Saturday, August 27, 2011

Drawing Trout & Random Stuff

Just doing a bit of sketching and watching the weather.  It will be interesting to see how it develops over the weekend.  It should prove interesting for those in the north east.
If this little guy looks somewhat familiar, it is.  I took the inspiration for it from my new header.  It was a solid holdover brown I hooked late this spring on a stretch of South Carolina water.  It really is just an excuse to have something to post since work and other stuff has been keeping me off the water.
This sketch is a 7"x 5" ink on 130lb paper and in available for purchase (Cheap) by email.
One other thing I got for today is a shot I took on a recent trip from the small window of a jet.  Sun setting over the western horizon and a few buildups bring up some amazing shadows and bright colors.  You really cant beat some of the views you get at 30,000 feet.
It is truly amazing the quality of today's small cameras.

I also wanted to give you another opportunity to win free music.  Just go to my Dean Brody post and leave a comment and you will be entered to win a FREE Dean Brody CD.  Who doesn't love FREE!  Contest ends on the 30th.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bluegill And A Popper

For some time I have been wanting to do a watercolor of a bluegill but have always abandoned the idea for a brown or rainbow trout.  Maybe it is the panfish's low status among anglers or the fact that it often seems that when they are biting it nearly impossible to keep them off your hook, but these little guys are often overlooked or in the extreme case, seen almost as a nuisance fish.  I sometimes fall for this line of thinking but the other day as I caught one of these beautiful fish after another I took some time to appreciate the staggering array of colors and uniqueness each individual fish.  
I have never gone so far as to call them a 'trash' fish and I'm not totally convinced that title belongs to any fish (although a few nasty fish might come close) but I have found myself being aggravated when I was hunting bass to have to clean my line of those persistent panfish.
I recently received a comment from a follower on one of my posts commenting on the stunning colors of the river caught sunfish.  I believe this particular follower hailed from Europe if I recall and said that he had never seen one of these before.  He went on to say that this fish would look more at home swimming around the corral reefs of the big blue than some river.  This small comment made me stop and re-evaluate my take on the common bluegill and sunfish.  They are a perfect target for the fly angler.  They attack on the surface with gusto, often fight hard on light tackle, and are nearly always there for the taking.  They are never as finicky as bass or trout, the are in nearly warm water pond, river, or stream, and they display some of the brightest variety of colors of any species of fresh water fish.  I know a lot of anglers that follow blog do go out and target these fish and swear by them as nearly as fun as small stream trout, but an equal number of anglers regard them at best as an annoyance and at worst as a pest.  Well today I celebrate the panfish.  If not an equal then at least as a worthy fish to hook on a fly rod.  If it is something you have never done, I encourage you to take that prized 3 weight and head on down to the local drainage pond or slow water river and hook into a few gills.  Then take a moment to just admire the beauty God has given these fish.  Each and every one will be different from the last and each individual hookup will make you smile.
This watercolor is on acid free archival quality paper.  It measures @ 11.5in x 8in and is available for purchase via email.  It will come already mounted in an acid free mat and ready to be framed.  I was planning on doing a progressive photo record of this work but totally forgot about the photos until the work was nearly finished.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Green Wing Classic & A Side Dish

I have always loved the art of these big flies.  The colors and arrangement of them are a skill to any that tie them up and they look to good to fish.  Most deserve a frame and a small place in some gallery. 
when I started it I wanted to just have the fly on a white background.  Since it was just a 'messing around' type painting I wanted to keep it simple stupid, but as I finished it and took a step back I felt it needed something a bit extra so I dropped in a bit of color around the fly to liven the painting up.  If nothing else I feel it gives the work a bit of that watery feel.                    (Wantercolor and Ink on 130lb paper.)
I thought I'd also share with you a bit of my mother-inlaws cooking ideas.  Okay, I know she probably is not the first to come up with it but I'm giving her credit anyway.
My wife and I have tomatoes coming out of ears from our garden so in order to get rid of them we have been eating them with nearly every meal.  My mother-inlaws idea was to slice them in half, dress them in olive oil and seasonings and top with two types of cheese and place in an oven.  I took it one step further and tossed them on the grill with some burgers and dogs.  Heated up just enough to melt the cheese and these babies are one sweet side dish.  The burgers weren't to bad either.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

