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 William Davis  ( - 2010)

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Lived/Active: Wyoming/Nebraska/California      Known for: sculpture-big game and birds

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William Davis
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Steve Merlo: Outdoors community loses renowned wildlife artist William Davis
The Bakersfield Californian | Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010

"The outdoor community lost one of its own last week, mourning his passing along with the Bakersfield community where he grew up.  Last Wednesday, wildlife artist William (Bill) Davis suffered an apparent heart attack at age 61 while grouse hunting in Nebraska, doing what he loved best, hunting wild birds with his friends and his dog.

A Bakersfield native, Bill and his wife Viki had moved to Wyoming some years ago before discovering their dream home in Nebraska.  A world renowned artist, he is perhaps best known for his spectacular bronze wildlife castings depicting a wide range of world class big game, wild birds and Native American people.  His incredibly accurate Teddy Roosevelt bronze, showing the rifle-armed president mounted upon a horse, surrounded by his hunting dogs and a dead bear on a pack mule, has been valued at more than $30,000.00.

Davis ' works include hunting dogs, Rocky Mountain sheep, African elephants, ducks, shorebirds, partridge and bull elk.  Some of his other ornate works include paintings of America's quail, ring-necked pheasants, African and North American big game, American eagles and a host of other intricate drawings that pictured incredibly realistic likenesses.  Bill's works usually depicted the ruggedness and beauty of the wilderness, combined with his talented eye for realistic detail.

Bill befriended many local people during his life in Bakersfield , including this writer.  Forty years ago, a young Bill Davis introduced me to the world of skeet shooting, then into the fun world of .410 shooting, which continues to this day.  We spent many a day hunting cottontails, doves, quail and ducks, and he will be sorely missed, not only by me, but by any and all of his friends who shared special times with this artistic genius.

Bill was a fine shot, especially at game birds, and loved to hunt waterfowl and upland game with an unbridled passion, which always showed in his artwork.  When he drew, or sketched, or molded, his practiced mind could capture the natural beauty that some only fantasize about seeing in the real world.

Bill began his unfocused career by plastering homes and painting holiday business windows in Bakersfield right after finishing art school.  When he was asked to do a painting of an American Pintail as a favor to our friend Ken Barnes, Bill returned two days later with a water color that can only be described as strikingly beautiful.  Within a few weeks, Barnes, a goose guide at the time and owner of Big "O" tires, had Bill paint "Canada Geese over Decoys", a piece immediately gobbled up by another local business owner.

Within a few months, local businessman Mike Stier saw Bill's potential.  When he hired and then commissioned Davis to do some pheasants and wood ducks in watercolors, all sold quickly as limited edition prints, and an artist was born.

Later on, Stier financed and promoted the William Davis Wildlife Art Corporation, and helped Bill start up his expensive 3-dimensional art program.  The young artist soon became passionately involved in his bronze figurines; including manufacturing all of his own molds and using his own new casting processes to create the fine and near priceless bronze art he is so famous for today.

I can only hope that someday soon, someone is somehow able to get his best work gathered together in one incredible local showing.  Only then can the discerning eye of the beholder see what the rest of us have already seen in the outdoors but were unable to put down in paint or bronze mediums like Bill did.  Our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family. "

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A hunter and fisherman, he is a sculptor whose specialty is big game animals, done with extreme detail. He studied at Brooks Art Institute in California and has done sculpture commissions for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody and the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. He had a studio in Wapiti, Wyoming and now (2010) lives in Hyannis, Nebraska.

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