Just a few simple designs for your humpday. Sketched this out during a very long (10hr) and unexpected stay (Thankyou winter) in an airport terminal. I think the black would make a great design for a sweatshirt.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Over a decade ago I moved to South Carolina and I took up hiking the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains. Fishing wasn't a high priority ant the time and fly fishing was a complete unknown. On these hikes I frequently found myself crossing the countless freestone streams that cascaded through ancient valleys and catching brief glimpses of active native trout. It was on one of these hikes that I ran across a fly fisherman casting to stream raised trout. Miles from a road and framed with the fragrantly green magnolias so common in the south, the angler made the picture of a classic American sportsman. He was straight out of a Winslow Homer watercolor: An Adirondack fisherman quietly alone communing with nature and casting to elusive rises. The poetic naturalist, H. D. Thoreau couldn't have placed words together to match the beauty of that moment for me.
I watched him from a distance until he coxed a trout to take a dry fly then stealthily returned to my hike. He didn't realize it, but in that quiet moment that idyllic angler hooked two creatures with that one cast. The next week I bought myself a cheap rod and reel setup and began my adventure in fly fishing. It wasn't long after that I began painting the fish I brought to hand and the rest has led me to this.
Simply put I cant get the fish off my mind. I tie flies to catch them, comb over the internet for gear to cast to them, I read about them, paint them, and have a blog and website dedicated to them. A psychiatrist might classify it as a sickness and they'd be right but its still better than the other afflictions out there.
For all you fellow sickos out there I worked up a two completely different trout this morning. Both are watercolor and ink paintings on smooth acid free Bristol paper and measure 14x11 in.
|Rainbow #1 (12/13)|
First is the classic sketch of a rainbow trout on a drab brown background. A simple illustration of a trout in full breading colors.
|Rainbow #2 (12/13)|
The next is yet another rainbow sketch with a bit of artistic liberty thrown into the mix. Two completely different styles of illustration of essentially the same trout. Love them or hate them, they are the product of a trout infused diseased mind. Enjoy.
Both Paintings Are For Sale
Posted by Unknown at 11:23 AM
Friday, December 6, 2013
Some of you might remember that my artwork is now being sold as the Chattooga River Flyshop in the town of Mountain Rest South Carolina. Well, in less than a week after being displayed in their shop they sold four of my paintings. Never one to miss an opportunity, I used my trip to pick up the check to also get in some much needed fishing. I also dropped off four more paintings to fill the holes left on their walls.
|Abel Fly Reel|
I encourage any of you that ever find yourself fishing in Northern Georgia or South Carolina to hit up the small fly shop in Mountain rest. Not only will you get to see a few of my paintings in person, but you will also be blessed with good deals and local fishing knowledge.
Now onto the fishing. After the stop at the flyshop I rushed over to the river to get a few gills on my line. I was met with a full parking lot and a dense fog rolling through the valley. Perfect fishing weather.
Fall River Bamboo and Abel Fly Reel. Fishing this combo has been rewarding and fantastic setup. The two were made for each other in terms of weight and performance but when you admire them from an artistic point of view, the combination is fantastic. Add a rolling fog into a valley greened up my a falling mist, a few hold over rainbows that were as bright as a painting and you have a scene that deserved to be filmed for the next Fly Fishing Film Festival.
And as an added bonus, before I got into my driveway, I got an email from the Chattooga River Flyshop that yet another painting sold. Looks like I have another excuse to go do a little fishing.
Posted by Unknown at 8:35 AM
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
While researching this painting I was reminded just how innovative fly fishermen are with the shear scope of patterns that have been developed to imitate these little bugs. I have no doubt that all the patterns posted on the web and in books can fool a fish into taking this midge. There are roughly over 1000 different types of Chironomidea throughout the world and since I don't think fish really care which species they eat I expect that they simply eat the ones they see floating by. But if that is the case, why don't I hook into fish every time I fish them?
