William started painting as a child when he received a paint-by-numbers set for Christmas one year. It had a picture of a clown sketched in with numbers in each section and then a set of paints in small plastic tubs with the numbers on each tub. He ignored all the numbers, turned the canvas board over and painted a landscape of a train on a railroad trestle. He immediately fell in love with painting. He was very poor as a young man and couldn't afford to buy canvas so he painted on anything at hand including old album covers, bits of cardboard and he especially liked painting on old sheets of paneling that were rough on the back and held the paint. He would paint landscapes and give them to his family for Christmas presents. When he became famous as a writer he realized he could supplement his income with his paintings and started to sell a few works in the last years of his life. He had one gallery show in Oxford, Mississippi, which was quite successful. An essay about his evolution of an artist is included in the collection of stories titled: Time Done Been Won't Be No More.
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