Jack Cox was an entirely self-taught artist and his inspiration seems to have come from his early years wildfowling with his father. They would wait quietly for the birds in the marshes and creeks where he studied the shoreline of North Norfolk and absorbed the colours which he later conveyed onto canvas. He also loved the sea and it shows in his work which often , as in the case of the work currently for sale by Blondes Fine Art, depicted inland creeks, harbour scenes, and sailing boats. He was a founder member of the Wells Wildfowlers and also involved with the sailing club ,in competitive sailing in the small boats called ‘sharpies’.
Jack left school at 14 and went to sea, working for the family firm fishing for whelks.During the war Jack served in the Royal Navy based at Scapa Flow and also at Liverpool serving on Motor Torpedo Boats and Mine Sweepers. It was during his time at Liverpool that Jack made several trips to Ireland and he found to his delight that, by painting pictures of Irish cottages he could sell them for five shillings each. Jack told many people the story of when he painted his first 100 watercolours and not being satisfied with the results threw them into the sea and watched his early efforts float away!
Leaving the Navy, Jack returned to the family business and was a fisherman for over 50 years. Jack also served for 44 years in the Wells lifeboat crew and in 1965 HRH Duchess of Kent, was invited as President of The Royal National Lifeboat Institution to name the new Wells lifeboat – “Ernest Tom Nethercote” and was presented with a ‘Jack Cox’ painting of the boat. Jack and his fellow crewmen all dressed smartly for the Royal occasion but Jack still insisted on wearing his “cut-off wellies”. Everyone you meet in Wells says he was a character and a well known member of the community. I met a current member of the crew not so long ago and he was more than happy to inform me that he had a large collection of Jack's work including one of the lifeboat itself.
His artwork shows a fabulous use of light that seems instinctive. Jack Cox uses the oil in a free style that brings the landscape to life -see close up of his work shown above-and if you ever get the opportunity to visit the wonderful North Norfolk coast get out you ipad or phone and look up Jack Cox's work while you are there and you will see just what a great artist he was.