Remembering Jim Snook September 23 2021 11 Comments


James Franklin Snook left this world on September 13, 2021. He was at home until the end, surrounded by his family – his wife of sixty-six years, Loretta, his four kids, and most of his grandkids, including greats & great-greats.

Jim was a lifelong artist. He told stories about how his mom would iron paper grocery bags for him to use as drawing paper when he was a kid. One of his first paying jobs was to paint signs for the neighbors: “eggs for sale.”

From there he branched out to his first love: oil and acrylic paintings, capturing all manner of landscapes and wildlife from around the western United States. He was always proudest of using each medium to get just the right “painterly qualities” in his pieces.

He returned from serving in the Air Force, a 35mm camera in hand. Whether he was making photos to use as inspirations for his paintings or just for their own sake, he spent many hours over the next few decades out shooting landscapes or wildlife.

He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in art education, and spent many years teaching high school art at Eagle Point. He sold his first cartoon in 1979, and quit his teaching job shortly after to pursue the cartoon business full-time. His cartoons conveyed a life well-lived: years of skipping school to go fishing, heading up to Tillamook Burn with his brothers to go deer hunting, camping out with his family. They captured his goofy sense of humor, love of nature, and keen eye for the human condition.

He left a vibrant legacy of creativity and appreciation for all forms of art: a generation of art students, a decades-long relationship with loyal cartoon fans, and a family chock-full of artists, musicians, and photographers. We will remember him on the deck at home in Rocky Point, Nikon camera trained on the latest backyard bird. We’ll remember him in front of the fireplace, shuffling out chords on his old Martin, a sense of rhythm all his own. We’ll remember him with a Sharpie in hand, bringing a snarky mouse or a curious bear to life with a few strokes on paper. We’ll remember him gently giving us tips on sketching or painting or just how to bring our observations to life.

Jim will be sorely missed, but he left the world a better place in so many ways.

Jim felt so lucky to be able to live the life he did, and to be able to make art for you all and to bring a little more laughter to the world. We know you're here because Jim was a part of your lives. We invite you to share your memories and stories in the comments below.