William Kavanagh taught himself to paint in oils after his retirement in Long Island, New York. Looking for a new hobby, he bought some paints and brushes. He liked to paint landscapes, especially old barns and covered bridges. He started out working from magazine photographs, then worked from photos he took on visits to New England and other favorite spots.
Sadly, Bill died in 2005, in his 80's. His energy, enthusiasm, and excitement about painting were remarkable and inspiring.
Brandts Point Lighthouse, Nantucket Island - oil on convex panel, 24" x 30"
Painting was very relaxing for him - his mind focused only on the subject at hand. The process of self-teaching is a lot of trial and error, and he said we need to be our own worst critic. Patience and perseverance are a must, but the end results were very rewarding for him. Landscapes were his favorite subjects.
Vermont Farmland, oil on canvas, 14" x 18"
Nantucket Island Fishing Station, oil on canvas, 14" x 18"
Bill's work has a refreshing directness, and is sometimes quite painterly in its effect, such as the fishing station painting to the right, where sky, pier and sea become one and you can feel the movement of the water and whitecaps.