Bill Farnsworth: Painting with Intent

NOAPS Farnsworth Pathway to Paradise

“Pathway to Paradise”, Oil, 48×36, winner of  ‘Best Landscape Award’ from the 2018 NOAPS Spring Online International Exhibition; Reinert Fine Art Gallery

When looking at Bill Farnsworth’s painting “Pathway to Paradise”, the first impression that comes to mind is ‘atmosphere’.  The artist has painted the color of the air.  Invisible to most, this artist has taken the scene with all the effects of light and shadow and created a unified painting that not only brings the viewer in, but makes you see and feel the hot muggy air.  The cohesive composition and carefully controlled color palette, along with loose but intentional brushwork all work to deliver a compelling painting.

NOAPS Farnsworth Cheers 14x18PC  “Cheers”, 14×18, Oil, 1st Prize Winner at the Cashiers Plein Air Festival, Cashiers, NC; Private Collection.

Bill Farnsworth was an artist from the start.  First drawing on walls, then Design paper as a boy, he never left his love of drawing and art.  He graduated from the Ringling School of Art with a certificate in illustration, but admits to being primarily self-taught.  His art career has spanned decades, and has supported his family with his illustrations and oil paintings.

NOAPS Farnsworth Brunch18x24 PC  “Brunch”, 18×24, Oil, Private Collection

Bill’s best inspiration is traveling and painting en plein air.  The effects of the light in different areas and the experience of painting outside bring fresh ideas, enthusiasm and insight to his work.  As he states, “setting up an easel and painting direct from life gives you a great deal of inspiration during those two hours.” His work has been influenced early on by Bernie Fuchs, Norman Rockwell and NC Wyeth, and later by Richard Schmid, Sargent and Zorn, as evidenced by the loose brushwork and impressionistic nature of his current work.

NOAPS Farnsworth against the tide18x24PC  “Against the Tide”, 18×24, Oil, Private Collection

Painting in oil, he finds that his process varies from one painting to the next.  Although he prefers to paint en plein air, he may use photo reference.  From the photo he creates a small study to determine if the composition will work as a larger painting, or he may only work from his plein air field studies.  In order to keep his original concept in mind, he will often title his work before starting the painting.

NOAPS Farnsworth 14x18 AC Flowers for the table  “Flowers for the Table”, Oil, 14×18, Collection of the Artist, Juried into the American Impressionist Society 2018 National Exhibition.

His palette consists of Titanium white, Ultramarine blue, Cobalt blue, Sevre blue, Viridian, Italian pink, Alizarin crimson, Cadmium red deep, Cadmium red light, Alizarin orange, Yellow ochre, Cadmium yellow light and Ivory black.  His supports are handmade panels created from linen mounted on gatorboard, and his brushes are mainly Richeson Signature and Rosemary.

NOAPS Farnsworth Pondering.18x24 ACjpg  “Pondering”, Oil, 18×24, Juried into the 2018 Oil Painters of America Salon Show; Collection of the Artist.

Bill states that his greatest accomplishment is his “contribution to illustration and fine art with a sincere empathy toward (his) subject.”  His instruction and workshops have helped and encouraged many other artists during his career, and led these artists to greater breakthroughs in their work.

Bill’s words of wisdom are often repeated in these pages: “Paint for yourself”.  This is a recurring theme, that painting for a show, a market, or just to be ‘different’ doesn’t always give the artist the inner satisfaction nor success that painting with an “honest intent” provides.

Bill Farnsworth is represented by The Hughes Gallery, Boca Grande, FL; Dabbert Gallery, Sarasota, FL; Tree’s Place, Orleans, MA; Reinert Fine Art, Blowing Rock, NC; Mountain Mist Gallery, Cashiers, NC; and the Patricia Hutton Gallery, Doylestown, PA.

To see more of Bill’s work, visit his website at

To see more of the 2018 NOAPS Spring On-line International Exhibition, visit

Written by Patricia Tribastone, NOAPS Blog Director




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