Please pardon our dust. Our team is hard at work standardizing and improving our database content. If you need assistance, please contact us.
"I love landscapes and still lifes, but I always return to painting the face. It's so special to get someone's character captured on canvas."
Born in Bristol Borough, John Ennis expressed an early interest in the arts. At the age of twelve, Ennis began studying art at the local Radcliffe Art Gallery in Bristol and continued his art education at Bucks County Community College in Newtown, where he received an associate of fine arts degree in 1973. Ennis went on to earn his bachelor of fine arts degree in 1976 from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Shortly thereafter, he moved to New York City to study painting at the Arts Students League of New York. While studying there, Ennis began illustrating book covers for publishers, a career that would span two decades, specializing in romance novel artwork. During his twenty-year career as an illustrator, Ennis estimates that he produced more than 1,000 book covers.
In 1992, Ennis returned to Bucks County. In the early 2000s, he stepped away from his career in illustration. It was then that he decided to concentrate on portraiture and the fine arts. Ennis has been recognized locally, nationally and internationally for his work as a portraitist. He has received more than a dozen national awards for his work in portraiture from the Portrait Society of America.
He describes himself as a figure painter who also paints oil landscapes gleaning inspiration from the scenic beauty of Bucks County. Landscapes serve as a counterweight for Ennis balancing his meticulous work as a portraitist with the free-flowing freedom of his landscapes. His work appears in private and institutional collections across the United States and abroad and has received numerous awards. Ennis currently resides in Yardley, where he continues to produce portraits, landscapes and still lifes.
John Ennis. Photo by Kyle Cassidy.
Education and Training
Associate of Arts, Bucks County Community College, Newtown, PA, 1973
Bachelors of Fine Art, Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore, MD, 1976
Life Member, Art Students League of New York, New York, NY
Teachers and Influences
Ennis studied painting at Bucks County Community College under Alan Goldstein, Marlene Miller, Bruce Katsiff, Robert Dodge and Emmet Gowin. He later studied at the Art Students League in the late 1970s under Robert Emil Schulz and Jack Faragasso and also privately with Michael Aviano. All three of the latter studied at the Art Students League under Frank J. Reilly (1906-1967).
He is chiefly influenced by John Singer Sargent, Joachim Sorolla, Diego Rodriguez de Silva Velasquez, Anders Zorn, Michael Shane Neal, John Howard Sanden, E. Raymond Kinstler and Richard Schmid.
Connection to Bucks County
Raised in Bristol Borough, John Ennis graduated Bristol High School and attended the Bucks County Community College, where he studied art. In 1978, he moved to New York City and, in 1992, he returned to Bucks County and presently lives in Yardley. His work has been shown at numerous Bucks County venues including the Phillips' Mill Annual Juried exhibition. He is active in the local arts community as a member of Artists of Yardley and Arts Bridge
Artistic Community and Colleagues
Artists of Yardley, Artsbridge, Robert Beck, Alan Fetterman, George Thompson, and John Kane
Major Solo Exhibitions
Solo Exhibition, Sabine Rose Gallery, Doylestown, PA, 2005
Major Group Exhibitions
Annual Juried Show, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA, 2003, 2004, 2006
Annual Juried Exhibition, Lambertville Historical Society, Lambertville, NJ, 2003, 2004
Portrait Society of America Annual Juried, Reston, VA, 2003
90th Annual Juried Show, Allied Artists of America, 2003
9th Annual National Juried Show, Artsbridge, Stockton, NJ, 2003
21st Annual Ellarslie Open, Trenton City Museum, Trenton, NJ, 2003
Phillips' Mill Annual Juried Exhibition, New Hope, PA, 2004, 2006
Portrait Society of America Annual Juried, Boston, MA, 2004
Philadelphia Sketch Club Small Oils Exhibition, Philadelphia, PA, 2004, 2008, 2009
Portrait Society of America Annual Juried Competition, Dallas, TX, 2006
Drawn Together, Trenton City Museum, Trenton, New Jersey, 2006
Sabine Rose Gallery, Doylestown, PA, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008
Portrait Brokers of America Annual Seminar, Birmingham, AL, 2007
Artsbridge Members Exhibition, 2009
Teaching and Professional Appointments
Faculty, MacWorld Expo, 1997
Faculty, Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia, PA, 2003
Faculty, Portrait Society of America Annual Conference, 2012
Certificate of Excellence, International Competition, Portrait Society of America, 2009
Honorable Mention Men, Member Competition, Portrait Society of America, 2009
Fifth Place Children, Member Competition, Portrait Society of America, 2009
Honorable Mention, Outdoor Portrait Competition, Portrait Society of America, 2007
Honors Award, International Competition, Portrait Society of America, 2006
Finalist, Children's Portrait Competition, Portrait Society of America, 2006
First Place, Self-Portrait Competition, Portrait Society of America, 2005
Honors Award, International Competition, Portrait Society of America, 2004
Best Portfolio, Annual Conference, Portrait Society of America, 2004, 2005, 2007
Certificate of Recognition, International Competition, Portrait Society of America, 2003
Finalist, Portrait & Figures, The Artists Magazine's 24th Annual Art Competition
Finalist, Portrait & Figures, The Artists Magazine's 22nd Annual Art Competition
Finalist, Portrait & Figures, The Artists Magazine's 21st Annual Art Competition
First Place, Animal Art, The Artists Magazine's 21st Annual Art Competition
Award for Portraiture, Woodmere Art Museum Annual Juried Show
Patrons' Award, Phillips' Mill 77th Annual Fall Exhibition, 2006