Local Collection Boston’s
August Artist of the Month
About the Artist….
The staff at Local Collection spends a lot of time examining Bill Chisholm’s work. Look at these pears – they seem so human in the way they’re relating to each other in this image. One is nuzzled up against the other. In the next image, there are two big pears and one little one – obviously a happy family. Check out the way the stems are joined on the cherries – looks like love. Here is an apple viewed from the top – let’s think for a moment about perspective. A thoughtful look at Bill’s work can result in hours of analysis and story creation about what these fruits and veggies are doing, what their relationships with each other are, what their “body language” is demonstrating.
There is no shortage of guesses and discussion. Customers, too, get caught up in the back story of these images. In many ways, Bill Chisholm’s paintings are the ultimate conversation pieces and the perfect housewarming, thank you, wedding, anniversary, Christmas, birthday, and thinking-of-you gift.
After growing up in Rhode Island, Bill has spent the majority of his adult life in the greater Boston area. While his interest in drawing and painting began in high school, he didn’t pursue it as a career until his early thirties. His dream was always to produce art, though in the early years, he entertained the thought of being a writer, and writing is still something he’d like to explore later on.
Influenced by abstract-expressionist Mark Rothko’s approach to color and the figurative painter Odd Nerdrum’s painting technique, Bill has achieved mastery in oils, especially when it comes to his still life projects. He also works to develop his eye for landscapes and portraits, two other subject matters he enjoys very much, and has made a life commitment to continued learning about all aspects of the craft.
As was hinted at previously, Bill has a particular affinity for pears. Many of his more popular images are pears, either alone or in groups, and each image is very much like looking at a portrait. “I like pears very much,” Bill says, “because frequently, they have human-like shapes. But from a technical standpoint as a painter, they come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and even textures – the skins vary quite a bit.” He goes on, “This is also what I love about fruits and veggies in general. They have so many shapes and also color which offers an endless exploration into color relationships from the subtle to the vibrant.” Besides the pears, one of Bill’s favorite projects is his painting of a cluster of asparagus. “’Asparagus’ I am fond of because there are parts painting tightly and loosely yet the whole thing is very realistic.” He enjoys the challenge of working with such a limited color range and the result, especially in this case, is “both elegant and fun.”
Bill creates most of his pieces in his Somerville, Massachusetts studio found on the second floor of a renovated barn. While he works, he listens to audio books because “the good readers have an incredible ability to give many voices and bring the auditory beauty of the author to its full execution.” Current favorites include A Light in August, read by Will Patton, The Help, and To Kill a Mockingbird, read by Sissy Spacek.
As a full-time artist, Bill believes “art for art’s sake” can be a well-suited partner for “art for commercial sake.” For him, hard work with open eyes can allow both to happen naturally. As one of the original Local Collection Boston artists, Bill Chisholm’s work proves the universal appeal of a well-crafted still life that simultaneously is the perfect gift from everyone and the perfect opportunity to tell the story behind the art – a true picture worth a thousand words.
MEET THE ARTIST
Bill will be doing an oil painting demonstration in-store on
Thursday, August 18th from 1PM-4PM. Be here to see what he creates!
ENTER TO WIN
one giclee print (up to an $80 value) – in store only – see store for details!