William R. Davis
Born: Somerville, Massachusetts, May 4, 1952
Bill Davis grew up on Cape Cod during a time when the Cape was a much quieter summer vacation land. At 10 years old, he took sailing lessons at the Hyannis Port Yacht learning to sail Beetlecats and other local built wooden boats. At 14 years old, he started working at the Hyannis Theater and continued there until 1970. Attended Barnstable High School and was always found in the Art Rooms. After High School graduation and a year attending Cape Cod Community College Bill went to work for his father's Heating & Air conditioning Company. But in the late 70's, he returned to painting at night after work. In 1978 he started selling his paintings to local builders and folks in Hyannis Port. By 1982 he made the switch to painting full time. Bill had his first show at Richard Bourne Company 1983 along with an artist friend Elizabeth Mumford.
Much of Davis' early works pays homage to 19th century artists such as James Bard, Martin Johnson Heade, Antonio Jacobsen and Fitz Hugh Lane. He limits himself to about 30 colors in the palette of that period. He describes his style as "A conglomerate of a number of ideas I saw in other artists with my own refinements". Over the years, he has incorporated his fascinations for the different techniques of these artists.
Davis has shifted in the last few years to painting more landscapes on location. In the process, he has converted to plein air painting, partly influenced by his friendship with artists Joseph McGurl and Donald Demers. During 1998 the three friends painted together in various locations all over New England. The result of their efforts was a show entitled The New American Luminists Revisit the Native Landscape held at Tree's Place in Orleans, Massachusetts.