Life of a True Artist


Born in 1930, William Preston lived his art, translating life’s meaning through drawings and paintings over his five decades long career, whether he was selling bull-fight ink drawings in Mexico City, practicing sumi in Los Angeles, illustrating books in New York City, or selling elegant watercolors from his lobster shack gallery in Maine. Throughout his career, Bill sketched in pen & ink and charcoal.

William had solo shows in Boston, Maine, Washington, D.C., Miami, Texas and New Mexico.  

While in his twenties, and after serving in the Air Force during the Korean War, William Preston lived in Mexico City for extended periods twice during the 50s, traveling from Los Angeles where he had been a copyboy, then a photographer for the LA Times. Living on the roof of a taqueria, he supported himself by drawing at the bullfights and selling sketches to tourists and the galleries. He became an afficionada practico, once testing young bulls in Tijuana, before finally leaving on a bus to New York City to find his way as an artist in American.

Variously working as a book illustrator through an agent, selling paintings from a stoop in the West Village, and producing Long John Nevill's talk radio show, William travelled to Maine to find a place for his new wife and soon-to-be born son, choosing Ogunquit (York, Maine) to establish himself. He became an active part of the Ogunquit Art Colony, showing and selling watercolors from his lobster shack gallery in Perkins Cove. He had one-man shows on Newbury Street in Boston at Shore Gallery, and won national prizes for his watercolors in NYC.

After 15 years in Maine, William's marriage came to an end. For six years he lived in a small converted van, wintering in the south, returning to Maine for summer.

Later in that time period, he moved to Houston, where he met Marianne Hornbuckle, who drew him into her personal art-dream. Soon, they married and moved to New Mexico. Establishing themselves as landscape painters of the Southwest, they showed their works separately and together in galleries regionally, on the East coast and in Santa Fe for two decades. They traveled and camped, photographed and sketched, and returning to their adobe in the traditional village of Jaconita. A willing accomplice, William had a passion for both the Southwest and their home north of Santa Fe, where he and Marianne both maintained studios. Along with painting, William pursued a passion for Spanish flamenco, playing gallery openings and studying with various teachers. Their home was filled with classical music and evenings of talks about the meaning of life. Both were open to new ideas, new people, and new ways of mind, and spirit, and living. Marianne continues to draw from life weekly and has added sculpture in addition to being an avid gardener. 



William Preston and Marianne Hornbuckle, circa early 80s.

William Preston and Marianne Hornbuckle, circa early 80s.