stylings.
When Hobby Becomes Passion
Jacobs often found himself painting celebrities such as Joan Lunden, Kathy Ireland and Malcolm S. Forbes Senior. He decided that he needed a change of pace, and subject matter, that would resonate with more people. In 1987, he began to paint images of cars.
“A lot of people were like, ‘Oh wow, I didn’t know you could paint like that,’” he says. “That got me a lot of notoriety in that style of work, so that’s why I pursued it further and I’ve been painting cars ever since.”
In 1993, at the suggestion of a friend, he began to incorporate his love for Harley-Davidson motorcycles into his paintings.
His first paintings of Harleys, titled “Fat Boy” and “Live to Ride,” were recognized within 60 days by the Chief of the Board of Harley-Davidson. Soon afterwards, Jacobs became the first artist officially licensed by the company.
Motorcycles are a big part of Jacobs’ life. He and his family attend Sturgis, South Dakota and Daytona, Florida every year for their Motorcycle Rallies. They set up in booths and hotels to share his artwork with other enthusiasts.
Convinced that the artwork couldn’t have possibly been created by him, people often stop by to discuss the works with Jacobs. His wife, Sharon, has been known to post signs affirming the paintings are real – no photographs in sight!
“The cars and the motorcycles have really been the backbone of my art career for years now,” Jacobs says.
Today, Jacobs is an official licensed artist of Chevrolet, Form, Mattel Hot Wheels, Gibson Guitars, the Marilyn Monroe Estates and Elvis Presley Enterprises.
Motorcycles alone are not the whole of Jacobs’ work. When his wife wanted a new work of art to hang in their dining room, Jacobs insisted he could do it himself while being able to match the rest of the décor in their home. He had recently become interested in still lifes with wine at a recent show and wished to give it a try.
The results were “Taking a Breather” and “Delicious.” After displaying them to the public, Jacobs found that he had successfully accomplished his goal.
Wine and spirits, along with his floral still lifes, have now become a regular part of his repertoire. The vintage labels and intricate details have become a major way for Jacobs to showcase his photorealistic detailing.
“What influences me, as far as my art goes, is experiences in my life itself,” he says. “I love wine, I paint wine – I’ve always loved cars and motorcycles, and I tend to paint things I really enjoy in my life.”