John Paul Strain's biography continued:

 ...been accepted at a prestiguous gallery in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
To keep up with the growing demand for his paintings and to devote all of his time to art, Strain moved his family to Texas. Influenced by Henry Farny, Thomas Moran and Albert Bierstadt, Strain began painting Western scenes of Indian life, Strain's later boulevard scenes of the gaslight era were influenced by Luigi Loir and Galien Lalone.  Strain masters the atmosphere and excitement of the soldiers' life during the Civil War with the same meticulous skill and attention to detail as his other historical work.

     Strain's first medium was oil, but now he works primarily in guache.  Of the completed work Strain says, "I want the paintings to be aesthetically beautiful in themselves, to transcend the depiction of events with historical accuracy." 

     John Paul Strain brings the spirit and drama of America's past to life through a personal legacy that combines his extraordinary artistic gift with an intense interest in history.  Strain, a professional artist since 1976 has been a history buff since childhood.  "My parents, both college professors, took me to historic sites and taught me the value of history."

     An elective art class in his senior year of high school brought Strain's talent to the attention of his teacher who purchased the young man's first two oil paintings.  Strain went to college with the specific goal of becoming a fine artist.

     American artist John Paul Strain captures the color, drama and heroism of the Civil War with a vivid realism that is unique among the nation's top-ranking historical artists. A native Southerner - born in Nashville, Tennessee - John Paul Strain has studied American history and the War Between the States in particular practically all of his life.

     He received his formal training at BYU, polished his professional techniques as an illustrator for the U.S. Department of Energy, and soon afterwards entered the field of historical fine art. His work met immediate success and was showcased at a premiere gallery in the Rocky Mountains. Acclaimed for his paintings of the Old West, he eventually moved to Texas to work full time in the field of historical art.

     His early works depicting Civil War subjects produced the same enthusiastic response as his Western art, and in the 1980's John Paul Strain began to concentrate on the Civil War. Few artists in the field have gained such widespread popularity so quickly. His work is now acclaimed among collectors, who prize his studies of Lee, Jackson, Forrest and other Civil War leaders, as well as his scenes of conflict and pageantry.

     His distinctive artistic style, which combines bright colors and contrasting shadows, and his devotion to historic authenticity have dramatically increased his popularity. Today his original art is displayed throughout America and among collectors of fine art limited-edition Civil War prints, John Paul Strain has become an American favorite.

     Strains paintings portray scenes from America's past of the second half of the 19th century through the gaslight era of the 20th century.

     His depiction of mountain men show a hunter in search of prey or standing by a camp fire in the evening light.  The romantic atmosphere and tranquil mood of these paintings are reminiscent of Henry Farny's work.

     Strain's first medium was oil, but now he works primarily in guache.  His paintings are found in the following important collections: The Shell Oil Company, Ray Hollifield and Associates, Jack Parker, Grand Central Gallery of New York, Hillenbrand Industries International and others.  Major exhibits include the Charles M. Russell Museum, Masur Museum, and the George Phippen Memorial Art Show, along with numerous one man shows in major galleries around the country.

Return to the Art of John Paul Strain