Inspiration, Interpretation, Imagination
Bill Schwarz working on his painting in studio


Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Bill Schwarz won his first colouring contest at age five.  Bill earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Toronto in 1966 and was admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1968.  Schwarz has since pursued his artistic development with courses at the Ontario College of Art and Design, the Dundas Valley School of Art, the Homer Watson House & Gallery, the Cambridge Library and Gallery, the Georgian Bay School of Art, and by attending other artists’ workshops in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Europe.

Bill has a personal and abiding interest in the urban landscape. This means architecture of all sorts, from buildings and boats to vehicles or machinery. He is fascinated by the effect that nature has on this architecture . . . weathering it or breaking it down to give it a unique character.  He draws in pen and ink and paints with oil, casein, watercolour and acrylic.

Bill’s paintings grace many public and private institutions including:  Law Society of Upper Canada (Osgoode Hall),  McMaster University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Victoria Hospice, Redeemer University College, Cambridge Memorial Hospital, just to name a few.

36” x 48”, Oil on Canvas

Choo-Choo, Oil on Canvas, Hespler, Mexico, Cuba inspiration

“Three separate locales, Hespeler Ontario, Havana Cuba and Madrid New Mexico, created the inspiration for this theme. The central tower was from a Sheffield Street in Hespeler visitation, the locomotives from a coal mine in Madrid, New Mexico and Havana, Cuba. The background inspiration easily eloped with my imagination!”

The High Road, 24” x 30”, Oil on Canvas

Windy, 24” x 30”, Oil on Canvas

These two images come from 2016, 2017 and 2018 trips to New Mexico.  The buildings and the space in the sketches provide imaginative settings for the shapes, colours and harmonies in the paintings.

Driveway, 12″ x 16″, Acrylic on Panel

Bill talks about his three I’s when painting: Inspiration, Interpretation and Imagination

The Bend, 36" x 36", Oil on Canvas

How can you live in central Canada and not be influenced by the Group of Seven and the Beaver Hall group?  This painting stems from a 2017 European trip as imaged by early 1900’s painters.

Busing It, 36" x 48", Oil on Canvas

Toronto [off Yonge and Bloor] the Diago Rivera Museo, and a Brantford, Ontario parking lot, were inspirations for this creation. 
You can see the basic elements, but with some imagination . . . a new world!

5733, 20" x 20", Oil on Panel

This painting was inspired by a 2019 visit to the Fabrica de Aurora in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

“I loved the achingly beautiful living truck interpreted in a more North American setting.”

Sharpie, 9″ x 9″, Acrylic on Panel

“My art consists of three I’s: Inspiration, Interpretation and Imagination. Inspiration comes from extensive travels throughout North, Central and South America, Europe and Russia. When I find a site, or a scene, that inspires me, I pull out my chair and sketch it, not slavishly, but interpretively. When I return to my hotel room [or eventually my studio] I use my imagination to recreate the image that inspired me. Following is an index for my 74 sketchbooks and a photo of the cover of the first of these sketchbooks. Hopefully, not the last!”

Coming Home
24″ x 24″, Oil on Canvas


“When you are “from away” it is always nice to come home.”

The View From Up Top, 9″ x 9″, Acrylic on Panel

Trinity Bite (Bay) Newfoundland inspired this scene.

Over the Hill, 10" x 14", Oil on Canvas

Harbourview Sheds, 10" x 14", Oil on Canvas

Grand Manan Island in Nova Scotia on one of my 17 yearly visits to this Bay of Fundy paradise.

Close to shore just by Malbec Bay in Prince Edward Island caused me to sit down and sketch this beauty.

Where Has All the Power Gone?, 24" x 24", Oil on Canvas

For more information or to purchase Bill Schwarz’ work, please contact Rodrigues Contemporary