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The oldest of eight children, Bill knew intimately the grinding poverty of the depression years. His parents lost their own farm in Oklahoma and worked as laborers to hold the family together. Bill can still remember working alongside his mother in the cotton fields. But the painful memory of lean times is tempered by more happy thoughts, of fishing in the creek, gigging for frogs, and occasionally stealing a melon and eating the heart out right there in the patch.
Self-taught, he has enjoyed a successful career as a full-time professional artist since 1960. He is firmly established at the forefront of contemporary western painters. An enthusiastic and sincere man, he approaches his subject matter with love born of a long, close association with land, first the land of his native Oklahoma and later the greater United States and Canada with their mountains, deserts, and coast lines.
Through a dynamic and often bold technique, he develops an appealing atmosphere in his canvases, which invites the viewer to become an active participant, rather than a passive observer. His palette is a broad one, providing dimensions for the striking contrasts of values of which are predominant in his compositions.
Like many artists, Shaddix has spent hundreds of hours, both in the field and in bookstores and libraries, researching his subjects to retain the authenticity of the old west, cowboys and ranchers. He specializes in oils, but enjoys working in other mediums, including sculpture. His paintings can be found in many museums throughout the country and continues to be acquired by discriminating collectors world-wide.