Revive - A Quarterly Fly Fishing Journal - Page 152

For as long as I can remember, drawing is just something I’ve done. In second grade, my favorite thing to draw was pictures of the Duke Boys jumping the General Lee over Shark tanks, in fourth grade it was Bulldogs with Michael Jackson costumes. I was either getting in trouble for drawing or being asked by my teachers to draw something for them.

I grew up in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. Cement Mill Creek was across the street from the house where I grew up – the fondest memories of my childhood are from catching crawdads from it, as well as fishing the ponds in the area and the French Broad River that ran near my home. Once I got into fly fishing, I spent as much time as I possibly could in the Smokies. I loved everything about fly fishing and knew it was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

I now live in Joplin, Missouri and still love fishing the little creeks, streams and ponds around the area. I also enjoy going to Arkansas from time to time, as well as any other place that has fishable water. In May of 2011, a tornado tore through Joplin about 10 blocks south of my house. In the wake of that tragic event I did some soul-searching. In the years prior to that, I had gotten away from doing art of any kind, so I decided to take some time and create a piece for my home that I had wanted to do for several years. The piece I wanted to do was Brook Trout markings made out of Oak and stained rather than painted. I really loved working on that piece, and as I did other ideas came to mind of how I could combine my love for fly fishing and my passion to create. From there I’ve done other abstract fish markings out of wooden dowel rods as well as cutting, sanding, and staining/painting scales of different fish. Creating pieces this way gives them a dimension and texture that are unique and interesting (to me anyway!) to look at. I’ve also done several paintings and even a Tarpon piece out of aluminum that I was a TON of work but I think turned out pretty cool.