William R. Davis (American, b. 1952)

Born in Somerville, MA, William R. Davis grew up in Hyannis Port, MA. He is a self-taught artist who employs techniques traditionally associated with American Luminist painters.

Much of Davis’ early works pays homage to 19th century artists, James Bard, Martin Johnson Heade, Antonio Jacobsen and Fitz Hugh Lane. He limits himself to about 30 colors in the palette of that period. Prominently displayed in his studio is his axiom: in the words of painter, William Merritt Chase, “The most original painters are those who have stolen here a little and there a little from everyone. When they arrive at the levels of the masters, they will find they can do so much better work themselves that they can’t help being original.”

Recently Davis has recently converted to en plein air painting; influenced in part by his friendship with artists Joseph McGurl and Donald Demers.

In 1987, Davis work was presented in a one man show by Mystic Maritime Gallery in Mystic, CT. In 1990 he received the Mystic Maritime Gallery Award of Excellence. He has also been included in the latest edition of E.H.H. Archibald’s authoritative volume on Marine Art from the Flemish masters to the present.

Bill is a Fellow Artist Member of the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA); Artist Member the Guild of Boston Artists; a Trustee at Cape Cod Maritime Museum; Artist Member, Salmagundi Club, New York, NY. His awards include: 1989, 1990 & 1999 Award of Excellence the Maritime Gallery International Marine Art Exhibition, Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, CT; 1991 Second Place – Copley Society; 2018 Best in Show – Bold Brush Art Show FASO Feb.

Recent Examples at Auction