William DeShazo was born in 1934 in New Mexico. He grew up working as a cowboy on family cattle ranches throughout New Mexico and Arizona. He began sketching at age 7 and was painting by the time he was 12. He was an All-State football player in high school and followed the southwestern rodeo circuit as a bronc and bull rider, continuing to sketch and paint the western scenes around him. Leaving the desert, DeShazo moved to Southern California to attend California Western University. He became fascinated with the ocean while he worked months at sea as a commercial fisherman out of the port of San Diego. He continued his formal art instruction in 1961 at the Laguna School of Fine Arts where he became fascinated with the glazing techniques of the Old World masters. He studied and read all he could on them, developing his own unique style.
DeShazo paints his originals in oils on panels because pieces preserve better and can be more easily restored. Each painting can have as many as 30 layers of glaze, and transparent oils, before the final details can be applied. He is primarily known for his ability to transform, blend, and capture light, striking a perfect balance between sea and sky. The romantic, transparent, and ethereal quality in his work has also earned him respect as a Master Colorist and expert in Old World and Master blending and glazing techniques.
His work is collected by various celebrities and dignitaries and resides as part of private collections all over the world, including the U.S., England, Japan, Europe, and the Middle East.