Biography

Jack Lee McLean; Western Painter and Artist 1924-2003

WELCOME EVERYONE…to the Jack Lee McLean website. I’m Lynn, and my sister Paula and I created this site to keep alive the memory of our Dad. We continue to celebrate his life and his wide-ranging artistic contributions. Jack was well loved and had many friends who, like us, remember his love of fun and his get-up-and-go spirit. We invite you to submit any stories, knowledge, and memories you have of Jack.

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JACK’S WORK AND LIFE
Jack Lee McLean is best known for painting historical scenes of the Old West in Canada and the U.S., but his complete works cover locales from all over the world. He meticulously researched early illustrations and written records to accurately portray the magnificent and romantic era of the Old West for future generations.

Jack’s skill in rendering action and his mastery of light invites you into his paintings to become part of the West – taking a journey through his true-to-life landscapes with the cowboy, the Indian, the packer, and his trademark, the work horse.

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Jack liked to say his real studio was the Rocky Mountains. Living, hiking, and skiing in the mountain backcountry provided the experience with the land to portray that same backdrop of the Old West with his heart and keen eye.

Born in 1924 and raised in Vancouver, Jack always loved to sketch. As a young man, he was drawn to painting at the Emily Carr School of Art. He then served in the Royal Canadian Air Force where he continued to develop his art skills by illustrating newsletters and painting murals. One mural graced the mess wall of the Air Force Base in Comox for forty years. It depicted Canada from coast to coast and measured sixty feet long and ten feet high. In 1962, one of his several Mt. Robson paintings was chosen for the cover of the British Columbia telephone book.

British Columbia Telephone Book, 1962

British Columbia Telephone Book, 1962

Throughout Jack’s very successful art career of over fifty years, he accurately documented the historical life of the American and Canadian West in OVER 1500 PAINTINGS. He received substantial worldwide recognition from publishers, museums, galleries, and individuals who purchased his work.
A kind and generous man, he was always willing to help new artists with their technique, taking time to pass his knowledge on. All through his life, Jack generously donated his artwork and time to good causes.

Jack was an avid skier who eagerly anticipated the mountain snows each season. On the evening of December 3, 2003, Dad succumbed to a heart attack after an enjoyable day of downhill skiing with his friends at Grand Targhee.

Jack Lee McLean’s spirit carries on in his paintings. His life’s work, his distinctive style of Western Art, is something that people will continue to enjoy and appreciate, the evocation of an earlier, simpler era.

 

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Jack Lee McLean; Western Painter and Artist 1924-2003

17 Responses to Biography

  1. Patrick Mallette says:

    hello. Recently a dear friend of mine passed away a left me an amazing signed print of Chief Dan George painted by Mr McLean. i am wondering if the original is in your possession? i would love to see it and know any details of the circumstances around the portrait.

    Thank you.

    • John says:

      As you are all aware, Jack Lee Mclean was a very talented AND prolific painter. Sadly, but understandably, many if not most of the originals owners are not known. We are always happy to find out who the owners are. Your signed print, you no doubt agree, is”amazing”.

  2. Lynne Wolfe (nee Sutherland) says:

    Hello Lynn and Paula,

    You may remember me – we lived two doors away from you on 5th Ave. in Kimberley when we were kids. And of course, you would remember my sister, Lea, who was with you and your family on that tragic day at St. Mary’s Lake.

    I have very clear memories of your dad – he was not only an artist, but I remember that all the furniture you had when you lived in Lois Creek was built by him. He was kind and patient and wonderful with all the neighborhood kids.

    I remember seeing one of his paintings once, in the lobby of a very posh hotel in Calgary (I was in my late teens by then), and at that moment realized with delight that my former neighbor was a “very important artist”.

    I have, over the years searched for all of you on the internet, and have met with some success, but I am so pleased that you have created this site to honor your dad. In doing so, you honor yourselves, as well.

    All the best to you both,

    Lynne

  3. Robert Shields says:

    I look for Jack’s work all the time. I have seen his works many places. I will always your dad using Mr. Moe as a model in tour back yard. Mr. Moe was sitting on a saddle on a saw horse. That painting was a great one.

  4. Dianne LaFreniere says:

    I’ve always loved and admired the pictures Jack McLean painted and a couple hung in the dentist office in Kimberley where I had appointments. I would still love to have one of his paintings hanging in my home as his pictures were outstanding. I’ll bet it is now impossible to even buy any of his paintings….love, love his work…you must be very proud of your dad and his God given talent.

