Bill Defenbaugh

Bill Defenbaugh lives and paints in Ely Minnesota.

Bill in front of his Mining Mural on the corner of Sheridan St and Central Ave in Ely, MN

Prior to obtaining a Juris Doctorate, Bill studied Art as part of his undergraduate studies at Wabash College. Subsequently, he took classes at the Lakeview Center for Arts and Sciences in Peoria, Illinois. During that period he exhibited in Midwestern Wildlife and Western Art Show in Minneapolis.

Upon moving to Ely, Minnesota, he has participated annually in workshops at the Grand Marais Art Colony in Grand Marais, Minnesota, where he studied several years under George Morrison and Hazel Belvo. He is currently on the board of the Grand Marais Art Colony and is an active member of the Northern Lakes Arts Association in Ely, Minnesota.

Bill was chosen to exhibit in the 1995 Arrowhead Biennial Art Exhibit in Duluth, Minnesota. From 1996-1999 he participated in the Ely Voyageur Festival professional snow carving symposium, and in 1997 and 1999 was a member of the United States team at the international snow carving symposium at the Festival du Voyageur in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada. He has exhibited in the Bois Fort Gallery and the Burntside Gallery in Ely, Minnesota.

In 1998 he was part of a special five person, month-long exhibit at the Miles Reif Center in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. He is currently represented by Kess Gallery in Ely, Minnesota.

Bill says:

The light and color of the Northlands of the wilderness of Northern Minnesota and its Boundary Waters Wilderness Area present both an inspiration and a challenge to capture its essence and vitality.

Both the American landscape painters and the French Impressionists provide a stimulating mixture of styles as a springboard for an attempt at a new approach to capturing a landscape. The light of Monet, the pastels of Degas and the pointillism of Seurat have had a strong influence on my style and technique. Light, texture, color and the translucency of layers of pigment feel like the most important means of conveying the atmosphere of a scene, giving it a life and vitality beyond that of an illustration.

I sense an impression of light, color and animation which provide fertile ground for painterly expression. The world of nature offers more than the “pretty picture.” To capture that “something greater” is what I strive for in my art.