Featured Artist William Crowell

Artist William Crowell finds inspiration for his paintings in the vibrant character and people of New Orleans. Visit his website to see more of his art.


painting of a woman dancing to a New Orleans street band by William Crowell

“Gotta Dance” acrylic on panel, 48” x 36”


When I first arrived in New Orleans to attend the University of New Orleans, I intended to major in science as my father expected. But it wasn’t long before I realized that my true major was art.


painting of people at a bar with a portrait of Fats Domino in background by William Crowell

“Blue Monday” acrylic on panel, 24” x 36”


While at UNO I answered an ad in the college newspaper (The Driftwood) for a cartoonist. I got the job and soon found myself spending more time on my cartoons for the paper than on my chemistry homework.


painting of a streetcar in New Orleans by William Crowell

“Catching the Streetcar” acrylic on panel, 30” x 24”


As a student living in New Orleans for the first time, I wanted to experience everything. Local friends took me around and introduced me to the vibrant culture of the Crescent City. It was clear to me that there was an abundance of material available for an aspiring artist.


painting featuring a New Orleans French Quarter grocery by William Crowell

“French Quarter Grocery” acrylic on panel, 36” x 24”


After graduation from UNO, I attended courses in commercial art and drafting. Shortly after that, I started work as a draftsman, eventually becoming a graphic designer. One of my jobs was at Chevron. At Chevron I was commissioned to produce seven paintings of the offshore oil industry for their new corporate headquarters in Covington, Louisiana.


painting of the commute in New Orleans on a streetcar by William Crowell

“Morning Commute” acrylic on panel, 48” x 24”


After several years as a graphics designer, I fulfilled a lifetime dream of becoming a full-time artist, and I have been a professional here in New Orleans since 2008.


painting of a bartender with a large painting of a stripper behind him by William Crowell

“Banana Banshee” acrylic on panel, 16” x 20”


Today I want my art to be accessible, pleasurable and meaningful. Many subjects here in New Orleans and south Louisiana appeal to me, such as landscape and wildlife. But I am especially interested in figurative art, to show personality and emotion, even in animals.


painting of a family on their front steps on Plum St. in New Orleans by William Crowell

“On Plum Street” acrylic on panel, 36” x 48”


I am an acrylic artist. I like to work in this medium because acrylics offer so many possibilities. Acrylics can be used from thick applications that resemble an oil painting to thin transparent techniques that look like watercolor. They can even be used in an airbrush.


painting of a young boy holding a rooser by William Crowell

“Boy with Rooster” acrylic on panel, 20” x 28”


At one stage of my career, I was a signature member of the Louisiana Watercolor Society before switching to working on wood panels instead of paper. When acrylics are used in the manner of oil paints, with thick application and texture, the effects are very pleasing. I particularly like to create unusual texture in my paintings. It invites the viewer to take a closer look.


painting of a couple doing the Fais Do Do in New Orleans by William Crowell

“Fais Do Do” acrylic on panel, 48” x 24”


Because acrylics offer a full range of possibilities from airbrush to oil painting, I have often used them in the same composition to achieve my desired result.


painting of a bartender in New Orleans with a painting of Falling Water behind him by William Crowell

“Frank’s Place” acrylic on panel, 30” x 24”


I enjoy reading about other artists, past and present, to learn from their success and expertise. Color theory is important to me too, but above all, I want all my paintings to communicate and “to speak for themselves.”


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