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 John Paul Strain  (1955 - )

About: John Paul Strain


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Lived/Active: Texas      Known for: genre-frontier, landscape, wildlife

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BIOGRAPHY for John Strain
1955 (Nashville, Tennesse)

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genre-frontier, landscape, wildlife

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Civil War Art
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
John Paul Strain is noted for his paintings of the Old West and themes of the Civil War, which capture the heroism and drama of both eras by combining the use of bright colors and contrasting shadows.

Strain, a native Southern, was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1955. Attending Brigham Young University, his studies centered on American History in general, and the War Between the States era, in particular. He spent time in the U.S. Department of Energy as an illustrator, which was a stepping-stone for him into the field of historical art. His success was immediate, with works soon shown at a Rocky Mountain gallery. After moving to Texas, his efforts became concentrated on historical themes of the Civil War. His devotion to historic detail and authenticity have increased his popularity and demand for his works on the activities Civil War leaders such as Jackson, Lee, and Forrest.

His works can be found throughout America in Civil War limited editions.

Biography from Altermann Galleries & Auctioneers VI:
John Paul Strain

A painter in oil and gouache of life in the early American West, born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1955 and living in Benbrook, Texas. "The style of my work," he says, "has been called reminiscent of the romantic landscapes and portrayals of Indian life of Henry Farny and Thomas Moran. I try and attain a certain mood and atmosphere in each of my paintings. I feel many of the great artists of the past such as Moran and Farny have that quality.

"I began painting at an early age," he adds, "and decided to become a Western artist when I was in high school. I attended the University of Redlands in California and Brigham Young University in Utah as an art major. After college, I was employed as an illustrator for the Department of Energy for a year and then I launched out on a career as a full time Western artist. I have since participated in major art shows such as the Russell Auction and the Phippen Memorial, and my work has been featured on the cover of The American Cowboy."

Strain's access to the Old West has been by traveling to sketch and photograph the backgrounds and by research. His 1981 series of Indian portraits was on the Tarahumara Indians, "a group that live in the Sierra Madre region of northwestern Mexico. They have changed very little despite 300 years of contact with Spanish soldiers, missionaries, and the Mexican people. I based these paintings on photographs." He also paints wildlife landscapes.

Resource: Contemporary Western Artists, by Peggy and Harold Samuels 1982, Judd's Inc., Washington, D.C.

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