Artist Statement

My current Valley Series oil paintings are inspired by a little remnant of farmland I studied every evening during my I-5 commute.  Presenting an aerial view from the freeway, the Kent Valley below was filled with the patterns of agriculture pressed by development.  Beginning as a few paintings based on slides, this series took on a life of its own as a meditation on our intimate relation with the land and our dependence on it.

My aim is to create paintings that are visually engaging and have a quality of beauty which draws the viewer in and gives him/her a feeling of connectedness - their own meditation

Visual references in my paintings such as the landscape are a framework for my explorations in color and form.  It is the collision between abstraction and representation that sparks my imagination and hopefully, the viewers.  I paint to jazz and find its rhythm is a key element in the expressive quality of my paintings.  In jazz, the musician is working from a foundation of skill and discipline then finds expression at a high level of spontaneous improvisation.  This is the area of creativity to which I strive.  It offers me access to the unconscious and the unexpected.


About the Artist

William Turner’s paintings create an energetic abstract art that draws on the wide legacy of painting available to us today.  His paintings are a sophisticated play of color and form relationships coupled with a raw energy that celebrates the act of pure painting.  He has consistently filled his canvases with invented and spontaneous imagery encoded with landscape, interior and figurative metaphors that are always expressive.

Turner earned his MFA from the University of Washington.  There he studied with Jacob Lawrence the master colorist whose influence is evident in Turner’s expressive use of color.  He also studied with two of the Northwest’s finest painters, Michael Spafford and Alden Mason.  Both artists continue to inspire him.  

Mr. Turner’s work has been widely exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the country including solo exhibitions in New York, Tacoma Art Museum and two decades of exhibitions with Foster/White Gallery, Seattle.  In 2007 Turner exhibited The Valley Series in a solo exhibition at the Northwind Art Center Gallery, Port Townsend, Washington.  In the spring of 2008 the series will be exhibited at the Chase Gallery, Spokane, Washington. 

Turner is a beloved teacher and has taught various painting classes and workshops at the Centrum Arts Center, Port Townsend, WA, Pratt Fine Arts Center, Seattle, and classes at Tacoma Community College.

Among many grants and awards Mr. Turner is a recipient of a Pollock/Krasner Foundation Grant. His paintings are in the collection of the Washington State Arts Commission, Tacoma Art Museum, Amgen Corporation and numerous private and corporate collections around the country.  In Seattle, his work can be viewed at the SAM Gallery.

A native of the Northwest, Bill resides in Tacoma, WA with his wife, the poet Josie Emmons Turner.