Paul Grimm was born in South Africa and came to America near the turn of the century. When he was 18, he won a scholarship to study art in Germany at the Dusseldorf Royal Academy.
He moved to Hollywood in 1919, and worked painting backdrops for movie sets, and then on to Palm Springs in 1932. There he joined the society of desert painters, counting Edgar and Elsie Payne and Jimmy Swinnerton among his friends.
Later in his career, his small studio on North Canyon Road drew a famous self-confessed "dauber," Dwight D. Eisenhower. Ike enjoyed the company of desert artists, including John W. Hilton. Ike stated he had "profited from the experience of seeing how a real artist creates the effects he wants. Paul enjoyed painting the high Sierra, missions, portraits of Native Americans, and the desert.