Jay Andrews

written by Penni Rubin

This week we lost a dear friend and talented master watercolorist- Jay Andrews. His dedication to painting and helping others was always present at our Wednesday paintouts. His compositions and trees were phenomenal and everyone who painted with him respected him so much . He was inspired by the California landscape artists and he was once a pilot and at the University of Nevada, he studied architecture which he practiced up into his nineties!

Jay has been around SDWS since the early days when Bob Landry started the paintouts on Weds. We found out that he went the day before and did his values and thumbnail sketches as he tried to paint everyday. In his later years every three days he could be found out and about painting as he said “I live to paint!” The testimonials of fellow SDWS artists as well as a video about his work within a book are on youtube on my site (see below). I created “Jay Andrews the Masterful Painter” book in 2014 which is in the SDWS library. The book is updated and still available if you want to study approx. 300 of his fabulous works and compositions! 

The book came about when I noticed his car was loaded with paintings taped on both sides of cardboard. I emptied his car and photographed around fifty masterpieces. Over the years I had taken photos for the blog and had many of him helping others, His critiques were “spot on”  Codie Carman said and his inspiration was Shuang Li. So he was thoroughly ensconced in our community for many years. We found him busy every Weds. with his old beat up straw hat, homemade wooden watercolor stand plus  he came to the Saturday paint outs too.

He outlived his money and wound up losing his house to a reverse mortgage and luckily, when  we had the Jay Andrews Exhibition at SDWS in 2016, I was able to take all of his paintings to my house and Sue Zinngrabe Gold and I categorized and organized his work. All 439 pieces are on spread sheets and thumb drives and are in portfolios waiting for buyers who appreciate great watercolor paintings. This year, I was able to get him a show at the new Hilbert Museum of Art for California artists and Mr Hilbert wants one of his paintings for their permanent collection. Right now, until April 27, you can hop a train even and go to Orange on the Metrolink to see his work hanging in a new high-class art museum hanging with Norman Rockwell and the Brandt’s and Potter’s and that plein air gang! We should all be so lucky!  I was able to see Jay last  Friday and shared his show with him via my computer. He was so appreciative but his memory was going quickly and I could tell he was not going to be around much longer. I got the email Weds. morning after the paintout and was saddened. I promised I would make him famous some day, so help me out and check out his work! 



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