Hubert Shuptrine wanted to become a veterinarian, but changed his major after observing a studio art class in college, and graduated in 1959 from the University of Chattanooga with a degree in fine arts painting. He earned numerous awards as an abstract oil painter in the 1960s and taught himself watercolor painting during an extended family vacation to Maine, in 1970. From then on, he began chronicling the South and its people in images rendered in watercolor. He traveled back roads, becoming the chronicler of the Old South and its threatened way of life. He collaborated with the Souther storyteller James Dickey in the 1974 book publication, "Jericho: The South Behold'" and published another book, "Home to Jericho," in 1987.
About watercolor painting, Shuptrine said: "It is often hit-and-miss. I have start overs and failures. I estimate that nine our of ten end up in file thirteen. And some paintings are pure accident." Yet he persisted, working in watercolor for four decades believing the freshness and intimacy of a watercolor could not be achieved in any other medium.
Shuptrine's work is in the permanent collections of over fifty national museums, including the Brandywine Museum in Chadd's Ford, Pennsylvania, and the Butler Institute in Youngstown, Ohio.