The Peninsula Pulse has teamed up with the Door County Art League (DCAL) to reprint portions of interviews conducted by Randy Rasmussen with various artists. To sign up for DCAL’s monthly newsletter or for more information visit http://www.doorcountyartleague.org.
Bill Doyle has been painting watercolors for over 40 years. He has been a friend and fellow painter in Door County for the last three years and being able to see him create his work has been a privilege. To see more of his work visit http://www.wdoylewatercolors.com.
Randy Rasmussen (RR): Bill when did you know you enjoyed art?
Bill Doyle (BD): I think I enjoyed art since my grade school days. I drew anything my classmates wanted me to draw such as airplanes and Christmas scenes.
RR: When did you decide on watercolor as your medium of choice?
BD: Watercolor became my medium of choice when I took art classes at the University of Illinois in the late ‘50s.
RR: Were your parents or other family members interested in art?
BD: Neither my father nor my mother were interested in art. My father could fix anything and was interested in engineering. My mother loved nature and the natural environment.
RR: Did you have a teacher that encouraged you to continue your studying art?
BD: I receive encouragement about my artwork in high school specifically in drawing and design. In college, Louise Woodruff, who was a professor of art, encouraged me to continue studying art.
RR: I know you have taken many watercolor workshops. I remember you telling me about the workshop with Phil Austin.
BD: Phil Austin insisted on painters beginning with a small thumbnail sketch to determine value organization. He was a proponent of using good color with strong contrast to develop the center of interest.
RR: How has your work changed over the years?
BD: My work has remained similar to my earlier efforts probably with more emphasis on shapes and form and less on line. I am more concerned with painting and less on the depiction of the subject.
RR: Do you think there is still an appreciation of art by the general public?
BD: I think enthusiasm for art remains high with those familiar with the process; however, there are many more distractions competing for one’s interest. I suspect the overall interest may be less.
RR: You paint with a small group of friends all over Door County. How important is the camaraderie to your painting?
BD: There is a value in painting with friends. One is encouraged and committed by group interaction that is missing while working solo. I do still paint alone on site and in my studio, which offers me an opportunity to focus on specifics unique to my work.
RR: In your long painting career is there one spot that you remember painting that would be the best?
BD: I have painted on site at many locations that gave me pleasure and inspiration. I enjoy painting manmade objects, townscapes, along with natural settings. My work in California and Europe combined these features into a single setting. Door County offers many of these opportunities; however, the development is affecting the number of places to paint. I recently viewed one of my paintings of the Ephraim shoreline in the late ‘60s and it is hard to believe how it looked. I do consider Door County equal to any painting location.
Since retiring from his career in chiropractic medicine, Randy Rasmussen has pursued his art with unmitigated passion. Randy conducts interviews for the Door County Art League, paints three times a week, almost entirely plein air, and is a charter member of the Peninsula Plein Air Painters. His work can be seen at http://www.doorcountyartsgallery.com.