Fine art has always been in my life. Growing up in Springfield, Pennsylvania, our house was filled with paintings by my cousin, who was a professional artist, and by my mother, my grandfather, and various aunts and uncles who were all hobbyists. A result, my siblings and I always believed that “doing art” was somewhat of a family tradition and something to be admired. My childhood doodles became sketches when I was a teenager and eventually, in my twenties, became oil paintings and watercolors.
In 1995 my wife Lisa and I started our family in Garnet Valley, where we live today. The area serves as a setting for much of my work. In the early 2000’s I rediscovered a set of pastels that were a fifth grade Christmas present from my parents. After retiring from a 40-year career teaching physics at Strath Haven High School, I became hooked on pastels and became a pastel artist. I have had the good fortune to study with artists Karl Kuerner since 1992 and Jane Bartrum Miluski and Joe Sweeney (no relation) since 2013.
My work has been included in various shows along the East Coast including the Pastel Society of America’s “48th Annual Enduring Brilliance Exhibition”; The International Association of Pastel Societies 38th Exhibition in Chicago; the International Association of Pastel Societies 39th Juried Webshow; the “2018 Art of the State” Exhibition in Harrisburg, PA; and in several of the Philadelphia Watercolor Society’s “International Exhibition of Works on Paper.” My paintings have been published in PleinAir Magazine and Philadelphia Stories Magazine.
I am a signature member of the Maryland Pastel Society, the Philadelphia Watercolor Society, and an associate member of the Pastel Society of America. In November 2021, I was awarded the Crest Medal by the Philadelphia Watercolor Society.
My work can be seen on my website billsweeneyart.com.