Monday, July 28, 2014

Twitchy Trout

Not much to say about this one.  Just me having a bit of fun doodling and messing around with the computer.  I figured that it looked like a good label for a brand of beer.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Drawing Abstracts & Learning About Our History

I have had a few days off but with the cool weather sweeping in from the north bringing with it rain and gloomy weather, I have resigned myself to hanging around the house with the kids and doodling a few ink drawings on paper.  The top one is titled simply 'Abstract Trout'.  The bottom one is aptly named 'Abstract Mayfly'

  For the mayfly I decided to add it to my list of shirts available at my tee shirt shop at www.hexfishing.spreadshirt.com . If you wanted a print then why not get it on a shirt for $21. Choose your color and size and show your love for these great little bugs.
  If owning the drawings is more your speed then shoot me an email and we will work it out.  They will be available on a first come first serve basis.

Learning About History
Before the rain came however, the family and I decided to hit the road for a little bit and explore our great state and in the process learn a bit more about the history of our country.
  Our first stop was the Revolutionary War site of Ole Ninety Six.  A key stone to the Carolina back country around the 1770, Ninety Six was the site of numerous skirmishes and confrontations throughout the war culminating with its eventual demise near the end of the war.
  Teaching the kids about such important sites is an important step in helping them realize just what our countrymen sacrificed in the name of freedom.  It also is a great way to spend an afternoon and get a little fresh air away from all the computer games and technical distractions in this day and age.

   If you haven't explored the history around your area then I strongly encourage you to get out and do a learning yourself.  If you have kids, bring them along.  I think it will surprise you just how fascinated they will be with the real life history of this great country.


 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Painting Bass


  I painted this last week as I was watching my kids mess around in the small 2 foot deep pool that has occupied a corner of my yard for the last two months.  It was a typical warm day with the kind of weather that makes bass run for deep water so painting them leaping for a streamer was about as close as I was going to come to catching one.
  This is not the first bass I have painted nor will it be the last but it is one of the better ones.  I'm not there completely but I could pick apart my own work for days and point out all the little things that I would have liked to do different.  Unfortunately, or more appropriately, due to the fact watercolors are a very unforgiving medium, I have come to the realization that to try to control it to much is to loose the essence that makes a watercolor painting .... well, a watercolor.  I've adopted the feeling that the little nuances of watercolor is what makes the painting a piece of art and not a photograph.
   Unlike trout, I find bass a much harder species to paint.  The colors are more muted and the variation in tones make shading and detailing the bass a rather daunting task for me. Try doing it all outside with 90 degree heat that dries out wet paper faster than the IRS can loose important emails and you have quite a challenge on your hands.        
    Typically I see the popular bass portraits out there being more about the surrounding scenery than about the actual fish.  You always see a bass guy with a big sporty boat yanking on a bent rod in the the background with a leaping bass breaking the surface.  The bass usually is secondary in the piece even though rightfully it should be first.
  I'm not saying that they aren't Really well done, because often they are masterpieces, but for me I love the main, if not only, focus to be on the fish.
 
I call this:

July Bass
(original right?)
roughly 9x12ish
watercolor on paper
FOR SALE

Feel free to email or shoot me a message on Facebook for purchasing information.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Red Cheek Rainbow Trout

  Painting trout has a special attraction to me an its not only because I also love to catch them.  They are some of the most picturesque fish in nature and it is a joy to capture their unique beauty in translucent pigments that make the colors pop.  The color of a brilliant red cheeked rainbow is like a painting so it is only natural that I would want to capture a hint of that beauty in my work.

  Truth be told, I am playing a little bit of catch up with these blog posts.  I actually painted this piece last week and just haven't taken the time to post it here on the blog.  Time has been at a premium as of late and taking the time to paint a work like this and then turn around a do a write up on it right after it is done amounts to a long day at the kitchen table that could have been spent playing with the kiddos.
 
    Now with the patriotic weekend in the rear-view mirror and still ten digits to show after setting our street ablaze with fireworks I'm back to the blog.

"Red Cheek Rainbow Trout"
Watercolor on Paper
14in x 11in
For Sale

.  A lot of you have already see this over on the facebook page which has been getting a quite a workout lately.  For you that are not yet a member of my HexFishing page on Facebook and want to see my paintings before they hit the blog I encourage you to click on over and join.  
  If your wall space is limited but you still want to own a piece of this painting then check out my tees HERE or on the button at the top of this blog.  Its a trout anglers alternative to all the Guy Harvey shirts out there.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Southern Trout Magazine Interview + More Great News


