Jacqueline Lee Chisick (née Garrels) passed away on March 4, 2021.
Jacqueline (Jackie) was born Sept. 14, 1942, to Betty Garrels and Ernest Garrels in Globe, Arizona. She liked to tell people that her parents were some of the first pioneers to Arizona, in 1896, 16 years before it became an official state.
She is survived by her husband, Robert Chisick Sr., whom she married in November 1960. Her biggest bragging right was that she was one entire day older than her husband. Jackie is the mother to Robert Jr., David, and Bill; and the grandmother to David, Sarah, Justin, Connor, Blaine, Rebekah, Steven, and Michael; and the great-grandmother to Alexander, Avery, Jocelyn, Bentley, and Atticus.
Jackie graduated from Arizona State University with a Master’s Degree in Fine Art and had the opportunity to apprentice under numerous fine artists. She lived in and continued to teach college-level art in Tempe, Arizona for more than 20 years.
Jackie was an artist her whole life. As a young girl, she was drawn to the arts, always traveling with her supplies. She spent her summers in the hill country of Payson, Arizona, with her family. When she was young and had no money for art supplies, her family made her charcoal out of the native trees, which she took to school to use for the year. She was always so proud of this, and her family.
Her earlier works feature the muted earthen colors of Arizona, where she grew up “in the hill country of cowboys and copper miners.” While in Arizona, she mainly worked with acrylics, water colors, pen and ink, pastels, and colored pencils. When she moved up to Port Townsend, she switched to oils and pretty much gave up her other mediums, realizing how much she liked the layering and depth that she could achieve with oils. Despite this switch, she was very comfortable throughout her life with a wide range of mediums, and really just loved to make art in any form.
In 1985, Jackie and her husband packed up their lives in Arizona and moved to Port Townsend. Eventually, other family members would make the move up to live near them, including two of their children and Jackie’s mother. She was known and beloved in Port Townsend as an artist, but also as a teacher of art.
Jackie is known for her art, participating in multiple Art Walks in Port Townsend as well as gallery showings across the country. She was very inspired by England and especially Stonehenge and Wales. Throughout her life, she would regularly travel to England alone to recharge, work on genealogy, and make art. Jackie loved the castles, and would stay in them when she could, or would stay with small families during her travels. Her work can be divided into several series, but she is most well-known for her landscapes, breathtakingly-beautiful gilded trees, and her study of the female figure. “I paint because I must,” Jackie said. “And I choose to make art that is beautiful, expressive and representational of all women.” Most recently, she was featured at Port Townsend’s Art Walk in May 2017 for a new series she had created highlighting the “Maid, Mother, and Crone” archetype.
In late 2017, she effectively “retired” from art as a profession: “I am tired,” she said, “and I just want to focus on raising Icelandic sheep, growing succulents and spending time with my grandchildren.” She continued to do art casually, until the end of her life, but no longer created anything that felt “forced” or anything other than what she wanted.
Jackie may be gone from us in body, but her legacy and her art lives on in many restaurants, office spaces, and homes in Port Townsend and beyond. Most notable would be her numerous paintings at Alchemy Bistro, and her painting at Siren’s behind the piano. Please go visit her paintings, if you are able, and see the world through Jackie’s eyes.
She always said “do what makes you happy; if it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it.” Wise words, from an incomparable woman who had truly tasted the happiness that life had to offer.