Early in life Graydon Parrish realized that he wanted to be an artist, and while a senior in high school, he was one of the few students accepted to the Dallas Arts Magnet school. Yearning to paint artworks inspired by the classical past, it was not long before Parrish was studying in the New York atelier of Michael Aviano and later the Richard Lack Atelier in Minneapolis: both considered exemplars of classical art. Today, Parrish's work can be found in the New Britain Museum of American Art, Tyler Museum of Art, Mead Art Museum and private collections throughout the United States and Europe.

But it was never an easy road for Parrish—as it is for few artists working in classic principles of art. “Training for representational painting, which includes both realism and classicism, was nearly nonexistent when I was an art student,” says Parrish. “There were few options so it was all the more miraculous that I found Michael Aviano, who not only trained painters but was a master of classical painting in his own right, doggedly preserving a vital tradition. "

It is not only his near-fanatic study of technique that separates him from other classical artists, but also his deep understanding of the art-historical periods in which his favorite artists such as William Bouguereau lived. For instance, Parrish worked for many months as an art-historical researcher for the forthcoming William Bouguereau Catalog Raisonné and for years on the Jean-Léon Gérôme Catalog Raisonné. Most recently, he worked under Art Historian Gerald Ackerman as a research assistant and editor of the recently published Charles Barque Drawing Course, a complete course dedicated to nineteenth-century Academic drawing practice written by two of the French Academy’s greatest advocates: Charles Barque and Jean-Léon Gérôme.

In each of these incredible research opportunities, Parrish not only studied the artist’s technique through their own original drawings and paintings, but also the history of their times, including: business practices, philosophies of art, criticism, biographical information, and how they were received by their contemporaries.

As Parrish notes: "Only through the most arduous study can one create art. Each picture I paint is based on thorough research in the science of light, form, and technique as well as the study of the old masters—and their history. My education, therefore, has been idiosyncratic. Unable to find complete training available to the old masters, I have orchestrated my own program of learning, combining quality academics with the guidance of present-day old masters.”


Summer Workshop - Intermediate to Advanced Color Theory