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Hubert Shuptrine

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Hubert Shuptrine
(Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1936 – 2006, Chattanooga, Tennessee)

Capturing the complex nature of the contemporary South’s people and their heritage has long engaged the artist Hubert Shuptrine, a watercolorist practicing a highly naturalistic style. The 1974 publication Jericho: The South Beheld, which presents his paintings alongside the poems of James Dickey, established Shuptrine as a chronicler of life in the region. Although he trained as an artist at the University of Chattanooga (now the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga), Shuptrine did not work in watercolor until 1970, while he was vacationing in Maine. Adopting a drybrush technique similar to that used by Andrew Wyeth (cat. no. 94), he imposed control on the fluid and unforgiving medium by painting with tiny strokes and using a thickener in the paint to manage its flow. He utilizes egg tempera to achieve the crisp highlight lines of the subject’s hair and clothing. Through this method, Shuptrine achieves exquisite detail and a highly polished finish that preserves the luminosity of the image.

American Paintings from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 2006, cat. no. 97, p. 226.

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