Resin and Water

One of the things about creating art is the concept driven ideas behind it.  Just saying that puts those words into the abstract but there is a straddle between those two worlds and that is to bring the medium that you are using to have relevance to the work itself.  The physical when it comes to art is the medium that the artist chooses.  examples:

Painting of a sail boat created on an old sail from an old sail boat.

Carving of a tree made from wood from a tree (Lol) and where else would a person get wood to carve from?

Sculpture of a car with car metal and motor oil used as the medium.

Having brought up these loose examples it is not only the form and elements or art that are being used with the medium to exemplify another idea, but it is the physical properties of these materials that can either limit the artist or be used in a creative way to be more about an art piece than substituted, irrelevant materials ever could.


One of the most exciting things over the years has been to bring the serenity and action of water into a painting.  The strongest parts about the magic of water for me is the refraction lines on the bottom of the stream or lake that moves over rocks or a lake’s bottom.  There are the tricks that a painter will use with a curved line to show three dimension and strong shadows to create a space between the two different surfaces, like a trout sitting six inches above a stream bed.


It wasn’t until an accident happened with material that I realized the potential of using the medium of resin, could I get the properties of water as water would be seen.


This is a picture of the mistake of putting resin on canvas.  Canvas moves and resin is not malleable.  The refraction lines of the resin happening on top of the painted resin lines of the rocks were the epiphany to stop painting the resin lines and let the resin work its magic as water.

To have a big art opening I imagine a room that the viewers walk in and there is a huge sheet of resin suspended above them and the bottom of flies can be seen when looking up.  The viewer takes the place of a fish’s point of view just to kick the party off.

The art has evolved to the point of manipulating the resin refraction and shadow to start writing words throughout the piece.  Resin has the subtle nature of the refraction be subject to the light source that is being shown on the work  and to try and decipher what the words say.



The best product I have found for creating resin works of art, is Art Resin, .  It has the right consistency to pour and mixing is simple, its yellowing is non-existent when indoors, it has a quick eight hour drying time and the smell it puts out is well below the usual resin products found at the hardware store.  Its clarity and properties of water that it has lends itself to the be the perfect product for fly fishing art.





Lake Louise


There are theaters and then there are theaters!!  Looking up the lake towards the sheer cliffs that frame one of the most famous lakes in the world, has a person not only think how small they are but privileged to be alive in such majesty.


The other theatre is all the kind folks going by on the super highway hiking trail.  Everyone of them was kind and optimistic about the fly cast painting happening before their eyes!!  Except one guy that was overheard saying, “What a dumb idea”,  I think that brought the biggest smile to me.

Some of the most insightful feedback was one kid the mom called “Matt” that sat on the shore and had his own ideas of how a fly cast painting should be created.  If you are reading this Matt…well done, all ideas are considered and I hope to see you on the lake one day!!

One gal with a passel of kids was asking if there are any fish in the lake.  I replied “I have no idea”.  Under the assumption I was fly fishing the gal was sort of taken aback, and as she rounded up her kids to go up the trail in a sarcastic tone said “Good luck with that”.   It was perfect!!

One fellow from Australia I could barely understand but from what I gather he was pretty funny in what he was saying, as he laughed at all his jokes.


Lessons learned:

If there is traffic, stand in the lake or water.  Folks won’t be in your backcast, it creates more of a performance scenario and understanding for the painting, but one of the biggest things is that everyone assumes you are fishing and there is then the realization that a painting is being created and the dawning of an idea for folks is on a more pure basis and more crossover from fly fishing to painting is realized.

Get to the lake earlier!! There are busses literally  running all day long just dropping folks off to be at the lake!! You can imagine the lots fill up pretty quick.

Only give out cards to the folks that are absolutely engaged and take the interaction beyond just what is going on but talk about the potential the art has in their own scenarios.

