Born in Leek, Staffordshire, William Bowyer trained at Burslem School of Art 1940-44 and then onto the Royal College of Art, London, where he met tutors, who then went on to become great friends, Carel Weight and Ruskin Spear.
He grqaduated and went on to rise to Head of Fine Art at Maidstone College of Art and was elected an associate of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1973 and elected full member in 1981.
At Gravesend school of art he also tutored famous British pop artist and fellow Royal Academian, Peter Blake who he also became great friends of.
Elected member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, while he was President of the New English Art Club for thirty years. His work could be seen regularly at the RA Summer exhibition as well as at New English exhibitions. William was a sportsman from early in his life, originally playing Cricket for Leek, while swimming at Burslem Baths daily while studying at The Burslem School of Art under supervision of Gorden Forsyth and Reginald Haggar. He also studied alongside Stoke school of painters Arthur Berry, Norman Cope and John Shelton.
William also became friends with Derek Higginson, who he painted in his painting Short Back and Sides which now stands in the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery.
He later in life combined his love of cricket and painted a portrait of Viv Richards; as well as Arthur Scargill in London’s National Portrait Gallery and is remembered for his many glittering paintings of the River Thames, Chiswick, Hammersmith and his pictures of the Suffolk coast which took on a post impressionist feel.
The association with Scargill was a natural one as Bowyer worked in a colliery in Stoke on Trent as a Bevin boy during the WWII whilst he combined his day job in the mines with the creation of watercolours and life drawings at evening classes at Burslem School of Art.
In 1945 in went to the Royal College of Art in London. Many of his fellow students had recently been demobilised and were typically five or six years older than him, and perhaps his most important friendships were with his tutors, Ruskin Spear and Carel Weight. He soon began to make a living from education, and taught the future pop artist Peter Blake at Gravesend Technical College and School of Art until 1951. In the same year, Bowyer married Vera Small, getting married in his hometown of Leek, Staffordshire. His wife a talented sculptor presented St Edwards Church in Leek with a "wonderful sculpture" as a gift - in William Bowyers words, to honour their marriage and as a thank you to the Parish.
Bowyer often returned to his home town of Leek into the 70's to visit his home and paint the Staffordshire Moorlands. He described painting the scenes freely in watercolour, whilst placing the work on the back seat, driving and leaving the windows open until reaching his next viewing point. Barewall were lucky enough to meet William Bowyer at his studio in Chiswick in 2014, where he shared a number of his memories of the Potteries and The Burslem School of Art.
In Oct 2017, one of Bowyers artworks was apprasied on The Antiques Roadshow by art expert. The oil which was a family portrait was valued at upto £5,000 pounds.