Bill Cramer is best known for his striking oil paintings of the American West. Growing up in the west, Bill always had an interest in exploring nature and creating art. As a longtime rock climber, he spent much of his youth enjoying the more vertical aspects of the landscape. After receiving a University of California fine arts degree, he moved to Arizona with his wife Michelle to be closer to the scenery they both enjoyed. It was there that he discovered the delight and challenges of plein air painting, his outdoor experiences providing much of the insight and inspiration for his landscape paintings. Bill works in a style best described as Impressionistic Realism, where strong brushwork and colors are used to express the vitality and beauty of the natural world.
“I truly enjoy the essential act of painting, especially on location. I look for a balance between the actual scene and my reaction to it – not to paint precisely what I see, but to paint what I want the viewer to see. Every landscape is greater than the obvious visual elements. The push of an evening breeze, the feel of sun baked sandstone, the scent of sagebrush or the sound of a raven suddenly overhead are examples of the many unseen elements that inform my work. I’m satisfied when a painting is as rich as the landscape that inspired it. My goals are to keep exploring wild places to discover new ideas and express what I find exciting about landscapes and about painting.”
Selected Shows, Competitions & Awards –
- Phippen Museum Western Art Show & Sale (2019), Prescott AZ, 1st in Oils.
- Borrego Springs Plein Air invitational (2019), Borrego Springs, CA. Artist’s Choice Award.
- Oil Painters of America Annual Salon Show (2018), Landscape Award of Excellence.
- Phippen Western Art Show (2018), Best in Show, 1st in Oils and Art of the West Award of Excellence.
- Zion National Park Plein Air Invitational (2017), Zion NP, UT. Artist’s Choice & Zion Forever Project Poster Award.
- Sedona Plein Air (2017), Sedona, AZ. Best in Show Award.
- Sedona Plein Air (2016), Sedona, AZ. Artist’s Choice Award.
- Phippen Western Art Show (2016), Prescott, AZ. Best in Show, 1st in Oils & Best Body of Work Award.
- American Impressionists 16th Annual Juried Exhibition (2015). Southwest Art Magazine Award of Excellence.
- Phippen Western Art Show (2015), Prescott, AZ. 1st in Oils.
- Sedona Plein Air (2014), Sedona, AZ. Best in Show, Artist’s Choice & Collector’s Choice Awards.