Burl Washington was born and raised on a farm in South Texas where his family farmed the land and raised livestock.
He received his Associate and Bachelor’s Degrees in commercial art and advertising.
Burl served as an artist in the Army Special Services in the 1970s.
While working as an illustrator during his career, he attended different art shows and noticed there was nothing representing the African Americans in the West. He began researching and painting the Buffalo Soldiers and Black Cowboys.
He chose watercolor as his medium because one of his professors at the University of Arlington suggested he try it. He fell in love with it and uses it as his primary medium for historical imagery of the Buffalo Soldier, Black Cowboys, Women of the West and other occupations as well as farm life and other images of the West.
In the 1980s, Burl was invited to do an exhibit of his art and to be a speaker at the West Point Academy.
The Southwest Art magazine featured Washington in an article in January 1982 depicting his art of the Buffalo Soldiers and Black Cowboys.
His work can be seen in the Booth Western Art Museum which is associated with the Smithsonian Institution, located in Cartersville, GA and the National Buffalo Soldiers Museum in Houston, TX.