Bill started painting in 1992 and within a few months it became his passion. He studied watercolor with Jack Flynn, AWS, for more than 10 years. In the summer of 2005, Bill was able to take an early retirement from a 30 year career as a software engineer and turn to painting full time. At this time he began studying composition with Paul Zimmerman, NA. In 2006, he began to study oil painting with plein air master David Lussier.
He is a Signature Member of the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA). His work has been exhibited in the ASMA’s 15th National Exhibition, 2011-2013; the ASMA 2008-2009 New England Exhibition and the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport Museum. He has earned numerous awards from the Connecticut Watercolor Society, including: First Place in the 2006 Open Exhibit. He is also a member of the Connecticut Plein Air Painters’ Society, The Lyme Art Association.
Bill expresses his sense of American history through landscapes, street scenes, and marine subjects. His marine paintings feature working boats, especially New England trawlers. “These boats have such a great sense of gritty character and history!”
Sonstrom served in the U.S. Army from 1967-1970 as a First Lieutenant. He holds a BA in American History, from Central Connecticut State University and a MS in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.