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 Phil Paradise  (1905 - 1997)

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Lived/Active: California/Ontario/Oregon      Known for: landscape and mural painting, art education, serigraphs

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Ad Code: 3
Phil Paradise
from Auction House Records.
Indians Threshing
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Ontario, Oregon, Phil Paradise was raised in Bakersfield, California.  In the 1920s, he studied at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and worked for Paramount Studios. He taught art at Chouinard and Scripps College.

Paradise was known for his ability to sketch from memory of his travels and produced a book of hundreds of India ink sketches from which he painted for years.  His early works were city and desert landscapes in representational style, but from the 1940s, his work became more stylized.

He was elected an Associate Member of the National Academy.

Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940

Biography from Charleston Renaissance Gallery:
A native of Oregon, Phil Paradise spent his childhood in Bakersfield, California. His artistic aptitude and ambition led him from high school to studies with F. Tolles Chamberlin, Leon Kroll, and Rico Lebrun, as well as classwork at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. While in Los Angeles, he worked in production design for Paramount Studios and was a commercial illustrator. Executed in a regional style, his early watercolors—often depicting city views and desert landscapes—attracted critical attention and were featured in important group exhibitions in California. In 1939, Paradise was elected president of the California Water Color Society, and his art was actively sold on both American coasts.

Like other artists of the day, Paradise visited the South Carolina Lowcountry during the period known as the Charleston Renaissance. Works from that era, circa 1935, begin to reflect Paradise’s shift from a representational approach to a more stylized aesthetic. He also traveled to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, recording hundreds of scenes in journals which he later transcribed into finished works.

Paradise taught at both the Chouinard Art Institute and Scripps College. During the 1940s, he set up a print workshop in the central California town of Cambria and began producing limited edition serigraph prints, as well as metal sculpture, pottery, and ceramic murals. A member of the National Academy of Design, Paradise’s works were shown at the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Modern Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and Whitney Museum of American Art.

Biography from
Phil Paradise spent his childhood in Bakersfield.  After graduating from high school, he studied art with F. Tolles Chamberlin, Rico Lebrun and Leon Kroll.  He worked in a regional style in the late 1920s and 1930s.  These works received a great deal of attention and were part of many important watercolor shows including the California Group exhibitions.  By the late 1930s, he was actively selling his paintings in galleries in both New York and Los Angeles.

After the mid-1940s, his paintings changed in both style and subject matter. He traveled and lived in Mexico, Central America and Caribbean countries drawing most of his subject matter from these areas. 

Paradise taught at the Chouinard Art Institute and at Scripps College. He also worked as an artist in the motion picture industry and did some commercial illustration.  In 1939, Paradise served as president of the California Water Color Society.

During the 1940s, he set up a print workshop in the central California town of Cambria and began producing limited edition serigraph prints.  In addition, he created metal sculpture, pottery and ceramic murals which he sold out of his studio-home in Cambria.

California Watercolors 1850-1970 by Gordon T. McClelland and Jay T. Last.
Biographical information from book based on interview with Phil Paradise, 1988.

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