Bill and Nora Egger have been married for 31 years. “It is our arts that have helped to keep our relationship growing. We spend hours talking about what we do,” Bill Egger said.
Both soft-spoken, the couple speak volumes through their chosen forms of expression; he is a writer, and she is a painter. “There are so many similarities,” he said, “She talks about highlighting certain areas of her paintings, and I talk about positioning the right words in a sentence.”
The couple met at a high school kegger after graduating from Mead High School. Bill learned the art of sausage-making from his father and became the owner of Bill Egger Meats in Deer Park in 1983. Nora attended college and graduated from Whitworth with a master’s degree in teaching. She also dabbled in real estate.
When she was 18, she got her first set of oil paints and, over the years, she taught herself how to speak through the medium. “I am self-taught and have worked many grueling hours trying to learn the basics,” she said, “But then there’s the beyond, the part where something you see or feel transcends into your work. I try to let the peace within the landscape flow through me as part of the creative process that becomes expression.”
Her work is impressionistic, simple yet stunning depictions of sagebrush and sand, flowing hills, skies filled with billowy clouds, roads, pastures, meandering rivers, and other peaceful and quiet places. Like her own demeanor, the “quiet” within her work embraces a viewer, urging him/her to pause for a moment and just be still.
Nora paints full time. She has shown at a handful of galleries and is a member of Avenue West Gallery, 122 S. Monroe St., where she will stay through January, leaving to focus more on outdoor shows where she has been successful in the past. “Nora is a humble person, and she walks softly through life,” Bill said, “Her paintings reflect this and have a way of putting people at ease.”
Bill began writing as a child and was encouraged to continue by nuns at his Catholic grade school. It wasn’t until about 10 years ago that he began taking writing seriously. Since then, he has written four novels and numerous short stories, including one about a man with Alzheimer’s disease that was purchased by the Memory Bridge Foundation.
“To me, writing is like a spiritual experience. Nora feels the same way about her art,” he said, “It is a way of tapping into something beyond my grasp. Writing has helped me in the business world as well, by teaching me to live in the moment and think things out.”
An indie-writer, Bill’s first published work, “The Thin Line: a Story of Friendship and Loyalty,” is available on various e-book devices. The thin line separates things like good and bad, the suburbs from rural living, and perhaps the simple concept of change that even birds experience as they “swooped above (us), searching for perches that no longer existed.”
The couple creates their own “stories” brought to fruition in paint and in words, different mediums but similar in their ability to bring about a kind of self-discovery for the artist, the viewer, and the reader. Their common goal is, simply and quietly, to touch others and connect with them, allowing them a respite from all the noise.