"Many painters are afraid of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the really passionate painter who is daring - and who has once and for all broken that spell of 'you cannot'... - Vincent van Gogh
As a child I was intimidated by the blank canvas and its vast, white, emptiness. I often felt it daring me to spoil the integrity of its untouched surface. With a shaking hand I was committed, and whether the outcome of my piece was a skillful composition worthy of framing or an unattractive portrait which would later find its way into the trash, I realized that I had learned something from the experience. I had broken the spell of "you cannot." As time went by I became less afraid of mistakes, I learned which techniques created the effects I wanted, and I began refining the realistic style that is represented in my work.
I was impressed by the integrity of historical work by artists like Andrea del Sarto (1486-1531), Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) Alberto Vargas (1896–1982) and Norman Rockwell (1894–1978) so I chose to work within the style of realism. I am passionate about the subjects I paint. The brush strokes MUST create life upon the canvas, or the piece is reworked until its vitality becomes evident.
Through years of experience my work has evolved. My compositions have become more interesting, they embody better balance, and they include abundant detail. As a fine artist in a world where digital and abstract art predominate the galleries, it is becoming more challenging than ever to preserve the classical art of drawing and create pieces that appeal to the public. Inspired by the photography of Ansel Adams (1902-1984) I recently began painting in black and white which gives my work a more contemporary look while allowing me to remain true to my passion for realism and the master artists of the past.
- J. H. Ganser