Bill Nellor

I only recently made my first contact with Bill Nellor, who is 89 years young.
He had a wide variety of clients and could style to his work to fit each.
Here, below, are parts of several emails from Bill, describing his commer­cial work.
But first, a painting (another example of his versatility)…that I found on Google Images:


Ann, yes the painting was mine. I did it in my first year at Cornish College. It was done for my father who had been in the logging busi­ness and from his photographs I executed the painting. When both my mother and father passed away it somehow went into auction. Where it went from there I don’t know. I also had a one-man exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum during my final year at Cornish where 3 of my paint­ings were purchased by the museum.
I’ve been unable to tract down the where­abouts of the painting and its status at this time. I went to Artfact and entered my name with no results. I would be inter­ested in passing it down to my son or daughter. Maybe you can help me find it? Thanks,
Bill Nellor

I was an art super­visor at Y&R in SF and later moved to Santa Rosa where I became a partner in the Levinger-Nellor adver­tising agency. Yes, I did develop the art and concept for “Clo”, the Clover Dairy cow adver­tising series. The client strongly resisted the “Clo” approach (Cows don’t have teeth like that!) until reluc­tantly conceding. I believe that I lost the account a few years later when the client learned that I had partic­i­pated in an anti-Vietnam war demon­stra­tion in Santa Rosa. I was very much against our involve­ment there. I have a son named Robert who was named after my brother that died in WW2, we both served in the Navy. Robert was eligible for the draft but I kept my polit­ical beliefs private from my adver­tising busi­ness. Somehow the client learned of my partic­i­pa­tion in the anti-war move­ment and my part­ner­ship with Levinger was termi­nated. I then proceeded to open my own adver­tising agency and was very successful with several large local accounts that adver­tised nationally.

After I sold my agency busi­ness my wife and I moved to Maui where I designed items and made paint­ings for the tourist trade. After ten years we moved back to Santa Rosa to be near our two chil­dren and Grand­chil­dren, and now a Great grand child. I am 89 years old now and my activ­i­ties are very limited (Oh my achin’ back!). We live in Valle Vista senior subdi­vi­sion and still manage to take our daily walk through our very nice common area park.
I’ve attached a poster of Susanne Somers I did (shame on me) for Maher­ajah Water skis in the 70’s as part of the “right-on” theme for the adver­tising I was doing for them. The poster has become a collector’s item on the Internet even to this date. So…my past is tainted with this unscrupu­lous means of paci­fying my clients adver­tising demands. Please forgive me for this shady episode from my past. The logo design for “right-on” also appeared on T‑shirts, which are even being sold today on the Internet.
I’ve also attached what was the second “Clo” bill­board “Support your local cow” a “take-off” on the popular TV series at that time “Support your local sheriff“. I don’t have a copy of the first, but it depicted the body of Clo as a factory with the head­line “Factory Fresh.….Clover Milk”. The artwork of the head of Clo is exactly the same today as then.
I collab­o­rated with Jim Molica a good friend in the adv bus, late 70’s, to produce a pocket-book edition for Signet Books called “Funny Fizzles”, copy attached. It was a comic inter­pre­ta­tion of some actual funny patents on record at the patent office.
I don’t believe that I have any other items I’ve saved from the past since I cleaned out most of it when my wife and I moved to Maui for ten years.

To see what Bill is doing, now, look at his work under “Artist’s Galleries” in the column to the left.