The center of William E. Duke's life has been his interest in art, art history, and the creation of images in all mediums. As early as childhood in his home town of San Diego, Bill's path was evident. Painting was more important than most any other childhood play. The white surfaced cardboard packed with his father's shirts returned by the dry cleaner became a viable surface on which to experiment with watercolors, and this valuable resource was stealthily snatched from each package long before Dad had the chance to wear each shirt. Drawing and painting continued to be Bill's focus throughout his school career. He was known among his instructors and peers for his unique
abilities and became well known in greater circles as the artist to pursue for leather jacket logos and poster art for every occasion.
Bill continued his studies formally at UCLA and the La Jolla Art Institute under the mentorship of Fred Holle. As his fascination for drawing and the study of line further developed, the subtleties of light, shadow, reflection, and contrast made Bill's work stand out among others. He was fascinated with the processes used by the Masters and delved into art history with intense interest. Then another natural ability emerged, as Bill found himself teaching to students who clambered to fill his classes.
In the late 1960s Bill struck out on his own as a freelancer and immediately found work in illustration. He became very interested in the variety of formats and mediums required by illustration. Teaching also continued to be a pleasure, and his dual career flourished. Moving to the East Coast, Bill was quickly discovered by Hasbro toys. He was hired on as the Senior Creative Illustrator of Hasbro's Research and Development area. Bill stayed with Hasbro a number of years, then decided to change course once again.
Now living in the marshlands of the North Shore, Bill finds the environmental beauty of this region tugging at his senses in a new way. It is the undeniable challenge to recreate what he sees " to preserve the moment " with the serious approach of the fine artist. Bill's knowledgeable eye guides the years of experience behind his brush. He shows us the moment he sees: and his inspiration shows.
William E. Duke has come full circle with his love of art, from his early experiences in every medium with design and composition, to study, researchand teaching, and now to creating fine art of his own, in oils, and his personal favorite medium: the freshness of watercolor.