William Trotter Lighthouse Maritime Studio Biography page

William Trotter has devoted a lifetime of effort toward their-creation of seafaring history through his artistic endeavors. His paintings reflect the endless romance and conflicts between man and the sea that have endured for centuries on the North American continent.

His images portray both the beauty and timelessness that the history of the sea, of sailing ships, boats, lighthouses, ocean coasts and nautical structures have offered. In collaborative works, many historical shipwrecks, particularly in Florida waters, are located, documented and illustrated. However, the artist's largest thirst has been to whet his appetite on the history of lighthouses - a longing that evolved into a memorable, historical love affair for both the artist and his wife with these monuments to nautical safety.

In dedication to this effort, Bill and Frieda Trotter sold their home, studio and gallery in 1983, and left in a motor-home on a quest that lasted some eight years to visit, document, record and recreate on canvas some 300 lighthouses throughout the United States. His endeavor so impressed historians and authorities that he was named Official Artist for the US Coast Guard and was given access to numerous structures restricted to visitors due to safety and other concerns. Mr. Trotter is a signature member of the International Society of Marine Painters.

A prolific artist, Trotter also developed and implemented an unusual talent for model making. Like his paintings, Trotter's models of Lighthouses are meticulous in minute detail and realism. He uses flashing light, wood, copper, modeling clay, stained glass and oil paints to build the three-dimensional beacons.

The commitment of Bill Trotter and his wife Frieda has been intensified by their deep interest in historical data. In earlier works, they documented numerous paintings of steamboat vessels, canal boats and other classic ships with collections of memorabilia, relics, lighthouse and seamen lore, and even ghost stories. Trotter has collaborated closely with several historians and writers, including, on several occasions, Florida author Kevin McCarthy, and steamboat authority Edward Mueller.

Interested in art all of his life, Bill Trotter began painting during his high school years. However, his need for security led him to pursue a business major in college, followed by careers in insurance and as a jeweler. But the attraction of the creative life soon after led him to turn totally to art and artistic endeavors. Some of his earlier works include several murals in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, as well as paintings of native Indian life-styles.

One of the talents that distinguished Trotter as a true technician of the arts, was his penchant for history. Bill sought and captured the history and lore behind virtually every piece of work he completed. He often gets as much involved in the history behind a subject as in the subject itself. For example, through extensive research, he was often able to illustrate a lighthouse as it was before the ravage of age, sea and weather led to deterioration. He also was able to reconstruct images and illustrations of ships long ago sunk at sea, only from historical data, descriptions and ship or seamen's lore.

Trotter's masterfully executed works graphically illustrate man's ongoing battle with the elements of sea, wind, wave and weather.

In addition to historical vessels, lighthouses, ferries, river-boats, steamboats, and famous shipwrecks, artist Trotter has been commissioned to paint a wide variety of contemporary naval ships, largely through government and private grants to support the immortality of Trotter's much sought talents.

William L. Trotter: artist, model-maker, muralist, historian, museum curator, gallery manager, photographer, and book and magazine illustrator.

Contact us || The Gallery || Home


Credits


New Activities

Publications

New Publications

  • Georgia's Lighthouses and Historic Coastal Sites, Kevin M. McCarthy, Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida. Illustrated by William Trotter.

Lighthouse Scale Model Exhibits

  • American Lighthouse Society and Museum, Jacksonville Beach, Florida.
  • St. Augustine Lighthouse Museum, St. Augustine, Florida.
  • William Trotter Lighthouse Maritime Studio, Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

Contact us || The Gallery || Home


Interesting Lighthouses Sites on the Internet


Home | Gallery | Biography | Credits | Contact Us | Links

Internet Development Group, Inc.
November 04, 1998