Thursday, September 4, 2008

Influence: John Gannam

I stumbled upon artist/illustrator John Gannam (1907-1965) a while ago and I was blown away by his watercolor paintings. His work is compositionally stunning and the emotional content is subtle yet powerful. Like Norman Rockwell, Edward Hopper and Winslow Homer, Gannam's illustrations are praise worthy, even in the fine art world, yet serve as functional advertisements. These are some of the most beautiful and technically perfect watercolors I have ever come across and yet Gannam never made the jump from commercial illustration to fine art like Homer and Hopper did.

It was a little bit difficult to find information about Gannam but what I did dig up was that he was a member of the American Watercolor Society, was on the faculty of the Danbury Academy of Arts, and was elected to the Society of Illustrators' Hall of Fame in 1981.

I just ordered, Lessons From a Lifetime of Watercolor Painting by Donald Voorhees, it features work by Gannam and other famous illustrators from the past, hopefully by studying his work I will be able to uncover a few of the tricks that made Gannam's watercolors one of a kind.