Vallarta painter, Bill Megrail Part-III
After winning a scholarship to the New York School of Contemporary Art at the age of 17, Bill Megrail went on to earn a bachelors degree in design at San Jose State University followed by graduate school in painting at San Francisco State University.
His career started out in Visual Merchandising with major retailers in New York and San Francisco. Since coming to the Puerto Vallarta area in the 70’s he has become a well known name in the Mexican art community.
Bill Megrail’s living quarters on the topmost floor are surprisingly modest and functional, a simple kitchen and a bedroom with an occasional art piece. Even though he can create beautiful spaces, seemingly at a whim, he chooses to live minimally.
His funny stories and laugh come even more easily as we sit at his large kitchen table drinking coffee. Looking around, Bill grins and says, “A friend of mine asked me if I’m sure I’m really gay when he saw my place.” We laugh at the lack of gay esthetic around us. He says he enjoys staying home with his three little dogs that keep trying to escape whenever a door is opened. The bottom floor is occupied by his partner of 20 years.
When Bill was in his 30’s he came to Puerto Vallarta from San Francisco for the first time for a two-week vacation and stayed five months, later returning for good. He loved the weather and “in the 70’s art was part of the (Vallarta) culture. Also Vallarta was human size. You could do something here,” unlike some of the gigantic cities where it was easy to be overlooked “if you weren’t aggressive.” He divided his time between San Miguel de Allende and Vallarta, later choosing our port city for good. “It was all about the art and its appreciation,” he says.
To Bill Megrail there was never any other kind of life. “If you’re an artist, what else can you do? There’s no choice. Anything else makes me absolutely insane. I can’t go to business meetings. If nobody ever bought another painting, I’d still paint.”
Or read more about art and culture in Puerto Vallarta .