Louis Bassi Siegriest was born in Oakland, California, and his parents encouraged his artistic talents from a young age. He enrolled at the California School of Arts and Crafts while attending high school during the day. His early interest was cartooning, and he won a San Fransisco Chronicle comic strip contest. He later attended the California School of Fine Arts and studied under Frank Van Sloun. Working for an advertising firm, Siegriest was fascinated with billboards and developed a bold, realist, and simple style that did not affect his fine art, which from the beginning was a modernist. In 1917 he began his association with the Society of Six led by Steven Gile, William Clapp and and August Gay. The group focused on California scene subject matter, aggressive use of color, and a freedom of style rooted in Impressionism. In the 1930s he traveled to the Midwest and East, where his palette darkened with industrial scenes. He also discovered Taos, New Mexico, where he created about one-hundred brush drawings on typewriter paper. His style ranged from Impressionism, Fauvism to Mixed Media Abstraction. He began to teach at the Art Students League of San Fransisco in 1948, and his work is in the collections of the Stanford University Museum and the Oakland Museum.