PHIL PARADISE (1905-1997)

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Phil Paradise (1905-1997)

A native of Ontario Oregon, Phil Paradise spent his childhood in Bakersfield, California. His artistic aptitude and ambition led him from high school to study with F. Tolles Chamberlin, Leon Kroll, and Rico Lebrun, and attended the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. While in Los Angeles, he worked in production design for Paramount Studios and was a commercial illustrator.

 

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 watercolors often depicted city views and desert landscapes and were executed in a regional style. This attracted critical attention and a few of his pieces were featured in important group exhibitions in California. Subsequently 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.

He worked into his old age and passed away in 1997 at the age of 92.

Biography adapted from the Charleston Renaissance Gallery biography.

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