  I wanted to share this exciting news that happened to me during my brief hiatus from the blogging world.  A lot of you that follow my facebook page or read Southern Trout have no doubt already seen this but for the rest of you that missed it I'll recap.
  A few months ago I was contacted by Don Kirk, the chief editor and architect of Southern Trout Magazine, about doing a profile on me and my art in his magazine.  Luckily I was sitting down when I received this humbling news.  For a guy like me that started to paint fish for the simple reason that I wanted a few nice trout paintings to hang around the house, the realization that other people I didn't even know wanted to see my work is still a bit surreal.  Its one thing to have your friends and family say that my paintings are good but its a whole other animal when strangers want to interview me about my art.
   After doing the interview I was soon after contacted again, this time by Leah, and asked if they could use a photo of mine for the cover.  Of course I promptly agreed.  The photo they chose was one I shot earlier in the year of my beautiful Abel Fly Reel on a slab of granite on my beloved Chattooga River.
    My Abel fly reel is by far one of the best reels I have ever owned or fished with.  Its one of those pieces of equipment you just cant help to take a photo of.  I relate it to a car guy and his prized Cuda or vintage Model T roadster, give it a good backdrop and its a picture worthy piece of art.  Put the Abel Reel on a hand crafted bamboo fly rod from Fall River Fly Rods and its the complete package.  Fantastic!
  But wait, there is more.  They also asked me if they could use one of my Tenkara articles of a technique known as the Normal Drift with subsequent articles to follow relating to Tenkara.  In short, you are now looking at a regular contributor to Southern Trout Magazine.
  Wow is all I can say.  I would have never thought I could parlay my love of outdoor art and fly fishing into a pursuit that other people would want to hear about.  The fact that most of my paintings now only stay in my studio for short amounts of time before being shipped off to new owners is still amazing to me.
   
   If you haven't taken a look at Southern Trout Magazine yet, I strongly recommend that you click over a enjoy this free read.  Its the perfect thing to read on the back deck with a tall glass of sweet tea and a bit of Old Crow Medicine Show playing in the background.
Enjoy!


Monday, June 30, 2014

No, I'm Not Dead...yet


  Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
    Yes, I am back after taking over a month off from blogging.  For those that have faithfully followed this blog for years and for those just discovering me, I send you my apologies.  Sometimes life just throws a lot at you all at once and you need to prioritize what is important.  As you can imagine, blogging is one of those commitments that comes in last in a long list of priorities.
    Despite my absence from the blog, I have not remained idle not have I stopped painting.  In fact A lot of things have happened over the last month that are really quite exciting.  I wont go into all the boring things that have been happening with my day job but I will say that the next twelve months are going to be a very exciting time for me.
    On the home front, I spent some quality time with the family on a great camping trip to the beach.  Collecting shark teeth and roasting smores over a campfire was just the remedy for a stress filled few weeks at work.  The camping trip came right after a very painful biking crash that took the better part of two weeks to recover from.  Luckily nothing was broken but I was missing a lot of skin and received a few deep boon bruises that have slowed me down a bit.

    After that, my brother-inlaw and a buddy of mine took a backpacking trip up to do a little trout fishing in
the hills of South Carolina and Georgia.  With the scabs of the bike accident still healing, the lugging of a forty pound pack wasn't the best thing to do but once we got to fishing it all just kind of melted away.
    For those that enjoy packing all you need in a pack that can fit on your back, setting off into the wild, and loosing all cell phone coverage, you know just how great the adventure can be.  In the end, you hurt, you stink, and it may take a good ten minutes to scrub the dirt off but you always leave with a smile on your face.  I caught more trout in two days than I could keep track of and for the first time in over two years I didn't care about taking pictures.  It was a bit freeing to not have to think about taking pictures of my catches but when I got home I began to wish I would have at least taken a few shots of the beautiful trout I had hooked.
    I did a lot more stuff (including fishing) over the past few weeks but I am not going to go into it and bore you all with the details more than I already have.  From here on its all looking forward.
  Yesterday I picked up my paints for the first time in quite a while to paint a few fins.  My wife love the look of bluegills and frankly I enjoy painting them.  Unfortunately for her, the bream never stay in our house for very long.  The past three bluegill paintings I have done have been quickly snatched up by eager customers and every time my wife lets out a deep groan and pout followed quickly after by the statement, 'Awe shoot, I loved that one.'.
    If you follow my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/hexfishing then you have no doubt already seen this work.  To my surprise I received four messages inquiring about this piece within hours of posting it.  As of right now it has not sold but the amount of interest shows me just how many people love the little bluegills as much as I do.  You might not want to brag to your buddies about the mess of bluegills you caught the other day but for a simple fun afternoon there is not much better than hooking a school of these aggressive bream on a fly rod.
Two Bluegills On Blue
overall measurements (including wash) 11inx14in.
For Sale

  And since this is a blog that has a long history of trout photos, here is a rainbow I took a photo of the other day at our new Cabelas trout tank that just recently opened right down the street.  I don't know how much I will actually buy there (I still love local small businesses) but the trout and bass tanks are a pretty cool thing to look at.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Splashing Paint For Trout

