Born William O. Ewing III in Southeastern Pennsylvania at the end of World War II, Ewing lived on his mother’s family farm until his father was released from a German prison camp. By the age of ten, Bill and his parents had lived in New Jersey, West Virginia and then returned to Pennsylvania. During his early teens Bill showed an interest in drawing and automobiles. By age 14 he had modified and completed his first custom car. Nearing the time of high school graduation, he was building and driving his own race car — and in love with a teenage sweetheart who was bound for college. It was at this point that Bill’s father suggested that his future may become unbalanced if he didn’t get a degree like his girlfriend was doing. That twenty-minute conversation eventually led to eight years of schooling for young Ewing.
Encouraged by his parents to pursue art, Bill was keenly interested in car design, and enrolled at the University of Tennessee in 1965 as an engineering student. Within two weeks he realized he would never make it through the math and switched his major to art. About ready to graduate and become a high school art teacher, Bill met a graduate student at Tennessee whose work inspired him to go on to the University of Idaho as a painter and printmaker. Again, after graduating in 1971 with a Masters in Fine Arts, and plans of becoming a college art instructor, Ewing decided instead to open a studio at his home in Pennsylvania and attempt to make a living for his wife and new daughter [Buffy Dew] by painting pictures.
The start of a new career went well for Ewing and portrait commissions became available to him early on. In 1973 he enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts with painter Arthur DeCosta for a year of post-graduate study. Academy Chairman DeCosta describes Bill as “A very strongly talented, meticulous, and adventuresome painter whose brilliance and bravura transcends any “school” concept. His approach to art permits a kind of fluency of handling and translucency of color that his personal inner vision demands. He is one of the best technicians I’ve ever known who is going about his work with intelligence and tremendous dedication.”
In 1976 Bill left for Europe on a painting and museum tour that would take him through nine countries over the course of a year. Returning to southern Chester County, Ewing opened a studio in Chadds Ford, PA, and became involved with the local artists, Andrew Wyeth among them. His reputation as a portrait artist continued to grow and galleries were selling his still-life paintings. This period included much experimentation and research for Ewing as he sought to uncover the mysteries of how paintings by Rembrandt, Rubins and others, were made. These endeavors led to the rediscovery and refinement of mediums and materials from the past that Ewing continues to use today.
His list of portrait subjects is both national and personal. Gallery demand for his collector paintings continues to increase while two museums, The Brandywine River Museum and the Delaware Art Museum, have included his works in their permanent collections. Bill’s childhood dream to design automobiles is finally being realized as he sculpts and models original concepts in a design studio at his home. As we turn the corner into a new century we are excited to enter into this fast growing medium of computers with this web site offering. On these pages we present for you to examine and enjoy, Bill Ewing’s work, past and present. And now, for the first time ever, these images are available to you as excellent giclee fine art reproductions.
Ewing currently works in his studio at his home near West Chester, PA, where he lives with his wife Mary. He now has a grandson, Drake, who paints with Grandpop when visiting from Houston.