More Quick Trout Sketching

Between business, messing around in the garage, playing with the kids, and brewing a few gallons of mead (more about that in the future) I filled a few more pages with sketchings. Since this is an art and fish blog I figured I would post another sketch of the Japanese trout that has been in my mind lately.
It isn't much to look at now but little sketches like this are the  building blocks for future works.  They help me get a feel for the colors and flow of water that will aid me in creating a frame worthy piece. 
(watercolor and ink on heavyweight, ph neutral paper)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tenkara Shirts Are In

I picked up the new Tenkara shirts today and they turned out SWEET!  For those of you that have ordered them already I will be shipping them out early tomorrow.  For those Tenkara anglers that have not ordered your shirt you had better hurry.  I have printed off a few extras but you had better hurry, supplies are limited.  You can order your shirt HERE.
I have added a special feature for these shirts as well.  I thought the front needed a little something so I added a bit of the Japanese Tenkara as well as a little lined trout.  I think it really makes the shirt!
All the extra shirts I ordered are the Hanes preshrunk shirts in the Pebble color.
Order Shirts HERE.

Music Giveaway (Dean Brody)

Who Is Dean Brody?  This is what I asked myself when I got an email from Deans music promoter asking me to do a plug for her singer.  Well thanks to the technology available in today's world I was able to answer this question with little effort.  After downloading a few of his hits from the site I discovered an up and coming country artist with down home roots.  Long story cut short, This guy is now on my playlist and I am giving you the opportunity for him to be on yours as well.
As my wife and friends can attest too, my music interest are all over the map.  From an Irish punk folk mix to Classical composers, classic rock to Jimmy Buffett, and quite often Country my library of music fits my personality.  As a guy that shies away from city life for the simplicity of rural life and the values one finds in the small towns of my youth, a Country artists like Dean Brody sing the songs that I can relate to.
In a world of singers who seem to lack truth in the songs that they sing (mainly from the fact that they don't write their own tracks) Dean Brody has a connection to every song he sings.  Hemingway once was heard to tell an aspiring writer "write what you know" and Dean seams to have done just that. His life seems to be in every line and every cord.   That truth will resonate with anyone that hears his music and likes solid country music.

So what do you need to do win his new album "Trail In Life"?   The answer is simple.
1.  You must be a follower of this blog
2.  You must leave a comment telling us what you look for in a good song.  What is it that makes that special song a constant on your play list or makes you get into a grove while tying up flies or driving to that secluded stream.

(The winner will be randomly selected from all the comments at the end on the month and Deans new album will be mailed out that first week of September.  This post will be re-posted periodically through the rest of the month.)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Dun

Utilizing my new sketch pad today I penned a small Dun fly I had recently seen on a fellow bloggers site, then lightly colored it in.  See if you can match it to the original.  It shouldn't be to hard, this other Blogger loves the small flies and is a master at tying the most technically correct and beautifully created small dries you'll ever see.
("Small Dun" 3"x4" watercolor and ink on paper.) 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Trout and The Spider

I got a new sketch book today.  I filled a few others and needed a new one for the days I spend on the road.  The moment I got home I planned on mowing the yard but instead I did not wait a second to sit down at the kitchen table and doodle out a trout on the first page.  There is just something about a blank pad of paper that is.... well it intimidating and I feel its necessary to get something in it so the rest of the book will be easier to fill.  This young Japanese trout seemed like just the starter to fill the first five inches.  Only 49 pages left to fill.  This doodle is a 6.5in x 3.5in ink archival ink on 130lb heavy weight, PH neutral artist paper.

As for the spider.  I got home last night from a long road trip to find my garden filled with neglected fruit, my grass longer than the wheat fields of Nebraska, and this big boy clinging to the side of my shed.  Part of the fun of the out doors is finding new things to go back research.  I thought I would solicit you help in my entomology research.  I suspect TexWisGirl or Jay might know what it is.  Whatever it is I doubt a trout would have any part of it.  A bass maybe but a finicky trout, not a chance.  I myself let it be and hoped it enjoyed feasting on the wasps that had taken up residence next to my mower.  ( I am not looking forward to doing battle with them today).