  I did a little splashing of the paint today as more of a stress relieving practice than anything else.  I had a few things in mind to paint but when it really came down to it I painted what I enjoy painting the most.  Big surprise - Its a trout.
  Here is how it started an a few quick brush strokes and a bit of drying time later we had a finished piece.
As a stress reliever this did the trick and it felt good to finally have a small bit of time to sit down and do it.  My work schedule has been killing me and finding time to spend with the family, much less paint for fun, has been at a premium lately.  Unfortunately it looks as if the coming months will only get worse so if you are a devoted follower of this blog then I apologize in advance for the lack of posts that are bound to happen.
 If you would like to purchase this original trout watercolor just shoot me an email.  It will go relatively cheap to the first good home that wants it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tenkara Revolution

  That's right, its another Tenkara Post.  I was asked to go fishing the other day by my little boy and I thought it high time I taught them how to cast and handle a fly rod on their own so with a little coaching and demonstration I handed him the rod and he let loose.
  I have been extremely busy lately with various projects and my day job so creating art for the sake of art has taken a bit of a backseat.  However as I sit on a rare amount of free time I decided it was high time to create my own little Tenkara Revolution Poster.  Tenkara has developed into a cult like obsession for the true believers and a zen type of fly fishing for others but one thing holds true for all those that do it - they all have a little renegade in them.  Embracing that inner revolutionary is a part of the experience.
 Now about a little recent fishing I've done lately.  Last weekend I took the rod to the pond. I know its no monster but boy was he proud of it and to hook and catch a bass on his own was a big thing.  If you are looking to get kids into fly fishing and want a setup that has style that is easy to grasp then join the revolution and go get yourself a Tenkara rod and forget the reel.  However For you older folks who might think the Tenkara thing is a simple thing below your skill level you might be surprised with the wide rang of skills it takes to master this eastern style of stream fishing.  It is best described as fly fishing boiled down to its simplest form that takes a few minutes to learn and a lifetime to master.
 I absolutely love taking mine on trips and backpacking adventures.  Its simplicity and light load allows one to be free from all the trappings of fly fishing gear.  If you haven't don it yet - what are you waiting for?

For those of you wanting this design for yourself then check out my tee shirt shop
Hexfishing Designs
Choose your color, and size tee and show your inner revolutionary.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Marmot Limestone 6P Tent Review


    I recently returned from a great week long camping trip with the family and thought that I'd do a gear review on a piece of equipment that has seriously blown me away.  First off - to all those that follow my blog strictly for the fishy posts - I did try to do some red fishing but the constant 30mph winds and downpours of drenching rains real killed that idea.
  Looking on the plus side however, the rains and chilly winds that battered the coast over the five days that the family and I spent camping allowed for some great family bonding.  It also allowed us to thoroughly test out the new Marmot Limestone 6 Tent and boy did it get a test.
  Our last tent was a Target special that had served us for the better part of a decade but for the last two years my family and I discovered that in rainy weather it was little more than a water collection device.  On our last adventure to the hills in the upstate of South Carolina we had so much water in our tent that our sleeping bags acted as gigantic sponges and we all braved a restless night only to awake and find we all had an epedimic of trench foot.  Only a good two hours near the fire allowed us to again become functional humans
  That is why when my wife and I saw that REI (An outdoor store we love) had a Marmot Limestone 6P for sale, we jumped on it like a tick on a hound dog.
(Incidentally, for those camping on the Carolina coast, or any heavily wooded area, ticks are a real serious hazard.  Just ask my poor little boy who got a few - including one on a place no male should ever have to use a tweezers... ouch!!)
  Anyway... The Marmot Limestone 6 person tent came in two colors; the traditional o.d. green and the new bright orange.  Being a guy that doesn't necessarily like to be a beacon in the woods for every passerby, I opted for the green but the orange is still a sharp looking tent.
  The setup was ultra easy, with two main poles and two short struts that slide into fantastic rod socks on the outside of the tent, it all came together in a few minutes.  The rain fly also was literally a snap as it hooked directly to the main tent at the anchor points.
  Once the tent is set up, we went in and were completely blown away by the space we had.  Our last tent we could barely stand up but in this baby there is just about enough headroom to put in a ceiling fan. Another feature we really enjoyed was the added vestibule in the rainfly for keeping hiking shoes and dirty sand shoes dry before we got into the tent.  With the onslaught of rain we had, this little feature got plenty of use.  Nothing is worse than mud and sand on the floor of your tent and this nice addition allowed most of the dirt to remain outside.  As anyone who has ever camped with kids knows - this is no small accomplishment.
  As for the tent handling the rain - all I can say is that it did its job way better than I would have expected.  In fact, not a single drip of moisture ever fell from the rainfly or seeped in from the sides or floor.  On one of our days it rained so HARD that even the tarp we had spread over out picnic table leaked on us, the Marmot Limestone Tent however- which was fully exposed to the 30mph winds and rain - repelled the water all day long.  When we went to bed it was awesome to find our sleeping area bone dry.
  Simply put - the Marmot Limestone 6P Tent is a fantastic rain proof shelter I would recommend to anyone!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Free Art Giveaway & An Interview

