Oil on Canvas
Floral still-life painting by W. R. Stevenson that incorporates hues of orange, yellow, red, white, and purple. The painting is signed in the bottom right corner and is vintage condition with slight tear in bottom right quadrant of the canvas.
H 37.25 in. x W 49.25 in. x D 1.25 in.
William Robert Stevenson was born in 20 May 1925 in Eugene, Oregon. His family moved to Minneapolis, MN but he promptly returned to Oregon and Washington during the Great Depression to work in the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Hoping to study Art, his future was sidetracked when he was drafted into the United States Army at age 17 years old in early 1942. Being a strong swimmer, and having worked at stables as a child, he initially served in the last US Cavalry Corps, and also as a Swimming Instructor for the United States Army. Upon the abolition of the Cavalry Corps, he was trained as a Gunnar and Tank Commander for the M-4 Sherman Tank under General Patton's Third Army. He landed at Omaha Beach on Day 3, further serving in Combat in the Bocage, and subsequently in Belgium and at the Battle of the Bulge. After the end of the War, he initially found work as a carpenter and house painter as he continued his studies in conjunction with the Minneapolis Institute of Art. After meeting his future wife Constance, and fathering two children Candace and Gregory, they agreed the winters were too harsh. They moved in 1950 to Houston, Texas, hoping for milder weather. From 1952-1963, William and his wife Constance owned and operated a Coffee Shop on Shepherd and West Gray. Seeing that he would never be a classically trained artist, he used his coffee shop to meet local artists who furthered his skills in painting and specifically in sculpture. From 1963-1974, he commissioned several Corporate pieces in downtown Houston. In 1968, he had purchased a large home on South Post Oak in Tanglewood, which he set up as both his primary residence and his gallery. In 1974, he fully engaged his love of painting, purchasing a Ranch Home in the artist enclave in Jerome, Arizona, where many of his works were completed. Constance and William continued to summer there into the early 1980's. Living in an open marriage since the late 1960's, William was a guarded yet prominent member of the Houston Gay Community. His best works were created in the final years of his life. Those works balanced both the darkness and PTSD lingering from WWII and quiet and sometimes not-so-subtle references to his sexuality. A lifelong smoker, he passed away at the age of 60 in 1985, ostensibly of lung cancer, but it was later revealed to be HIV/AIDs. He is survived by his one grandchild, David and his two great grandchildren Morgan and Macyn, who attend The Kinkaid School, in Houston, Texas.