Thomas Craig (1909-1969) Born: Upland, CA; Studied: Pomona College
(California), University of California (Berkeley), University of Southern
California; Member: California Water Color Society, Philadelphia Water Color
Society. Thomas Craig was born and raised near Los Angeles. After studying
botany at the University of California (Berkeley), he received art instruction
from F. Tolles Chamberlin, Clarence Hinkle and Millard Sheets in Southern
His innovative watercolors helped earn him a Guggenheim Fellowship in the early 1940s, which supported a painting trip across America. After serving as a war artist in World War II, Craig decided to focus mainly on his botany and retired from painting. He moved with his family to Escondido, California, to a 250 acre farm purchased before the war. He turned to his love of botany, and cultivated irises for the remainder of his life. He painted occasionally, but turned the majority of his attention to raising hybrid flowers and experimenting in botany. His influence on painters through his years at Pomona, Occidental, the University of Southern California and Chouinard was undeniable. He had been a major influence on the California Style, with his wet-on-wet technique. Tom Craig died in 1969 in his native town of Upland, California.
Although he actively painted and exhibited for only about twenty years, he played an important role in the development of the California Style of watercolor painting. His works were exhibited in many important shows including the California Group traveling exhibitions.
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