Vallarta painter, Bill Megrail Part-I
Bill Megrail guides us around his home studio, enthusiastically pointing out several ongoing projects, including the restoration of a large, damaged oil painting for a museum and a huge wooden Thai figurine God. Almost everything Bill does is enthusiastic, and he doesn’t as much speak as exclaim. “My life has always been art,” he declares.
Paints and brushes are neatly arranged on a paint splattered stand next to an easel. In the background a wall of picture windows overlooks Colonia Buenos Aires and the Libramiento.
Although his career has morphed from interior design for commercial retailers to oil painting, remodeling homes and curating a museum, “It’s all the same, putting objects in space beautifully… paying attention to color, form, composition.” Bill was very successful at commercial interior design for stores like Sak’s Fifth Ave and Macy’s until age 37. However, he prefers working with fine arts at his own pace to visual merchandising and the executive life style. “When I’m painting time will pass and I won’t even know it. Things that are going on in my life get processed. I’m not even aware of it.”
One floor up, in Bill’s home gallery, a marvelous collection of large paintings, mostly lush jungle and country scenes from different perspectives line the walls lit by a bank of windows.
His inspiration is “totally from nature, anything from a home garden to the jungle.” For Bill Megrail, painting is “meditation in action. It heightens your ability to see. So much of painting is just looking, looking at nature, then looking at the painting itself.”
A summer school arts program sparked Bill’s interest in art, which led to his liberation from a West Virginia coal mining town. “I always supported myself with my talent,” Bill explains.
And he’s been supporting community arts programs ever since, like Puerto Vallarta’s Cultural Center and the Peter Gray Art Museum, where he is currently the curator. Under his direction, the museum facilitates a community activity for local children who are given a tour, introduced to various forms of art through demonstrations, and then produce a painting of their own.Second Part .
Read more about art and culture in Puerto Vallarta .