About Stoneham Studios
Stoneham Studios - with the plural 's' - honors the many and varied places Bill has called his studio... former chicken coop, water tower, quanset hut, extra bedrooms, wide open and light-filled vaulted loft.
I was born in Boston, MA in 1947, living my first 9 months in an orphanage. My adoptive parents took me to Chicago and eventually settled in southern California where I grew up. I never knew my biological parents, though I heard that my mother had been a painter of portraits.
(In recent years I discovered I have half-siblings and miraculously, a full sister. My half-brother Alan confirmed that our mother did indeed paint throughout her life.)
I was a good student though I chose not to complete a college degree above Associate of Arts. My passion was for making art; I neither wanted nor needed an art school education beyond the basics of materials and techniques.
My professional career as an artist began in 1972 when Charles Feingarten Galleries contracted my work for two years and where I debuted in 1974 with a one-man show. Henry Seldis of the Los Angeles Times wrote; ’William Stoneham’s paintings are at their best when at their weirdest. In those instances, the young artist comes close to inventing the first truly, neo-surrealist painting I have encountered to date that extends the surrealist fantasies into the contemporary realm. The best works here deserve the attention of collectors devoted to traditional surrealism without objecting to a good many new and startling twists.’
Only one painting sold in the show, ‘The Hands Resist Him’, a portrait of myself as a five-year-old child. The piece has been enjoying some fame on the Internet as the ‘eBay haunted painting’.
From 1974 through 1992 I continued to paint, struggling to provide for my family. In 1984, I started working in the feature film industry, first with Christopher Walas and later with ILM (Industrial Light & Magic). In 1992, LucasArts Entertainment hired me. I set aside my brushes.
During my many years in the feature film and computer game businesses, I picked up skills useful to my creative endeavors. The experience and expertise I gained in 3D modeling and cinematic work have given me a more robust approach to painting. I have also acquired the skills needed to create hybrids of music, painting and animation, producing unusual video projects.
Today I work only in my home studio, on Vashon island in Washington where I live with my wife Patti Nelson Stoneham, also a painter. My work is an exploration of figurative and textural concepts influenced by the urban - and now rural - environment and the social/political forces at work in today's world.