Billy Roy Økland (1969) Hordaland, Norway. Økland grew up in the village Auklandshamn in Sveio, and showed early good drawing skills.
From elementary school and onwards, every school-book was filled with sketches and drawings. Being the son of a sailor, the choice of motif was easy; it all started out with boats and harbours. Since then the choice of motif and message has changed, yet the ocean has not been completely forgotten.
When Billy was 8 years old, he tried oil painting for the first time. Since then he has eagerly worked with both pencil and brush, in some periods more intensely so than in others...
Økland is mainly self-taught, and is a classic figurative painter, preoccupied with the perceptible and living. He works according to the old masterly/ old school traditions, and strives to infuse as much life and sincerity as possible into every single painting - be it historic or present reality. Much of his training has been spending hours of intense study in galleries and art museums holding the work of the great, old masters, coupled with hard work. He has also an established contact with various figurative painters. His sources of inspiration are painters like: Rembrandt, Titian, Goya, Odd Nerdrum, L. Hertervig, and many others. Økland has been the summer student of Odd Nerdrum.
Billy works with figure/man, portraits, landscapes and still life (studies of various objects)
It is important to him that every single painting has its own unique story. His goal for his paintings is for the situation/moment depicted to grasp you, and give you a great feeling of presence.
The painting has always been a part of his life, but it wasn't until 2003 that painting became a full-time commitment. In addition to exhibitions, Økland also does a lot of commissioned work of art for both the business sector and private collectors.