A landscape painter known for his loose, Impressionist style, Will Vawter was raised in Greenfield, Indiana and began his career as an illustrator. His first assignments were for James Whitcomb Riley, a successful poet who was also a resident of Greenfield.
Vawter and his wife of two years moved to Brown County, Indiana in 1908, and for the next fifteen years, he worked on magazine illustration assignments. In 1923, he divorced and moved into a small apartment in downtown Nashville, from where he became more involved in oil painting. In 1925, he exhibited and won the prize for best winter scene at the first Hoosier Salon exhibit. He also exhibited at the Brown County Art Gallery Association.