Erick Ingraham (1950 - )
Paonia artist Erick Ingraham has been dazzling his fans since receiving his BFA from Kutztown University in 1972. From his early artwork for Organic Gardening Magazine, and Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, to his numerous children’s book illustrations, Ingraham has established himself as a versatile, discriminating artist.
After winning an award for his illustrations in Porcupine Stew (Morrow 1982), an art critic declared Ingraham a “Magic Realist.” Indeed, his renderings of “Henry” the Siamese Cat, the resourceful, brave main character of the beloved series by Steamboat, Colorado children’s author Mary Calhoun, are a mesmerizing meld of realism and magic. Today, a new generation of children are delighted by his artwork, since the recent reissuing of the Henry books (Echo Point Books & Media, 2018). The first Calhoun book illustrated by Ingraham, “Cross-Country Cat” (Morrow 1979) is still so popular, that it remains in print after four decades.
Ingraham has done illustration work for Disney Imagineering, Badger Balm, Crabtree and Evelyn, PC Connection, Yankee Magazine, and Washington Post Magazine, and has gained an elite following of private collectors for his beautiful fine art paintings and portraits. In Colorado, he is currently represented by Main Street Gallery in Carbondale and RAModern Gallery in Crested Butte. Since moving to Paonia in 2015, Ingraham Design has been supplying local businesses with logos, labels, illustrations, and print design.
It’s fitting that, after a lifetime on the east coast, he has settled in Western Colorado, and brought his Magic Realism to the North Fork Valley. He’s now living the Colorado lifestyle he only dreamed of while creating the artwork for Cross-Country Cat in 1979.
DETAILED BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
Erick Ingraham (1950 - )
First Children's book published in 1977
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
December 23, 1950
Dr. David Stuart Ingraham - Veterinarian
Elizabeth Shelley Ingraham - Elementary School Teacher
Erick Ingraham's talent for drawing was encouraged by his parents and teachers since early childhood. His artistic mother developed his appreciation of form, color and detail in nature and art. His father brought out the practical side of his personality by explaining and showing how things work. Music took priority over formal art training at Great Valley High School, Malvern, PA., where he played both the baritone horn and the string bass. Art became his main interest once again upon entering college in 1968. He received his Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts/Painting from Kutztown State University in 1972.
As he was completing his education in art, his interests had gravitated toward the great illustrators in recent history. His favorites still include: Arthur Rackham, Maxfield Parrish, Howard Pyle, N.C.Wyeth, W.Heath Robinson and Edmund Dulac. He began calling himself an illustrator in 1974 when he received his first book contract for Producing Your Own Power (Rodale Press).
Erick Ingraham's first children's book was Harry and Shellburt (Macmillan 1977). Interwoven between book illustrations covering a wide spectrum of subjects, he produced twelve more children's books: Cross-Country Cat (Morrow 1979), Old Blue (Putnam 1980), Hot-Air Henry (Morrow 1981), Porcupine Stew (Morrow 1982), Little Daylight (Morrow 1988), High-Wire Henry (Morrow 1991), The Animals' Lullaby (Morrow 1993), Henry the Sailor Cat (Morrow 1994). Night in the Barn (Morrow 1995), Flood (Morrow 1997), Blue-Ribbon Henry (Morrow1999) and the sixth "Henry" story by Mary Calhoun, Henry The Christmas Cat (HarperCollins 2004).
Among Mr. Ingraham's many awards are the American Book Award and BIB for Porcupine Stew in 1983 and a Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Cross-Country Cat.