Happy Birthday Bill Traylor!! Born into slavery on a plantation in Alabama in 1854, this artist was a self-taught painter. Following the Civil War, he stayed on at the plantation as a sharecropper, married and had 9 children. At age 82, Traylor, his family all gone, left the plantation for Montgomery Alabama. After working in a shoe factory for a short while, he began to draw. His inspiration was ordinary people on the streets and animals. His supplies were simple: pencil, charcoal and cardboard. Charles Shannon, a white painter noticed his work and arranged a show in 1940. He continued to become more recognized and created an amazing amount of paintings, of which Charles Shannon had possession of 1200-1500 when Bill Traylor died in 1949.