Sunday, July 8, 2007


Some illustrators, such as Winslow Homer and Edward Hopper, went on to become famous in "fine art" circles for their amazing watercolors. John Gannam (1907 - 1965) remained an illustrator but his watercolors were still amazing.

Gannam's paintings adorned stories in popular magazines for many years. He also painted a popular series of advertisements for sheets and blankets.

Neither Winslow Homer nor Edward Hopper could hold a candle to Gannam when it came to portraying the deep emotional relationship between a housewife and her new blanket.

But don't be fooled. Look closely and you will see the work of a serious and accomplished watercolorist.

Many of Gannam's paintings were published in cropped form, accompanied by intrusive headlines and graphics like these:

But when you look at the originals, you see Gannam's mastery at work:

Little details like this row of flowers demonstrate how Gannam kept looking hard all the time. Gannam didn't use a rote formula or lapse into photorealistic tracing.

These watercolors could fit quite comfortably on the same wall with the work of Homer and Hopper.