04.06.09 06:06 AM WORLDS OF GILBERT WILLIAMS Enrique Chia Amor Eterno
Gilbert Williams is the world's most renowned and revered Visionary painter. His canvases glow with transcendent light and a remarkable panorama of archetypal images: temples, groves, lakes and light beings, goddesses and nature spirits, moons and magical mountains. Gilbert Williams was born in Santa Monica, California, on January 2, 1950. When he was five, his family moved to Anaheim, California. As a child Williams was already drawing avidly, and added to this natural artistic predisposition were the three major artistic influences of his childhood. One of these was Williams' father. Williams installed heating and air conditioning systems in commercial buildings for a living, but was an avid and very creative stonemason who graced every house he ever lived in with elaborate stone and brick work.
Another was his uncle, Bob Mattey, who was head of Disney's special effects department. Mattey -- whose most famous/infamous creation was the shark in Jaws -- took Williams to Disneyland while it was still under construction, and Williams remembers his uncle's backyard studio as "a wonderland of plaster molds, tools, and movie props." And finally there was photographer Jack Howard. A friend of his parents', Howard was an artistic photographer who taught Williams much about composition and lighting -- and provided an invaluable example that a person could make a living doing something creative. As Williams grew up, he continued drawing -- and studying, almost entirely on his own. He explored art history and the techniques of the Renaissance Masters and engaged in peripheral studies that included anthropology, archaeology and geology. He visited museums, not drawn to any particular artist or school in these earlier days, but rather was "mostly just fascinated by the haunting aura given off by the old or ancient objects. I remember having fleeting memories of a different way of thinking and feeling. " When he left high school he entered Fullerton College, but realized after a year that he was better off following his own Muse.
Williams' career as a professional painter began in earnest in Mt. Shasta, California, in late 1970s, when he began selling paintings in local galleries. Major national magazines took notice, and so did Hollywood. His images have been used for album covers by Michael Jackson, by Crosby, Stills & Nash, and for the Fresh Aire albums produced by Mannheim Steamroller & The London Symphony. They have also been used as cover art and illustration by Omni Magazine. His reputation spread rapidly, and in the early 1980s Williams became the featured painter at the Illuminarium Gallery and Isis Rising. Now Williams' originals are frequently sold to collectors within days of completion. And Isis Rising publishes notecards, posters, matted art, art books and lithographs of Williams' works. Currently, Williams lives in California, enjoying both work and family. "I am happily single after surviving two marriages," he says. "My daughter, whom I raised as a single parent, just turned 26 and is living in New York and studying acting. The rest of my family lives here in California, and we get together regularly." His says that his own "favorite artist" changes from time to time. He continues studying art history, and enjoys finding an artist that inspires him with new ideas. Just now that is William Waterhouse, one of the late pre-Raphaelites. He is also as fascinated by science as ever. "Science gives us a cosmic perspective and clue to our future evolution. It also connects us to our true past through archaeology, one of my biggest interests."