Bill Garrison’s oil landscapes of Arkansas fill the Merkle and Price Galleries January 10- 30, 2015. SAAC will host an artist reception Saturday, January 10, 6-8pm. Living amid the beautiful landscapes of Arkansas, Garrison finds inspiration for his paintings literally in his own back yard. He doesn’t have to travel very far to search out a clear water creek, waterfall, pond or lake that will become the subject of his next painting. The majority of Bill’s paintings include water even if it is only a puddle reflecting the awesome fall colors of the trees behind it.
Garrison retired as a licensed Nuclear Power Plant Operator after 23 years at Arkansas Nuclear One and is seriously pursuing a second career as an artist. He and his wife Gloria, also an artist, share a studio which they built along with their home in Russellville. Bill is an avid plein air painter where much of his time is spent on a creek bank, lake shore, open field or just out in the woods of Arkansas painting on location. He said, “Most of what is in this exhibit are studio paintings done from on location studies and photographs. The experience of plein air painting has allowed me the capability to achieve the quality of studio paintings I produce today.”
His paintings hang in many prestigious corporate collections including the UAMS Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas, Hospitals and medical facilities in Fort Smith, Hot Springs and Fayetteville, the Fort Smith Convention Center in Fort Smith, Arkansas; Arkansas Tech University’s Williamson Hall in Russellville, Arkansas; Tyson Food Headquarters in Fayetteville, Arkansas; the Patrick Henry Hays Senior Center in North Little Rock, Arkansas; Merrill Lynch Corporate offices, and the Arkansas Court of Appeals Justice Building, both in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Bill’s work has received many awards in local as well as in international competitions. He has consistently placed in the top 100 category for landscapes in the Art Renewal Center’s International Salon Competition. He has placed in the top 100 of the Arts for the Parks Competition. Awards include “Best of Show” in the 2003-2004 Fine Arts of Arkansas Competition and Exhibit at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. “Best in Oil” in Artists of Northwest Arkansas 2006 Exhibit. “Best of Show” in Illinois River Salon 2013 which included exhibit at Crystal Bridges.
Bill learned the basics of oil painting in his high school years from a professional artist in Texarkana. After a career in a non-art related field he furthered his studies in painting with workshops from artists whose work inspires him, most notably, with Richard Schmid. Over the years Bill has developed a style of his own and shares what he has learned with other artists through teaching workshops.
Bill said, “Painting plein air (outdoors on location) is the best teacher of all and is the most enjoyable form of painting. I lose all sense of time and become oblivious to hardships such as weather and insects when standing in front of a beautiful scene in nature with a paintbrush in my hand.”
Bill’s current work can be seen on his Facebook page, Bill Garrison Fine Art, and his work can also be seen on his website, suddenlink.net/billandgloria/index.htm.
Being an artist is a continuous learning process. I think I have learned more from the process of plein air painting than from any other source. Painting on location outdoors forces me to paint more quickly and intuitively because of the constantly changing lighting conditions. When I paint in the studio I like to work from studies I have done on location. If I paint using photographs as a reference, it is my goal to make the painting look as if it were painted on location. I have learned that it takes more than merely duplicating a photograph to make a good painting. Simplification of the subject and selective emphasis of certain elements of the painting are essential. Composition of the subject plays a major role in producing a good painting. The realistic quality of my paintings is enhanced by the exaggeration of atmospheric perspective giving the two dimensional painting a three dimensional appearance.