The Illustrator Who Captures Realistic Beauty in Oil and Pencil


On February 2, artist Bill Finewood will be showcasing his outstanding realistic paintings at Pittsford Fine Art. The First Friday event runs from 5 to 8 p.m.

Bill Finewood grew up in Newark, NY and now resides in Ontario, NY. He’s a proud Wayne County resident and loves to be located near his family and friends, with easy access to the countryside that inspires his art.

Finewood enjoys painting landscapes, bird and animals, and occasional architectural subjects. He also has painted a number of commissioned pieces for customers. He recently completed a visual memory of a young child during her early years in war torn 1940s Holland. Another painting depicted a scene of the St. Lawrence River where a couple was engaged. Another was the recollection of a client seeing their future home for the first time 44 years ago. “These works have been most rewarding in the sense that I was able to picture memories of events that have profoundly influenced these peoples’ lives. I was able to create objects they can look at every day, reminding them of what is really important to them. For me, these pictures are an unbelievable accomplishment in my life as an artist,” stated Finewood. 

“I always approach my work in the way of an illustrator. It’s very important for me to do research on my subject to get all the details correct. My work is carefully planned out and rendered in a very realistic manner,” says Finewood. “During my career as an illustrator I worked in three dimensions using some materials such as folded paper – not a usual method of work. I also taught this working method for many years at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Shortly before I retired from RIT I decided that working in this medium was not going to be right for me as I moved forward as an artist. I didn’t want to have lots of ‘stuff.’ Now I can put all my equipment and oil paints into a little box and backpack and go outside to paint a few hours a day. Then when I return, sometimes I have a little painting I’m proud of. This is a great way to spend a day.”

Finewood earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University and worked as an illustrator and graphic designer. He then went on to teach at Finger Lakes Community College and more recently as a full time Associate Professor of illustration at RIT for over 20 years. He’s a member of Wayne County Council for the Arts, Genesee Valley Plein Air Painters and Pittsford Fine Art. Over the years Finewood has presented his paintings along with other working methods to numerous groups in the Rochester and Finger Lakes areas. 

Pittsford Fine Art, a gallery owned and run by 23 prominent regional painters, is open Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 5 pm; Friday, noon to 8 pm; and Saturday and Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm. Parking is available in front of the gallery, at 4 North Main Street, or in the nearby public parking lot. Pittsford Fine Art is on the web at and on Facebook at

Bill Finewood was also covered in an article in a previous issue of Life in the Finger Lakes magazine. Click here to read.

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