I believe it has to do with the recognition of species to a specific stream. In short, what works on a Maine stream might not work on a Utah river even if both water systems are choked with the blood worms. That being said I am also convinced that there are a few patterns out there that work no mater what. So I ask you - what patterns are the most effective for you? And a follow up - do you commonly use them?
Now about the painting. I again went to the canvas on this painting with the objective of gaining experience in the medium. Determined to paint a Bloodworm I was faced with choosing the right worm to paint. Painting just a simple red line on the the canvas just didn't seem exciting enough so I choose to go with the suspended worm.
Imitating a struggling worm as it attempts to break the surface of the water, the suspended worm is a popular choice among anglers. Not only do fish see a struggling worm as a prime feeding opportunity, the white foam ball near the head of the fly allows a keen angler the ability to track the midge in smooth water.
Unfortunately I am discovering that photographing the final work is almost more difficult that doing the painting. The soft gloss effect of the paints coupled with the texture of the canvas and paints make photographing the true colors of the work near impossible.
The Suspended Bloodworm
Acrylic On Canvas
Posted by Unknown at 1:50 PM
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
It is for that reason that I decided to sit down the day before Thanksgiving and paint a representation of the mayfly. My wife may not get it but I am sure a lot of you out there will.
Having recently completed a Tiger Trout painting using acrylics on canvas I thought I'd give it another go. Using a very sparse palette of browns, yellows, oranges, and white I chose to use as little definition on the background as possible and focus instead on painting the mayfly. I then went back and highlighted the areas I needed to with whites and blacks. In the end its a painting that could easily hang over any fly fishermans tying desk.
Happy Thanksgiving Everybody !!
Acrylic On Canvas
Posted by Unknown at 4:07 PM
Monday, November 25, 2013
Derek DeYoung. Other great artists also come to mind but the real hot ticket for trout artwork has got to be Derek. His stuff is on everything from beer glasses, to flasks, fly boxes, tee shirts, and even drift boats. If you have been to a fly shop in the last five years then you have seen his work and all of it is brilliant.
Anyway, enough hero worship. I painted this just to see if I could and I think I did it justice.
So what is a Tiger Trout you ask. Its a freak of nature. A sterile cross between a Brown Trout and a Brook Trout, it is one of the few instances in the world where two groups can interbreed to produce offspring. It is only possible through a rare (or laboratory controlled) heat shock to streams where spawning Brown and Brook trout live. The dramatic change in weather allows the Brook Trout (with 84 chromosomes) fertilize Brown Trout (only 80 chromosomes) eggs and produce the distinctive Tiger Trout.
Known for their aggressive appetite for eating other fish, the tiger has been used by stream managers to control populations of invasive fish and since it is sterile there is no danger of mixing them into the native population. Eventually they will die off and the stream can return to normal.
16in X 20in.
Acrylic on Canvas
(and wife says its going into the living room, soooo Its not for sale)
(and wife says its going into the living room, soooo Its not for sale)
Posted by Unknown at 6:05 AM
Friday, November 22, 2013
|Orange Brookie Killer|
For some of you out there you might actually recognize the simple ( and poorly tied) fly that leads this post. I don't know if it has an actual name but for me I call it the "Brookie Killer". Tied with a #16 - #20 Dry fly hook, Orange dubbing, orange thread, and a little grizzly hackle wrapped around its length, this easy fly is deadly for small stream brookies. The most interesting thing about this fly is just how species specific this fly actually is. All other fish seem to ignore it completely but the Brook Trout will hunt it down with reckless abandon. It is a definite go-to fly on any brook tout stream.
Quite often the three ingredient flies are overlooked by anglers and it is for that reason I feel the need to promote them as much as possible. I am also a pathetic fly tyer but you can probably tell that.
