William Benson - Oil Paintings

Recent Honors

American Impressionist Society Annual Show

  • Selected as finalist, 2008

 “Out and About” Plein Aire Norfolk

  • Juror’s Award, 2008

Vincent Hester Art Gallery

  • “Pathways & Passages:” One Man Art Show, 2007
  • “Missions of California:” One Man Art Show, 2006

Nansemond Annual Art Show

  • Featured Artist, 2005

“100 Ways to Paint Gardens” Book

  • Featured in book published by International Artist Magazine, 2004

Oil Painters of America East Coast Exhibition

  • Selected as finalist, 2002

Norfolk Botanical Gardens Art Show

  • Best of Show, 2001

Dover Art League

  • First Place, Expression, 2000

First Annual Marine Exhibtion

  • Second Place, 2000

Chesapeake Bay Arts Association

  • Grumbacher Gold Award, 1999
  • Best of Show, 1998 and 1997


  • Oil Painters of America
  • American Impressionist Society
  • Chesapeake Bay Art Association
  • Arts Club of Washington
  • American Society of Marine Painters
  • Nat’l Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society

Art Education

  • Kenn Backhaus
  • TM Nicholas
  • Scott Burdick
  • Charles Kello
  • Barclay Sheaks
  • Clayton Beck III

The Artist

William Bensen’s interest in art developed as a young child, surrounded by a family of artists. His grandfather was an artisan at the turn of the 20th century with clients such as Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, the Posts, the Huttons, and the Vanderbilts. Grandfather Bensen’s designs graced landmarks such as Mar-A- Lago, the Biltmore estate, and American embassies throughout Europe. Bensen’s father sculpted iron into creative furniture forms. His uncle was a photographer and an early cinematographer who captured images of Shirley Temple and other notables.

After earning a master’s degree in history from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree in television production from Brooklyn College in New York City, Bensen followed his uncle into the world of film and television. As a 10-time Emmy-award-winning producer, Bensen has worked with Turner Broadcasting, the Fox Family Channel, and has produced a children’s television show for NASA. While television and film created a livelihood, Bensen’s passion for oil painting became his center of creativity.

Long inspired by N.C. Wyeth, John Singer Sargent, Joaquin Sorolla, and Anders Zorn, many of Bensen’s canvases capture solitude and the play of light upon nature. The artist states, “I am drawn to nature. Not just the nature that lies around us, but also the nature that lies within. Strength. Solitude. Tranquility. The simple, yet complex paths that weave through life. Colors that reflect our souls. Nature is the stage that connects us.”

Bensen is represented by galleries on the East Coast and has exhibited in juried exhibits throughout. Having earned numerous art awards, his works are included in private collections across the United States. Bensen is a member of the Oil Painters of America, Arts Club of Washington, Chesapeake Bay Art Association, and American Society of Marine Painters.

He and his wife were married in Risor, Norway, and currently reside in Virginia with their young twins. William and his wife often travel within the U.S. and other world regions - which allows them the opportunity to gather new subject material for William's art.