William L. Abbott b.1934
William, Bill to his friends and family, started painting in 1958 at age 24. His father, William J. Abbott was an established painter, known in the Fulton and Rochester areas. Bill had watched his father paint and decided to give it a try. His first painting was completed in early 1959 and was of a covered bridge.
Through the early and mid 1960’s Bill worked on landscapes, primarily renditions of fall and winter woodland scenes by artists like Robert Wood. Wet on wet was his most used technique, but by 1968, pallet knife techniques were showing up in his work. Soon, the pallet knife was a primary tool, and the work was taking on a more abstract feel.
1969 was a pivotal year for Bill’s art. He began creating genuinely abstract paintings. By 1973, or so, he began using spray cans and a technique of deflecting the over spray to create a set of modern paintings based on construction sites. His work slowed in the late 1970’s, and his last paintings were in 1980 and 81.
Bill’s family has enjoyed his art for decades. He was commissioned to paint a number of paintings during the 1960’s. He sold a handful of others when someone was able to talk him out of one. Bill was often asked to display his paintings at a local nightclub called The Brasserie.
Bill turned 88 on April 30 this year. He still has paint and brushes, and his father’s easel, but his eyesight has deteriorated too much to allow him to paint.
Just a note about Bill’s father, William J. Abbott, of Fulton: William J. was well known in Fulton County as a blacksmith and inventor. He had been painting since the 1920’s, but it was only in the late 1950’s and early 60’s that he had time to really develop his work. W.J. displayed paintings in restaurants in Rochester’s downtown regularly, sold many paintings to locals and even auctioned paintings to raise the money for landscaping the Fulton County Courthouse. The Locust trees and Blue Spruce trees standing today are one legacy of the art of the Abbott family.
Art show for William Abbott on June 26, 2022.