William E. Elston

William E. Elston is a Pacific Northwest artist best known for urban and rural landscape subjects. He has been exhibiting in the region for over 50 years. Mr. Elston has also been teaching painting and drawing in the Greater Seattle area for several decades. Currently he offers ongoing classes in painting en plein air, and offers Online Group Critiques via Zoom-based sessions.

Recent Blog Posts

My five most recent posts.

73 min read

Men's Furnishings

I've belatedly learned that one of my paintings was in an auction of American art at Sotheby's in New York in October 2018. The work sold at the top end of its estimate. It was originally sold c.1989 at Elizabeth Leach Gallery in Portland OR, to Patrick Duffy, the actor best known for his role as Bobby Ewing in the series 'Dallas'. It was listed in Sotheby's catalogue as "from the collection of Patrick and Carlyn Duffy." Patrick's wife, Carlyn Rosser passed away in 2017.

history auctions galleries portland urban

44 min read

Man With Cart

This painting was exhibited at Davidson Galleries in the early 1990s. It was done before the Pergola was destroyed by a truck in 2001. The current Pergola is a facsimile, rebuilt from scratch. I still have this work in my studio inventory. It is one of the few paintings left from this period.

urban figures history cityscapes

120 min read

The 1990s, Early To Mid

Two different circumstances have recently brought me face to face with a number of paintings that I did in the early to mid 1990s. The first was the sale and delivery of a painting (Pilchuck River I) to a couple that have collected several of my paintings at a gallery that once represented me in Portland. The other circumstance was the swapping out of some old inventory for new at the Museum of Northwest Art and Culture (the MAC) Art Resource program, in Spokane WA.

history landscape urban travel

65 min read

Civil Architectures - The End Of The Viaduct

An Alaska Way Viaduct painting, a view from Ako Lindley's studio in the old 619 Western Building. This was purchased by the then CEO of Daniel Smith, Inc., and featured on the cover of their annual catalogue. The painting exceeded their budget, so I took half of it in trade for art supplies. I still have some of those.


77 min read

Linin' Track

This is a painting from my second show at Davidson Galleries. It depicts the lining of track for a new extension of the trolly that carried tourists from the edge of the International District to points along the Alaska Way Viaduct, all the way to Myrtle Edwards Park. The trolly was short lived. A sculpture park required real estate that provided the only maintenance shed for the trolly, at the start of Myrtle Edwards.

urban figures history

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