    So you missed my last art contest, no worried because thanks to Hammer Creek Fly Fishing you now have a chance to win yet another piece of fishy art from www.Hexfishing.com.  All you need to do is click over and enter to win - extremely easy only you better hurry!
While you are there check out the interview Kyle did of me.  It was a flattering experience to be asked to comment on my art.  Doing my best not to sound like a complete idiot, I answered a variety of question on both my art and my life.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Rainbow Fin Winner

Congratulations to Gidgett Andree, who entered the contest via Facebook, for winning the 'Rainbow Fin' painting.  All entries from the G+, this blog, and facebook where giving a random number and then with the help of Random.org - a winning number was selected from the digital hat.  Thanks to all of you that entered and rest easy, there will soon be another contest up for you to enter.  Congrats Gidgett.
If you are not following Hexfishing on Facebook by now - click over and get connected.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Real Men Fly Fish

Do you need another reason to pick up a fly rod? 

“Now Hurry up, We’re burnin’ daylight.” 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Hammer Creek


     If you are like me then you enjoy discovering new and interesting sites that can be used to further your knowledge in the art of fly fishing.  Hammer Creek Fly Fishing is one of those sites you are going to want to bookmark. Not only is it extremely well put together and organized but it has an extensive library of original fly tying videos that are top notch.  For a guy like me that is always consulting youtube for tying advice, I strongly recommend bookmarking this great site.
    Kyle, the owner of Hammer Creek, has a love for fly fishing that has driven him to create this site and so when he asked me to come up with an original logo that would stand out beyond the hum of all the other sites, I jumped at the opportunity.
   Starting with the name and the industrial feel of the site with its great photography and black and white imagery, I began to explore creating a unique trout logo with gears and a eye catching appeal.  All told I think we went through about four solid revisions until we settled on this highly original logo.
   One element incorporated into this design that you might find interesting is how I created the gears.  Using the accessories end of a Chevy small block as inspiration I was able to cobble together a very intricate set of gears and flywheels.  Its not your typical spots on a trout but I think it sure gives the logo that rough industrial feel we were going for.
  Click on over to Hammer Creek Fly Fishing and tell Kyle hi.  Check out his videos and follow his blog.  You wont leave disappointed.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Turkey Hunt Turns Into Bass Hanging


    I went out this morning with the intent to bag some turkey but as with most of my hunting expeditions - I left empty handed.  I have been trying to get a turkey for the last three years to no avail and I have come to the conclusion that Ben Franklin was right; the turkey is one of Americas wiliest birds. I might not agree with his idea to make the Turkey the national bird - I believe the Eagle is doing a fine job - but It sure is a difficult bird to hunt.  Either that or my disgraceful turkey call need a lot of work.
  So with the temps rising into the 80's and it becoming abundantly clear that the birds had returned to their roost, My buddy and I left our respective blinds and strung up the rods.  Luckily for us there is a two great ponds on the property loaded with bass.
 Today I left with nothing under a 1.5lb bass to show for my efforts and every single one was caught on a top water bass popper I carved from wood and hand painted.  It was truly a rewarding feeling to see this #1 bass bud I carved be attacked by numerous large mouth bass.
So I might not have bagged a bunch of feathers but at least I didn't leave feeling like a turkey.
I need to make a few more of these because unfortunately this one was lost at the pond.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Painting Tiger Trout


  This morning with a cup of coffee and a bit of time to kill I came up with this painting.
Tiger Trout are one of those rare natural occurrences that hatcheries now use to their advantage.
By fertilizing a brown trout egg with Brook trout milt, these beautiful and sterile fish are born with a very aggressive and predatory nature that allows stream keepers to use them to control fish populations without causing long term harm to the streams in which they are placed.
The colors that hey are born with very as well and can range from the brilliant yellows and oranges of a brown trout to the dull skin color of darker species but the one thing they all have is the unique striping that sets them apart from all other species.


This painting will soon be posted up for sale at www.hexfishing.com and can also be viewed at www.facebook.com/hexfishing .  If you would like to know how you can own this original painting then shoot me and email.
"March Tiger Trout"
Watercolor on Paper
10in x 9in
For Sale

Don't forget to enter the contest for a FREE original painting at http://ayearonthefly.blogspot.com/2014/03/win-free-painting.html - Contest ends on the 10th of next month!