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Bill Wardlow

I started my art career at about four in seriousness. I was jaw droppingly fascinated by the way the man on the TV would draw objects on flat paper that actually seemed to have three dimensions and recede into the background. Like many others, I watched that man, John Negy. That guy who could magically make paper come alive with charcoal. That fascination has never departed. I drew everywhere and anywhere I was, including at school. This didn't go over so well with most teachers, though some encouraged it. But I just could not stop. People started mentioning that my drawings were pretty good for such a young kid. I felt no pride in this, because I still didn't believe in myself as an artist. It would take a while.


Eventually, in fifth or sixth grade, whatever abilities I had began to emerge in earnest. Now I truly couldn't be stopped. My family had other career plans for me, but I was determined to be one, or both, an artist and a race car driver. I've done both now, and the satisfaction is downright serenity inducing. After high school, I embarked on a career so varied that I couldn't help but learn and create.

I started my adult work life as a theater usher. That lasted two weeks. I could not stand to hear the same lines over and over. It was driving me crazy. So, not having any schooling beyond High School, I took a job at a local car wash-in the winter. My hands wouldn't cooperate at that temperature. Then I got serious.


Having a tremendous affinity for English Sports Cars, I took a job offered by a garage/dealer of imported cars. There was something about those British roadsters that would not be denied. And so it went, with one technical job after another, from huge enlargement printers to draftsman, to precision optics and all stops in between. I did work on filters for the earliest lasers. I wanted to build and drive racing cars quite badly though. So, I did what many with the same desire do. I went into the automobile business. My business was those British sportsters with which I was in love. My racing career is another whole subject I won't get into, except to brag that I eventually won a championship. I've also been interested in miniatures, especially scale models for collectors. Once again, I tried to wreck a great hobby by making it a business. When would I learn? I actually loved it as a secondary way to work.


But I was constantly doing work for folks who liked my stuff, needed some graphic design, or wanted to commission me to create a piece for them. That helped, but still didn't scratch that itch. I would have to wait some time before devoting myself to art and painting full time.

I am untrained formally, but have had many teachers inform my ability to observe and interpret my world. I actually declined to go to the top art school in the country, Rhode Island School of Design. Lots of people said I was a fool for not going, but if I had gone, I would never have met Linda. Linda's my wife, friend, and the best encouragement I could desire for 54 years and counting. I guess you'd say it was the right mistake.


Oh yes, like is often heard of artists, I suffered for my craft. In the eighties I began an association with Epilepsy, for which I took medications that induced major tremors in both hands. I thought my art days were over. Then a dear friend and medical worker told me about a procedure for the problem. It required two brain surgeries and a couple more less 'serious' surgeries to implant devices with the ability to control the tremors within my brain. It worked fantastically! After ten years of no art, and shaving and eating with two hands I could resume my passion for art!


Currently, I'm doing watercolor landscape paintings, but my skills run to oils, sculpture, and model making-not building kits per se, but making models based upon real objects. I've done dioramas by commission, logos, signs, or whatever people want. I hope you enjoy my perspective on the world around us.

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