Snow talks about painting – Fluvanna Review
From page H. Gifford
William R. Snow has been interested in art for most of his life, but the art that preoccupies his life now is very different from the art that he made a living in for over 50 years. His interest in art began in high school and his fascination with the American West led him to the University of Arizona where he specialized in graphic design and commercial art.
After completing his Bachelor of Fine Arts, he began his design and advertising career in New York City. In Denver, he worked for the subsidiary of a large company and built up the audiovisual and graphic design department. After returning east in 1987, he worked as an art director for two advertising agencies and a design studio in New Jersey.
Spending your years in graphic work and working your way up the corporate ladder has its rewards for a working artist. It’s a world full of news, media and marketing and leaves no room for self-expression. It is not surprising that many graphic designers and commercial illustrators retire frequently and pursue their potential in another area of artistic expression.
In 2013, Snow retired and moved with his wife to Lake Monticello to be closer to his children and grandchildren. He then ventured on another artistic journey that led him to watercolor painting. After years of bold and commercial visual messaging, Snow shows a more subtle, softer, more solitary substance in his current work. His passion for nature in its quiet moments is evident in his paintings.
“When it came to the fine arts, I started painting in watercolor in high school. During my career I have painted in the medium repeatedly in my spare time, ”he said. “Many years ago I attended a demonstration by the famous watercolourist Edgar Whitney in New York City. Even though he was in his late 70s or early 80s at the time, it was really inspiring to watch him at work. His mastery of the medium was natural and exciting to look at. “
He said that he had painted in other media in the past but found watercolor both challenging and rewarding.
“I’ve decided to focus on this area. Watercolor can be treated in many ways. It can be very casual and spontaneous, but it can also be very focused and detailed. My work often uses both techniques. “
Snow explains that the medium requires advanced planning for him as well.
“Since transparent watercolor primarily uses paper to create whites and lighter colors, an artist needs to know where to put light and dark values. Most transparent watercolorists work from light to dark. Because of this, advanced sketches can often be important, even if I’m working from a photo, ”he said. “I consider watercolor painting both a pleasure and hard work.”
His work spans a variety of subjects including landscapes, close-ups of nature, wildlife, still life, and the occasional portrait.
“My work is usually very representative of nature. Regardless of the subject, strong composition is generally required for a successful result. That’s true in every medium. “
Over the years I have held two solo exhibitions and participated in various national, regional and local art exhibitions. My paintings are in many private collections across the country and I have the honor of winning several awards for my work.
Snow views the coronavirus as both a curse and a blessing.
“Like most older people, the coronavirus pandemic took me home most of the time. This has given me the opportunity to focus on painting more often. However, I recently had to cancel a demo and I miss the interaction with other artists in the region. “
Often an instructor and a member of the Fluvanna Art Association, he has become their watercolor guru. But he has his theory of how to approach class.
“Although I don’t do them often, I enjoy doing demos and occasionally giving workshops. When I do these sessions, I never tell other artists to paint exactly like me. Rather, I try to demonstrate the basic principles of the medium and encourage participants to just keep working. It’s the most important way to improve as an artist. To this end, I am always in the learning process myself. “
A recipient of many FAA shows and the McGuffey Art Center, he is a member of the Central Virginia Watercolor Guild, the Virginia Watercolor Society and an associate member of the American Watercolor Society.
While he plans to have more artwork on site in the next year or two, he’s currently working on another solo show.
“It is planned to take place in Blacksburg next spring. All sales from the show will benefit the New River Valley Community Foundation. “
He recently had a painting included in the 2020 Virginia Watercolor Society annual exhibition. The show opens in Richmond on October 31st.
“It’s a quality show featuring some of the best artists from across the state and beyond. I was fortunate enough to have included work on this juried show three times since moving to Virginia. “
At a time when people have more time to think about life, Snow takes the viewer into his imagery.
“I hope that my work helps people to observe and enjoy the often simple and reflective things in life. I also hope that viewers will recognize the versatility of the medium and appreciate the work that goes into creating the images. “
For more information about Snow or specific inquiries regarding his work, contact him at [email protected] or by calling 434-589-1909.