One of the joys of being an artist is having the freedom to follow my passion, constantly challenging myself. With every painting I try to push myself to another level, reaching beyond my comfort zone in order to grow artistically. I look at the artistry of painting as an evolutionary process, through hard work, trial and error, and continual education I believe an expertise can be achieved.
I consider myself a Creative Realist, using touches of Impressionism to go beyond representation. Achieving a painterly work is a high priority. I try to approach each new work with fresh eyes, allowing myself moments of spontaneity in the painting process and appreciating it when the paint surprises me.
I am currently passionate about creating a series of bird paintings. By studying numerous species in their natural habitats and photographing them, I’ve built up an extensive amount of resource material to draw from. I’ve become more familiar with the work of John James Audubon and his extensive body of magnificent bird paintings.
Through the years I have admired the maritime work of John Stobart and Thomas Hoyne. Recently, I’ve become more influenced by the American and European Impressionists. Studying the work of Sicily, Monet, Whistler, Frank Benson, Sargent, and Chase has challenged me to look at each new project with a more open mind.
I’ve evolved to a place where I most certainly appreciate realism and the expertise necessary to achieve it, but creativity of style, application of paint, careful selection of color and tone, all have become as interesting and as important as the composition itself.
William R. Beebe was born in Bethesda, Maryland in 1956. He is an accomplished contemporary realist who has been a full-time artist for 25 years. His professional career started after moving to the coast of Maine. Childhood memories on the Chesapeake, twelve years on the Maine coast, and now living in Virginia along the James River, William has always been drawn to the sea. He has continuously been honing his skills; painting the subjects he loves ranging from schooners and ships to seascapes and landscapes. Constantly evolving and exploring variations of style and subjects, his representational work ranges from highly detailed and crisp to painterly and Impressionistic. His oil paintings have been described as “museum quality” as there is a depth and richness to them that demonstrates a high level of expertise and mastery.
William is a graduate of the University of Maryland in Fine Art. He started painting in college where his teacher in portrait painting greatly encouraged him to develop his talent. The first maritime artist William took note of was John Stobart. More recently, the Impressionist works of Sisley, Monet, Whistler, Frank Benson, Sargent, and Chase have inspired him and influenced his techniques.
After many years painting maritime scenes, William has found new inspiration in painting a variety of landscapes, as well as birdlife. His latest significant body of work is a series of shorebird oil paintings, created from his thousands of photographs taken on location.
William’s paintings are in major private and corporate collections in the United States and abroad. His painting On Monhegan Island has been featured in several publications including American Art Review and a book entitled The Art of Monhegan Island. William is a member of Oil Painters of America.
William’s paintings have been exhibited in numerous gallery and museum shows throughout the years. His work has been shown at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine and at the Coos Art Museum in Coos Bay, Oregon, where he won a Merit award in the 12th Annual Maritime Art Exhibition. Additionally he has been a part of several Marine Masters Exhibitions in Mystic, CT and Thomaston, ME and the 26th Annual International Marine Art Exhibition at the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport.
William was the resident artist for MBNA America for 9 years, where he painted many of their properties around the world. His works were reproduced and featured on the company’s quarterly stockholders report covers. Although well-known for his maritime paintings during the MBNA years, he was very fortunate to have a wide variety of commissioned projects, ranging from portraits to paintings of antique cars, yachts, homes, horse races, just to name a few. All of these projects contributed to him becoming the versatile artist he is today.
William currently resides in Williamsburg, Virginia with his wife where he continues to pursue his passion for painting.
1987 University of Maryland, College Park, MD. BS in Accounting
1979 University of Maryland, College Park, MD. BFA
2014 William R. Beebe Bird Life Paintings, Virginia Living Museum, Newport News, Virginia
2005 12th Annual Maritime Art, Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, Oregon
2000 On Island: A Century of Continuity and Change, Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine
2014 William R. Beebe Solo Exhibition, The Ocean Reef Art League, Key Largo, FL
2013 Celebrating the Charles W. Morgan Exhibition, The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic CT
2012 Positive Art That Lifts The Spirit, International Online Exhibition, Manhattan Arts International
2006 27th Annual Modern Marine Masters Exhibition, The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic CT
2005 26th Annual International Marine Art Exhibition, The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic CT
2015 Two Man Show, Greenleaf Gallery, Duck, North Carolina
2011 Selections from Gallery Artists, Bayview Gallery, Camden, Maine
2011 Winter Exhibit, Bayview Gallery, Camden, Maine
2008 Of Land and Sea: Painting the Bold Coast, Bayview Gallery, Camden, Maine
2006 Offshore and Along the Coast, Bayview Gallery, Brunswick, Maine
2005 A Gathering of Marine Masters, Art of the Sea Gallery, S. Thomaston, Maine
2005 New to Our Walls, Bayview Gallery, Brunswick, Maine
2004 A Gathering of Marine Masters, Art of the Sea Gallery, S. Thomaston, Maine
2004 Waterway, Old Favorites and New Faces, Art of the Sea Gallery, S. Thomaston, Maine
2012 Award of Excellence, Positive Art That Lifts The Spirit, International Online Exhibition
2005 Merit Award Recipient, 12th Annual Maritime Art, Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, Oregon
2004 The Art of Monhegan Island, painting entitled On Monhegan Island
2000 American Art Review, October
Selected Online Reviews/Press
2014 Visual Language Magazine, featuring the Maritime portfolio of William R. Beebe
2011 Empty Easel Online Art Magazine, featuring William R. Beebe, Painting in the Details
2011 Artsy Shark Online Art Magazine, presents the exquisite portfolio of William R. Beebe
Public and Private Collections
Bank of America, Wilmington, DE
Mr. and Mrs. Charles M. Cawley
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Knudsen
Dr. and Mrs. Phillip Eichenholz
Mr. and Mrs. James Noyes
Mr. and Mrs. Al Polson
Mr. and Mrs. John Dunlap
Mr. and Mrs. Salvatore Rossi
Mr. and Mrs. Bill Chronert
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Sahady
Mr. and Mrs. Mark McGarvie
Mr. and Mrs. Kurt Krass
Mr. and Mrs. Tom Deoudes
Dr. and Mrs. George Kokolski
Mr. and Mrs. Jim Husband
Oil Painters of America
Icon Galeria, Old Town Alexandria, VA
Gallery on Merchants Square, Williamsburg, VA
Mariners' Museum Shop, Newport News, VA
Small Wonder Gallery, Camden, ME