Next up is a little creation that probable wont catch a darn thing but I got this new fur substitute and thought I would play around with it. With a #12 nymph hook, black thread, red wire, a tuff of synthetic bear fur, and some Magic Stretch to cover the body this fly will probably look better in a salty environment than my rivers and ponds. Next time I'm at the pond though I will be sure to give it a whirl. Until it hooks a fish I am holding off naming it. There are far to many flies out there with fancy names that never catch a fish and I refuse to contribute to that list until it produces.
Unfortunately if any of you had a mind to buy it from me I will now refer you to my grandmother-inlaw. You are going to have to go through her to get it. I suspect she would sell it for the right price (everything has a price) but you better bring your big boy wallet because it might be steep :-).
Posted by Unknown at 4:28 PM
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Before I was born he was working on framing up a house and took a spill from a second story roof and busted nearly all his bones in his hand. As part of his rehab he made this belt. Some of my fondest memories of him were us on Lake Don Pedro and Pinecrest Lake in hills Central California as we trolled for large lake trout. Using lures that he hand crafted and cut from copper pipes he had shaped into deadly effective spoons, we would troll around all day till the limit had been reached and then head back to do the cleaning.
Needless to say, I was extremely honored to be given his belt. I cant think of a better way to remember my grandfather than with a piece of his artwork he used. It is something I can tell my children about and it is a great way to remember a life well lived.
Posted by Unknown at 2:59 PM
Friday, November 8, 2013
Yesterday I had yet another fishing opportunity as I made a business trip up to the Chattooga River Fly Shop in Mountain Rest SC - but more on that later. After my meeting I hit the Ellicott Rock Wilderness for a little fishing with the bamboo fly rod and Abel Reel. As always the area was stunning in its beauty. The fall colors were in full blown brilliance and despite the amount of leaves and needles in the stream, I managed to hook into a few trout.
Now for some exciting news slightly related to fly fishing but I feel the need to share it with you anyways. Yesterday I was invited up to the Chattooga River Fly Shop by the owners Karl and Karen. I'll save you the details of the meeting and simply say that if you are interested in my art, there is now a physical place where you can see it in the flesh. The Chattooga River Fly Shop currently has approximately 20+ original pieces of my art now on display and for sale.
If you find yourself on the road from Atlanta north or fishing the world famous Chattooga River (that right - the river featured on the movie Deliverance) I encourage you to hit up Mountain Rest and visit the Chattooga River Fly shop. And as always, my artwork is still available at HexFishing.com.
Posted by Unknown at 7:30 AM
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
He was also a bit nervous about sticking his thumb in the fishes mouth but after a bit of schooling in how to properly hold a bass he gave it a try and luckily all the bass behaved.
Over all it was a good hour with the boy before we headed back home for some homemade pizza. I am sure it is yet another day at the pond that he will remember for quite a while.
Before we went fishing however I had a good few hours to mess around in the garage with a spur of the moment idea while walking the isles of my local hardware store. Originally I had gone there to get a chimney sweep so I can clean out the fireplace and save myself over $230. $230!!! No thanks, I'll stick to my cheap Dutch roots and do it myself. I hate going on my roof for anything but for $230 I'm not blinking an eye.
I actually found the idea for the chair on an advertisement for Delta. It was a background piece of furniture on a travel banner but it looked so easy to make that I thought it would be an quick project to get me back in the garage and out of the house. Happily it was nearly as easy as I had hoped and even though I will make a few changes to the design in the next chair, it was simple and more importantly - Cheap!
Posted by Unknown at 9:02 AM
Monday, October 28, 2013
They also asked if - since it was a gift for an angler in their life that had caught a number of Apache Trout on the Silver Creek in Pinetop AZ - could I replicate the grass and reed choked banks of the legendary stretch of water. So with greens and yellow pigments in the pallet I eager went to work painting grass.
"Release Of A Silver Creek Apache"
Watercolor on Paper
Size - Aprox 14in x 10in
Prints Available Soon
Posted by Unknown at 2:53 PM