Artsy Wednesday – “This Ol Cowboy”

So I obviously like fly fishing, fishing, marine, sporting art…whatever you want to call it, but my favorite artwork to go look at in a gallery or museum is Western Art.  Growing up in Dallas, TX, I guess I kinda got that Texas ego where you where boots and cowboy hats even though you have never been on a horse or much less a bull, okay, I have dominated an electric bull.  When I moved to the west in 2000, I was in the mecca of Western Art, Jackson, WY.  This is where Wildlife Art and Western Art merge and the result is the finest artist and artwork living and breathing right in my midst.  My time in Jackson actually resulted in just about no artwork, none.  I lived there for 4 years and any time off, I fished or snowboarded.  I had a painting sit on an easel untouched for about a year and a half.  So, when I left Jackson and moved to Atlanta, I didn’t have the mountains, the western rivers or that certain feeling of the West that I had in Texas and Wyoming.

Here in Georgia is a town called Cartersville, and happens to have one of the top Western Art museums in the country….very random.  It took me 3 years to ever go visit it, mainly because I had high doubts that it could come anywhere close to the museums in Dallas.  IT BLEW ME AWAY!  The Booth Museum is a little jewel in a little GA town.  It rejuvenated my love of Western Art.

I started this painting 2 years ago and have let it sit.  It is a painting of a buddy of mine’s dad, David Carothers.  So, this week is finishing time.  I am going to re-wok the background and the greenery and try to finish it this week.  I am excited about this painting and hopefully it inspires me to do more Western Art.

Friday Inspirado – “The Beard”

Marc Crapo – is he “The Beard” or is “The Beard” him?

He makes cool stuff from leather, he can kill the harmonica, he farms hair and he makes cool, no nonsense fishing films….He is Marc Crapo.

Artsy Wednesday – Eric’s Etching today inspired this post from a topic they had, thought I’d share.

So, a couple of years ago I was in The Fish Hawk, the flyshop that I work at in Atlanta….in walks Eric Clapton.  With the sun shining through the window, I couldn’t tell at first who it was, and I thought to myself, “This guy looks a little like Eric Clapton,”well, it was.  I don’t really get star-struck by any means, but chills went through my body as he approached the counter.  Holy sh*t, I am about to talk about fly fishing with Eric Clapton, “Should I bring up guitar, should he tell Winwood hello for me, that solo on Key to the Highway is amazing,” no I shouldn’t.  So, we talked about Salmon fishing in Ireland, Brown Trout fishing in England and how he never really gets to fish in the “States.”

He walked around the shop, and would come back to the counter every now and then asking questions about what we catch here, “where are the good spots, how far is saltwater, are the Smokies good fishing?”  I could definitely sense that he does not get to fish much and I knew it frustrated him.  Of course I offered to take him next time he was in town.  Towards the end of his visit, he was up at the front of the store looking at some of the artwork, most of it is was mine. I decided in the moment that Eric Clapton will be leaving with a piece of my artwork, whether he buys it or not.  So, I walked up to him, grabbed a framed Brown Trout Etching, handed it to him, and he greeted it with a pretty big smile.  I told him that because he had treated with his artwork for so long, the least I could do was give him some of mine. He said in is British accent, “Oh, you’re the artist, this is brilliant.”  Sounded pretty cool to hear that from Eric Clapton!  So, to this day, I don’t know if its hanging next to a picture of he and Duane Allman, Stevie Ray Vaughan, next to a Derek and the Dominos gold record or in the bathroom by the toilet paper, but either way, to me it’s pretty damn cool!






Music Monday – What is it with so many songs about trains?

For some reason so many songs I like are about trains, or talk about trains. Of all the songs I play, about 7 of them have the “T” word, who knows why trains inspire these songwriters, but I guess it works.  Here’s a Todd Snider tune that I love called “Play a Train Song.”

I had screwed up and put a Hayes Carll song on there, oh well, here is the TS tune.

“Play a Train Song” – Todd Snider cover

“Its a Shame” – Hayes Carll Cover

Friday Inspirado

So, as an artist, I have been inspired by many other artist.  Many being “fishing” artist and many being other masters of other subject matter.  I can definitely remember the time period of which I knew I wanted to paint and draw, and I knew I loved fishing.  It was around the year 1992 or so when I walked into Collector’s Covey in Dallas, TX and saw a print of a Brown Trout underwater by the artist Mark Susinno called “On Target.”  Something about this painting made me realize what I wanted to do, what I wanted to be.  To this day, I don’t really like to paint the details exactly like Mark does, but there is something from his paintings in everything I do, to me he is THE BEST.  To this day, I still haven’t met him, but we have exchanged plenty of emails about different things from why he paints on linen, or how to get good research photography and so on, basically I ask him a question and he as always spends time out of his day to answer to the best of his ability.  Sometimes our heroes actually turn out to be heroes, he is one of mine…Mark, thanks again for the business card drawing!

“On The Nose” – Mark Susinno

Another one of my heroes is Eldridge Hardie.  I was lucky enough to say I was in the same show as he last year in Charleston, SC at the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition.  To have Eldridge Hardie come to my booth and look at my artwork was one of the most incredible moments of my art career.  I have considered his work to be such legendary status in the Sporting Art world and feel very fortunate to have met him last year.  Eldridge, if you are reading this, I still want to come fish with you this summer…lets make it happen!

“Water Walker” – Eldridge Hardie