W.C. Nowell, a well known still life specialist, began his artistic training at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston before pursuing an apprenticeship with the Boston School artists. For four years, Nowell engaged in the kind of academic training that has passed down from French 19th century painters such as Edgar Degas and Jean-Leon Gerome. Following his apprenticeship, Nowell spent a summer refining his considerable talent with New Hampshire still life artist Sidney Willis. It was Willis who taught Nowell a more contemporary outlook toward color and composition.
All of Nowell's still life work is done directly from life. He carefully considers the objects he will use and the arrangement of these objects prior to ever touching the canvas. When asked to describe his work, Nowell says,
"I think of my work as an idealized realism.
My paintings are a careful balance between
what I see in nature and what I choose to
bring them from my own aesthetic sensibilities."