Phillip Herschel Paradise Biography

Phillip Herschel Paradise




Painter, printmaker, and illustrator Philip Herschel Paradise was born in Ontario, Oregon in 1905, and relocated with his family to Bakersfield, Calif., as a child. Considered one of the California Regionalist painters, Paradise studied under F. Tolles Chamberlain, Rico Lebrun, and Leon Kroll, and also took courses at the former Chouinard Art Institute. He would later teach at Chouinard as well as Scripps College. Paradise helped found the California Scene group in the 1930s and 1940s, and was a contemporary of Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton and Edward Hopper. In the 1940s he set up his own printshop in Cambria, where he had relocated following his studies. 

Paradise, who served as president of the California Watercolor Society, painted watercolors of regional California citylife and working class scene, depicted in a Modernist style that he became known for. In later years his subjects reflected his travels in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, often creating books full of India ink sketches that he would reference in prints and paintings later on. Also a commercial artist, Paradise took commissions for such magazines as Fortune, Westways and True and was also employed by Paramount Studios as a production designer.

In 1957 Paradise founded the Cambria Summer School of Art where he taught painting for several years, and in the 1960s, he operated Greystone Galleries, also in Cambria. He was an elected Associate Member of the National Academy.

He died in February of 1997 in Los Angeles, California.

Paradise exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Whitney Museum of Arts, among others.