Channeling Sam Cannon

While looking for something else I discovered Sam Cannon’s artwork and fell in love with his imagery and calligraphy. His eloquently realized animals, with beautifully hand-lettered quotations, spoke to a desire in me to do likewise. His tiny Petal Paper originals were particularly appealing.


When I looked into channeling his style I found I was fresh out of Petal Paper, so I just made my own version by wetting watercolor paper and painting  loose leaves and flowers.

Using these backgrounds as inspiration, I added figures and quotes that particularly resonated with me, keeping faithfully to Sam Cannon’s style.

As the paintings developed I added more leaves, flowers and stems around the figures and calligraphy, making the most of my watercolors.

I love the distinctive Sam Cannon ‘font’ and line arrangement. I experimented with different tools for the calligraphy. flowersetsy

I tried a more traditional opaque gouache approach with the dip pen on brown paper for this garden painting.


My favorite Thoreau quote is painted with white ink and a brush on the woodpile. These chilly chickadees are drawn from the flocks right outside my window here in Vermont.


I am using Schminke Aqua Bronze Rich Gold and Silver gouache to paint the metallic accents.

I learn by copying and experimenting and evolving. I hope to keep moving ever further from copying Sam and more into being entirely me.


As always, you can find my work for sale at my Etsy shop.


4 thoughts on “Channeling Sam Cannon

  1. Jane Meyersburg says:

    Hi Ashley… Happy New Year 🎉⛸ I see it’s ice skating for you at the lake… I on the other hand have a full 24 hrs of unexpected time and that is wonderful. I’m in Savannah GA in a snow storm ❄️🌨which has shut down the entire city, parts of 95 South, all the way to Jacksonville and south, and Jim Bella (dog) and I are lazing around the hotel rm, taking walks and moving all around the iPad… Which bring me to you, and A Heartfelt Thank You for my Snowy Middlebury Watercolor picture from you ❤️ I will have it framed when I return in April, and find a special spot in our home.

    Have a great rest of the winter, keep posting pictures, I LOVE them. Cheers 🌴 Jane

    Sent from my iPad



    • Hi Jane, I’m glad you’re making the best of it-big storm expected here this weekend. I’m so glad you like your print, and your thoughtful Huz! I look forward to your return in the spring–and don’t worry-I’ll continue to document #myvermontlife!



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