    Dianne LaFreniere

    • John says:

      the good news is we still have a few “precious”originals…please watch for a new “for sale” page coming soon- John (Lynn’s husband)

  5. Shane Brown says:

    Jack and his wife took several pictures of myself mounted on our palomino Quarter Horse stallion on the hill across from the old Kimberley Airport in the sixties. I was just a kid then but never forgot it. I have no idea if he ever used any of those pictures in his paintings but to a kid just the possibility that they might be was a big deal.

  6. Connie Stang (Mikkelsen) says:

    My sincere sympathies to you both, I didn’t realize he’d passed away, I always loved his paintings, true works of art, I don’t remember you Lynn, but I sure remember Paula, His memory will live on in your hearts and his paintings

  7. Wendy Biddlecombe Mousir says:

    Hi Paula,
    I am not sure if you remember me, we lived on Rotary drive, where my dad still lives.
    Your dad did an number of pictures of my Uncle George out at Wasa.
    I always loved his work. Glad to see this site and I know I will visit it often

  8. Michael Collins says:

    I have always admired Jack McClean’s paintings. While in Vancouver in the 90′s I was fortunate to have bought one of his works. I admire it every day. I believe he is an important Can/Amer, western artist. From what I can glean from on-line he was a fine man as well as a great artist – no small thing.

  9. SHARON ANN MACLEAN....AKA...CHERY SHARON ANN HOLMES MARRIED NAME. says:

    HI LYNN AND PAULA: THIS IS SHARON ANN MACLEAN: YOUR COUSIN. MY MOM’S NAME WAS DOREEN AND MY DAD’S NAME WAS ROBERT OR BOB. WE LIVED IN VANCOUNVER & MY DAD’S FATHER IS ALSO ROBERT MCLEAN & HAD A FARM IN LANGLEY. I HAVEN’T SEEN YOU PAUL SINCE YOU WERE LITTLE. LYNN: I SAW YOU IN CLOVERDALE/SURREY AREA WHEN YOU LIVED THERE.

    ARE YOU STILL A MIDWIFE…SURE HOPE SO BECAUSE I WAS SO PROUD OF YOU.

    I’D LOVE TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH YOU TO.

    HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON. HUGS LOVE SHARON (ALSO KNOWN AS CHERYL). YOUR COUSIN.

  10. Dave O'Haire says:

    Hello Girls, Good on you for producing this site. I knew Jack through his years at Fernie Snow Valley Ski Area in the 70″s. I helped bring building materials up to the home he built up on the meadow at the foot of the Lizard Range, helicopter skied with him at Island Lake long before it became a destination ski area. Also many laughs at the old Griz bar at the day lodge. Always enjoyed him first as a ski friend and especially lately as I worked at the Fernie Arts Station I appreciate Mr. McLean for the fine artist he was. It is a great pleasure to have discouvered this site. Keep up the good work. Dave O’Haire

  11. Darrell Govereau says:

    Hi,

    We have a print of your fathers that has a bear rearing up, roaring with a hunter firing a pistol at it,and his horse is on its side in the snow, with the hunter behind his horse. A fellow on horseback is in the background.

    We have been given this print from my wifes mother. My father in law (Wife’s father) received it as payment from an Indian band for playing fiddle, as he was a metis fiddler (Art Burd).

    What can you tell me about this beautiful print? How many were there made?

    Thank you

    • John says:

      great picture! our son proudly has a framed version of the print…not sure who has the original. some more prints may be still available.

  12. Alberta Family says:

    Hi,
    We are an Central Alberta family that rides daily for work and pleasure. We are lucky enough to have 3 originals of Jacks. They hang very prominently and proudly in our home. They are all Alberta ranch/horse scenes. He was a great painter and captured the countryside, horses and cowboys in our paintings in a special way. It is amazing to watch the paintings come alive as the sunsets, storms or early morning light hit them.

  13. Sandy Krumperman says:

    I have a signed print by Jack Lee McLean titled “Rock-a-Bye” that I purchased in 1988. I cannot find an image of it online anywhere. May I please have some more information about this print for my records?
    Thank you.

  14. Chuck Brassfield says:

    Hello:

    So happy to find your website in memory of your father. My wife Patty and I own a 20″ X 30″ original of your father’s entitled “Blackfoot In Aspens”…(a Blackfoot Indian on horseback, moving slowly through an aspen forest). It was beautifully framed and hanging in a gallery in Sun Valley, Idaho when we purchased it 25 years ago while on a ski trip. It has been hanging over our fireplace ever since. We absolutely love it. Bless you all for doing this good work.

    Chuck Brassfield

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