Meadowlark Gallery: The Artist Biographies

William Maughan
William Maughan is a painter of the early exploration of Western America, born in Long Beach, California in 1946 and living in Vista, California. "I began my career as an illustrator," Maughan observes, "as did the artists who influenced me as a child, Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, and Frederic Remington. After seven years of illustrating, I felt I had the experience and ability to do what I desired most, to be a painter of pictures to be enjoyed for the sake of the painting itself and not just to advertise a product."

Great-great-great-grandfather Maughan was the first to settle in Utah's Cache Valley in 1856. Family stories concerned the Indians in their daily experience with the white man. Maughan went to Ireland on a mission for his church from 1965 to 1967, after one semester at Brigham Young University, and then was drafted into the Army. He served in Vietnam, and in 1970 entered the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. When he graduated with distinction in 1973, he was selected as an apprentice to leading New York City illustrators and remained there for another three years as a commercial illustrator.

In 1977, he returned to Southern California as a commercial artist, but "advertising and illustration didn't seem enough," so in 1980 he began concentrating on historical Western art. In his painting, he puts the values of the complete composition down in brown and white, then adds opaque and transparent glazes. His goal is "a mood created by story and color," with interest achieved by contrasting texture, complexity, light, warmth, and edges.

"Overlapping elements create the illusion of depth and composition."

View high resolution images of works by William Maughan when available.