Born on November 20, 1928, John Gaddis received a degree from Georgia Institute of Technology and worked as a civil engineer. In 1972, he gave up his career to devote himself full-time to his art. Having previously received training in watercolor painting by such Mississippi artists like Doris Nunn and Sam Gore, he now turned his full attention to his new pursuit and studied with John Pike in Mexico, Ireland, and Woodstock, New York; with Rex Brandt in Hawaii and California; with Tony Van Haslett, Edgar Whitney, and Robert E. Wood.
He painted landscapes, old barns or buildings, nudes and abstracts, and taught art classes to adults. Many of those artists still exhibit their work under the name of the Gaddis Group.
A member of numerous organizations, Gaddis was on the board of directors of the American Watercolor Society, and a member of the Mississippi Watercolor Society as well as the Southern Watercolor Society.
His work was featured on page 52 of Splash 2: Watercolor Breakthroughs published in 1993 and on page 278 of Art in Mississippi 1970-1980 by Patti Carr Black. Articles about his work appeared in Mississippi Magazine, Southern Living, and others.
John Gaddis passed away on May 5, 1993
various clippings and family documents courtesy of the artist's widow.