Bill Burke was born in Lower Hutt, Wellington in 1960. He held his first successful exhibition at the age of 19, drawing in pencil and in pen and ink old historic homes and buildings in Nelson. Bill spent a number of years painting in watercolour, before introducing pastel and oils, and discovered a whole new world opening up with life and colour. While many of Bill's paintings feature landscapes well known to his hometown Nelson, he also portrays other well-recognised locations in the South Island, including Christchurch, Queenstown and Central Otago. Maritime scenes are a particular favourite of Bills. He also enjoys painting animals and portraits and more or less anything that catches his eye. He is described as having a finely honed sense of observation, with an ability to capture the essential subtleties of human and animal characteristics and body languages in his subjects. Bill's recent achievement was his portrait of pioneer boat builder Jack Guard which was chosen to tour the country with the 2008 Adam Portraiture Exhibition. Bill was awarded first prize in the James Wren/Mosgiel Rotary Art Award held in Dunedin in May 2005. In 2004 Bill was awarded two Entry of Merit Awards at the 11th Maritime Exhibit at the Coos Art Museum in Oregon, USA. He was a Finalist in the Australian Artist magazine Art Award for Seascapes, Rivers and Lakes in 2002. In 1999 Bill was a finalist in the Cranleigh Barton Drawing Award held in Christchurch, New Zealand. Bill is represented in private collections in the UK, USA, Germany, Canada, Japan and Australia, as well as New Zealand.