John Dawson According to his family members, John Dawson was already drawing at the age of
three. He can’t recall a time when he didn’t know that art would be his life.
Although his love of the outdoors took a while longer to develop, both art and
nature quickly became integral parts of his work. But it has only been in the
last decade that he has come into his own, gaining recognition as a
fine "natural history artist."
After graduation from the Art Center School in Los Angeles, Dawson "paid his
dues" at the Phillips Ramsey Advertising Agency in San Diego before deciding to
follow his muse to the Sawtooth Mountains of the Wood River Valley in Idaho.
There he experienced some tough early freelance years. Only after trips to New
York, Boston and Washington D.C. did Dawson secure enough support to make a
living doing what he loved.
Since then the artist has painted animals and birds for articles, posters,
nature guides, first-class postage stamps and even zoo signs, for such
prestigious establishments as the National Geographic, the Audubon Society, the
National Park Serice, the National Wildlife Federation and the U.S. Postal
Service, among others. All his works display a meticulous attention to detail,
supported by extensive research, interviews, personal experience in the field
and eighteen-hour days at the drawing board.
Although inspired by the remarkable terrain of the West, Dawson traded that
environment for the tropical rain forests of Hawaii after a recent assignment
in America’s fiftieth state. He has settled there with his wife, Kathy and has
opened his mind to a new wealth of art, possibilities and challenges.