Biography and Interests

William Collins graduated from Gordon College in '99 with degrees in Visual Arts (with a painting concentration studied under the acclaimed artist Bruce Herman) and Philosophy. He is a member of the Society for Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators, and CIVA (Christians in the Visual Arts).

He has been painting and drawing part time, doing commissioned works, murals, illustrations, and some graphic design. He hopes to gain enough new commissions to be able to do artwork full time. William is also very interested in doing children's book illustration. He currently lives in Ipswich, Massachusetts with his wife Erin (who can be seen posing in "The Light Princess").

William is inspired mainly by artists who combine the imaginative world with the style of detailed realism.  Some illustrators include Peter Cross (wrote Trouble for Trumpets), Ul de Rico (wrote The Rainbow Goblins), Edward Gorey, Gustave Dore, and the Hildebrandt brothers. The fine artists he most admires include William Bouguerrou, Mucha, Vermeer, Richard Dadd, Burne-Jones, William Holman Hunt, Arthur Hughes, Arthur Rackham, and many other Pre-Raphaelite painters and illustrators. William's current favorite artist is the "modern fantasy" painter James Christensen, whose style, humor, bright colors and characters have strongly influenced him.

In addiion to studying art history and compositional effects used by master painters, the artist also studies classical piano performance (his favorite composers to play are Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Ives, Scriabin, and Chopin), and modern cosmological physics and its philosophical and theological implications.

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Exhibits and Awards

Magnolia Annual Art Show, Magnolia MA, July 2004,   Juried Show - Won Honorable Mention for Mixed Media

Art in the Barn, Essex MA, June 2004

Van Ness Creative, Beverly MA, June 2004

Trinity Episcopal Church Refugee Ministry Fund Raiser Art Show, Topsfeild MA, June 2004

Hall Haskell House, Ipswich MA, May 2004

Woodman's Function Hall, Essex, 2004 - Auctioned off painting "Winter Sunset" to raise money for Viata - Romanian Youth Ministry

Beverly Art Walk, Beverly MA, Winter 2003  - displayed at Van Ness Creative

Topfield Fair 2003 Art Show , Topsfield MA , October 2003 - Won 1st Place in Professional Painters Division for "Three Yellow Flowers"

Beverly Commons, "...and there was light" public exhibit, Beverly MA, 2003

Magnolia Annual Juried Art Show, Magnolia MA, 2003 (won Best in Show People's Choice, Best Oil/Acrylic Painting People's Choice, Best Other Media People's Choice, and juried Honorable Mention in oil painting)

Hall Haskell House Gallery, Ipswich MA, July 2003

Van Ness Creative, Beverly MA, June 2003

Union Congregational Church, Magnolia MA, 2002

EBSCO Publishing, Ipswich MA, 2001

Gordon College Mezzanine Gallery, Wenham MA, 1999

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Current Artist's Statement

"Law is the soil in which alone beauty will grow; beauty is the only stuff in which Truth can be clothed; and you may, if you will, call Imagination the tailor that cuts her garments to fit her, and Fancy his journeyman that puts the pieces of them together, or perhaps at most embroiders their button-holes."

George MacDonald writes about the creation of fairytales in his essay "The Fantastic Imagination", and I apply much of the same philosophy to my artwork. In the quote above, Law can be translated into artistic terms as "the harmonious continuity of light, color, form, and perspective." In other words, the precepts of reality are my raw materials, the soil or more appropriately clay, through which I craft a scene. I intend the harmonious scene to subtley drape over the contours of truth beneath. Meaning then takes form through the differing shapes of truth that are seen by each individual. This meaning is the life blood of the piece.

The purpose of my artwork is to stimulate the aesthetic imagination which is within us all. Successful artwork will caress the soul "as the wind assails an aeolian harp." It is the undisclosed and uninterpreted that produces the exhalation of mood that I am seeking. It is that warm breath of vague memories and forgotten places.

"That may be strong in colour which has no evident outline. A fairytale, a sonata, a gathering storm, a limitless night, seizes you and sweeps you away: do you begin at once to wrestle with it and ask whence its power over you, whither is it carrying you? The law of each is in the mind of the composer; that law makes one man feel this way, another man feel that way. To one the sonata is a world of odour and beauty, to another of soothing only and sweetness. To one, the cloudy rendezvous is a wild dance, with a terror at its heart; to another, a majestic march of heavenly hosts, with Truth in their centre pointing their course, but as yet restraining her voice. The greatest forces lie in the region of the uncomprehended."


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