Skip to Content

Branch, Bill

Featured Picture: 
Branch, Bill

Sitting outside, in the open air (en plein air), with straw hat on his head, white paper before him, pencil, watercolor paints and brushes at his side, is the way that artist, Bill Branch likes to create a painting.

Painting outdoors is not always possible, but it is a great method for capturing the mood, lighting, and the essence of a scene that has captured my eye, and moved me to, “get it down on paper.” It is also a challenge. Being outdoors, the artist can not control the elements. During the hour or so, that I paint a painting, the sun has moved in the sky, the weather and wind may change, the bugs may crawl across your paper, and people may come and want to view your progress. But that is what Bill Branch enjoys the most about painting en plein air, the challenge to make art that tells a story.

Bill Branch is a resident of Memphis for four years, after having grown up and lived most of his life in Arkansas. Branch has been creating visual art since his childhood. In his youth, he took drawing and painting lessons at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. Branch received a bachelor’s degree in the liberal arts from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas, and he did graduate study in studio art and art history at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

“For many years, I did not actively create art.” “ It was about 12 years ago that I went on a group tour to Italy, where I saw in person, the great works of art from the Renaissance that I had admired in books.” After that, Branch realized that there was an unused artistic gift in him that needed to be used, and shared with others.

Since that time, Bill Branch has been painting in watercolor almost exclusively.
During his school years, Branch learned the mediums of oil painting, acrylic painting, pastels, and printmaking, but watercolor is his passion. “I love the directness, and the spontaneity of the medium of watercolor.” “It is also a portable, and an odorless art, all that you need it some water.”

Bill Branch is led to subjects to paint that are architectural and man made, or the great subject of nature itself. Branch’s other passion is history, or local history. Since moving to Memphis, he has recorded some of the more recognizable sites of the city. The river and the river town are fascinating to him.

When he has the time to travel, the watercolor paints and paper go along in the suitcase. “I will usually bring home a whole sketch book of paintings done on location from where ever I have visited.”
The paintings are a great reminder of the trip, and are a very personal souvenir to bring back home.

arkartist [at] yahoo [dot] com