I am a professional artist, with a wealth of experience as an illustrator, portrait painter, college art professor, and designer. Art has been a passion for me my entire life. I love what I do.
As an artist, I am inspired by carefully observing people because of the incredible design of the human form and the remarkable individuality and uniqueness of each and every individual. Men, women, and especially children, whose joy and spirit I find so inspirational, and pets have been the subjects of my portraits, illustrations and collectible figurine product designs. I am an internationally published author.
Growing up in suburban Philadelphia, PA, our mother’s creativity had a lasting effect on me and my sisters. We were always creating as far back as I can remember. It seems that it is in our genes!
I graduated from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, PA., and later took portrait painting classes at The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. I attended a Master Class in NYC with Everett Raymond Kinstler, renowned portraitist of celebrities and presidents. Over the years, I have had several portrait commissions for individuals and family groups, including the family dog, some of which Mr. Kinstler kindly critiqued.
I married and designed and illustrated newspaper ads for small fashion retailers in Washington, D.C. After returning to Philadelphia, I was then a fashion illustrator for John Wanamaker, a landmark department store. I was mentored by the late Henry Heitmann, one of the top three fashion illustrators in the country for decades. We drew the fashions on live models at Henry’s insistence, and I also had invaluable lessons in design and typography from other talented art staff, especially senior designer, Louise Reeves. My years on staff and as a regular freelancer were the most valuable and influential learning experience I ever had.
In addition, being part of the acclaimed Wanamaker’s ad department nurtured life-long friendships such as Henry and Louise. A collection of Henry’s work is now being prepared for an exhibit at The New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT.
I was fortunate to be able to work mostly from home after we had two children. I developed freelance accounts with ad agencies, book and print publishers, etc., and was also an adjunct instructor at The Art Institute of Philadelphia, The University of the Arts, and The Delaware Art Museum.
The figure has been the subject of most of my freelance work. A few highlights: “The Crayola Fashion- Designer Kit,” “Girlfriends ” and “Girlfriends Party-Time” sticker paper-doll books for Dover Publishing (2004-present), published prints, stitch-kit designs, and figurines plus collections for collectibles market manufacturers such as United Design, Lenox, Bradford Exchange, and Things Remembered.
I work mostly in oils for portrait painting, and use watercolors, pastels, pen and ink, colored pencils, and mixed media for illustrations. I have sculpted a few figurine samples for collectibles projects.
My favorite artwork is that of painters John Singer Sargent, Frank W. Benson, Alfons Mucha, Mary Cassatt and illustrators of children’s books like Jessie Wilcox Smith, Cecil Mary Barker and N.C. Wyeth.
Oregon is now home. My son is in Portland and I live here in lovely West Linn, close to my daughter and her family. I am blessed! Painting portraits have always been a major source of satisfaction for me. My wish is to create a lasting, cherished possession for each individual and/or family. I love to draw and paint directly from a model, but I can work from my photos or yours as well, which is necessary when the subjects are children, a family group, or, of course, a posthumous subject.
Please call to arrange a complementary meeting in Old Town West Linn if you have an interest in a portrait commission. A photo book of portrait samples and an original painting will be available. Continuing sessions, such as photo shoots, could take place at a client’s home for their convenience, or at the studio, especially if a client is available to sit for their portrait, even for one or two sessions.
Studio location is: “Flourish Pilates,” 1785 Willamette Falls Drive, suite #8, West Linn OR 97068. Please contact me, Joanne Mary Cannon, @ 503.309.0671 for further details and/or an appointment.