John Swan (b. 1948) Marsh Hunters, 1986
signed "John Swan 86" lower right
watercolor, 20 by 30 in.
John Swan was born and raised in Maine and studied at the University of New Hampshire. In the 1980s, Swan was painting local rural landscapes until he completed a fly fishing painting that appeared on the cover of "Gray’s Sporting Journal." This early success with a sporting scene ensured that hunting and fishing subjects would be an integral part of Swan’s work in the years to come.
Considered one of America’s foremost sporting and wildlife artists, Swan is equally adept in watercolor and oils. His paintings bring to life fishing and hunting trips to places as far afield as the bonefishing mecca of the Bahamas and Canada’s Gaspe Peninsula. “I paint wherever I can fish,” he admits. The result is a body of spectacularly immediate works set in the world’s premier sporting destinations. Based on firsthand experience, and often created en plein air, Swan’s paintings are imbued with freshness: the energy of a tarpon struggling against the line or the quietude of a hunter’s early dawn preparations.
Among his distinctions are one-man shows at the American Museum of Fly Fishing, the King Gallery, and the Stephen O’Brien Jr. Fine Arts Gallery. His awards include being named Artist of the Year three times by the Atlantic Salmon Federation, the Ducks Unlimited International Artist of the Year in 1987, and the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Artist of the Year in 2017. He has illustrated numerous books, including Joseph Bates’ classic Atlantic Salmon Fishing and Thomas McGuanes’s anthology Live Water.
Provenance: Private Collection, Maine
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