Born in 1931 in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Bryn Craig graduated from the Philadelphia Museum College of Art and attended the Art Students League of New York. After two years as an instructor in the Army Corps of Engineers map-making school at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Craig became an art director for several advertising agencies in Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Since art school he has been painting and showing in galleries, then, at age 58 he left the ad business to paint full time. He has always been a plein aire painter, but more and more he works in oils in his studio. Sometimes using watercolor and, or photos for reference.
Although his work is representational, Craig is not a photo realist. He says, “I look for the poetry in even the most ordinary subjects, not just the surface appearance. I hope to stimulate that same response in the viewer”. His subjects range from the surf crashing wildly on a rocky coastline in northern California to a quiet corner in a city at night, to a rural landscape and even the occasional portrait.
Craig uses traditional techniques and materials. His influences are many and varied from Fairfield Porter, to John Singer Sargent, but he is most identified with Edward Hopper. Influenced by, but very much true to his own style and outlook.
Craig has been exhibiting his work in solo and group shows nationwide for several years and he has been recipient of awards and honors for his works.
Although my work is representational, I am definitely not a photo realist. I try to include much more than just the surface of a place. I want to express my emotions about the subject and to stimulate emotions in the viewer.
What makes me respond to, and want to paint a particular subject is a little bit of a mystery to me. There must be something there that strikes a nerve, but I can’t generalize about what it is.
Once I decide on a subject, I start photographing it from many angles and at various times a day lighting and shadow configurations, etc. I use the camera – but it works for me, I don’t work for camera. I don’t make paintings of photographs. I take from the photo whatever I feel works toward the mood I am trying to convey. And I leave out the painting to have a life of its own. The painting becomes a sort of fantasy of my own invention.