Jon Schueler grew up Milwaukee and studied English with the intention of becoming a writer but his plans were interrupted by war. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and first visited Scotland in 1942 when his B-17 Bomber touched down at Prestwick after a terrifying flight. He never forgot the experience and often romanticised about Scotland.
After the war he studied at the Californian School of Fine Arts and quickly discovered a talent and a love for painting that compelled him to move to New York in 1951 where he became immersed in the art world of Mark Rothko, Franz Kline and Jackson Pollock and it was from his base he sojourned in Scotland, Paris and Italy and at several universities in the United States. In 1957 he discovered Mallaig, a small fishing town on the Sound of Sleat on Scotland's west coast and this dramatic coastal landscape informed his work throughout the '60s.
For Jon Schueler the sky was his main inspiration and in 1970 he moved for five years from New York to a studio in Mallaig, where he could surrender himself visually to the tempestuous elements of the Scottish coastline and it is here, many critics believe, he refined his artistic focus.
"When I speak of nature I'm speaking of the sky... And when I think of sky, I think of the Scottish sky over Mallaig. Time was there and motion was there. Lands forming, seas disappearing, words fragmenting, colours giving birth to burning shapes"
The weather and ever changing light of the west coast inspired and influenced his work and he continued to paint in Mallaig most summers until his death in 1992.