I’ve been a graphic designer and illustrator for the past 18 years. But my love of art goes back to a very young age. I can remember drawing my own comics and creating art as far back as 5 years old. It’s been a part of who I am for all of my life. But it was my love of fly fishing, and the experiences God gave me in that pursuit, that brought me back to fine art with a new direction and purpose.
I’ve always been in love with watercolor and the textures it creates. I often used it in commercial illustration work whenever possible. The way that water naturally moves the paint around with little to no help from a brush stroke is just a beautiful thing. It is the perfect medium for painting fish.
After spending a few years fly fishing in Central Texas and Southern Colorado, I became inspired by the beauty that I would experience on every outing. I wanted to capture a piece of that beauty and God’s creation in a way that would combine fly fishing and fine art seamlessly.
A few days after returning from a trip to Colorado I was cleaning out supplies and poured a filter bottle full of creek water down the drain in my kitchen. Standing there watching that water swirl down the drain I realized that it was too special to just pour out. I should have kept it… for something.
As I began thinking more and more about art, and feeling a spiritual tug to put something on paper, I remembered the creek water that I had thrown out. I knew that I wanted the fish and their surroundings to be a part of my art as much as possible. It wasn’t long before I began to paint fish using watercolor combined with water from creeks and rivers where they are found. So began my quest to collect water from wherever I fished. Although it doesn’t make a visual difference in a painting, it just adds a special touch knowing that the painting contains a real piece of where that fish lives. It makes me feel as though my experiences fly fishing and my art are completely connected with each other. There’s no line that separates the two in my mind. In fact, completing a painting feels just as good as landing a beautiful fish in the net.
I now have a growing collection of river water from Central Texas and parts of Colorado, that will eventually all be used to create future paintings.
My goal with art is not to just create a painting of a fish, but to capture a feeling that the fish leaves in my memory. The places I’ve been, and experiences I’ve had fly fishing are all a part of my art. Fly fishing for me is the constant pursuit of a time and place where things fall in line at just the right moment, and painting mirrors that same experience for me in so many ways. It’s my prayer that people will look at my artwork and be reminded of God’s creation and awesome beauty, and hopefully relate it to the same experiences they've had on the water.