Jay Schelstrate spent his adolescence concentrating on playing sports, culminating with a short college baseball career. In 2010, a few years after graduation, his focus and energy changed and Jay began dabbling in watercolor. With the encouragement of friends and others, Jay started taking the mechanics of drawing very seriously and in 2012 he began working with oil paint for the first time. Since then he has taken workshops under Casey Baugh and Sean Cheetham, as well as training under award-winning illustrator Steve Rude.
Jay has primarily focused on the portrait and figurative subjects because he finds them to have the most depth, character, and expression of all of God’s creations. For Jay there is nothing more challenging and rewarding than conveying a painting that provides an insight and appreciation to the viewer.