He was born in a the San Francisco family, which had a broad literary and artistic background. He studied under Arthur Frank Mathews at the San Francisco School of Design and later under William Merritt Chase. Although he had initially impressionistic tendencies, his primary expression was tonalistisch, as brought by Mathews from Paris. He is known for his way to draw beauty of the landscape of Northern California.
Grays father was born in England, but found his way to a successful insurance business in San Francisco. As a result of a childhood illness Percy recognized his artistic talent. From 1886 to 1888 he attended the California School of Design, which was then headed by Mathews. Subsequently, he was newspaper illustrator at the New York Journal. In New York he studied at the Art Students League. He was sent to document the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, but he chose to stay in his hometown, where he began his painting career.
As a painter in San Francisco
Grays first work, headlands, seascapes, were exhibited in 1907; soon after, he used water colors for Eucalyptus trees and wildflowers fields - Items that should be characteristic for his work. From the beginning, critics reveled about his ability realistic nature pictures with a mystical and poetic quality to be provided. He clearly put the principles of his mentor William Merritt Chase, light and color to exaggerate in order.
From 1912 to 1923 he lived about twenty miles south of San Francisco in Burlingame (California ), while he kept his studio in the city itself. On the 1915er Panama - Pacific International Exposition, he won a bronze medal for Out of the Desert, Oregon, a water color work.
After 53 years as a bachelor, he surprised his friends by a wedding. The couple moved to Bonificio Adobe in Monterey, where seascapes and cypress dominated his later work. 1939 sold the Grays their house and returned to San Francisco. Restless after free, the couple moved to San Anselmo in 1941 at the foot of Mount Tamalpais. After ten years in Marin County Grays wife died and he returned to San Francisco. The following year, on 10 October 1952 he died at his easel of a heart attack.
- Painter of Tonalism
- American painter
- Born in 1869
- Died in 1952