Triptych 54″ x 24″

3, 18″ x 24″ Pieces

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“Payne’s Monochrome Trout”


So much time is spent on colors and the gnashing of teeth to get it just right.  Lets take out the color scheme and focus on form, contrast, and other elements that can excite and execute the overall concept of a trout resin painting.  Initially thinking about the possibilities of a straight monochrome painting would be created with black and white and since there was no black the unknown properties of Payne’s Grey are explored.  There is a lot of Blue in Payne’s Grey which is fitting since it deals with the general idea that water is construed as blue.  The cooler color scheme matches well with its counterpart in Titanium White.



These monochrome paintings are just fun and another line or path to be taken in the pursuits of resin paintings.  There are branches coming up with options for a stricter palette.  One side note about the resin trout paintings are the cost of frames for getting pictures framed can be an amazing amount of money.  These paintings are created within the frame itself with a rustic appeal, literal movement with the refractions and shadows, and a unique spin on seeing trout in water.

Acrylic and Resin

Firehole River


A true testament to Yellowstone National Park and it is that is an accumulation of complete…madness. Bison must be the most tolerant species ever created and it is a wonder that more people are not gored and flattened in their pursuits to be one with nature.  10 feet away, 5 feet away, I am shocked if there hasn’t been an artist out there that takes pictures of just people being brazen in how close they can get to these creatures.


Stopping at Old Faithful there was no parking, so that is to be saved for another day.  The irony at fishing bridge is the first sign you read is, NO FISHING. A three pound fish was seen off the bridge and it would have been pretty wild to imagine fisherman lined up, seeing the fish and everyone making there best attempts at the same prize.  There are some more missed photo opportunities.

One of the most appealing places for a fly cast painting comes along the Firehole River right in the heart of Biscuit Basin.  It has open stretches in which to work, there is a lot of traffic, and the Firehole River is absolutely amazing.  There is a lot of diversity in the rocks on the warm scale for color.  With a couple of springs bubbling up out of the ground the brimstone in the river bottom dominates the color palette.

Lessons learned for the park today…come early, leave late, and watch the sun on the setup.  The Fly cast process is about to evolve and my palette stand is on its last leg.  I will be looking for a more simple solution of using parts in nature for the easel and the palette will be attached to my arm for the mixing of paint.  It is almost a year to the day when this all began and I imagine that it is fitting that the next step be taken at this juncture.


18″x24″ Acrylic on Lexan


Coachman in a Pool

11″x 36″ Acrylic in Resin


The artwork needs more drama and a story.  How many different tricks can be put into the idea to make the vision representable to the world?  The coachman fly holds a special place for me since it was the first pattern used when fly fishing to catch a fish.  A very modest fish mind you, that would qualify for a sardine on a pizza but a cherished memory all the same.  Ever since then the fly fishing arsenal has contained a Royal Coachman in its ranks.


There is a certain Burnt Sienna color mixed with gold that a cutthroat’s colors will contain with a hit of green to match the vegetation on the bottom of the river. One of the things about being a painter is the excitement that happens when a color is realized.  The rich copper gold is such a color.  The spotlit effect on the bottom of the stream is particularly important to the staple of these paintings being created and it is hard to find ordinary pictures of fish in the bottom of streams with an aerial view.

A cutthroat trout is a highly prized species of fish represented in the northwest.  The spots on a fish vary significantly from region to region or in different bodies of water.  As far as drama that can be created in a painting this has the most contrast looking down to date.






The many different ideas and reasons to create art are vast in their applications.  When art is created for a specific cause there is no better reason to purchase a work when the proceeds go to something that is greater than just the art itself.  Eaglemount in Bozeman is such a cause where the folks that work for the non-profit group have the interest of the kids with special needs at the forefront of who they are, and help out.  The have a pool, horses and an immense backing of good people to see their best efforts put forth to create some pretty amazing experiences that would not happen if the good will of people were not applied.

I am honored to be a part of the Eaglemount’s efforts to generate excitement for their efforts, and in kind, they are generous to allow me to show up to their event and break out a fly cast painting.  The day would not be completely without incident but in the end one of the most vibrant trout sides would be generated.

Showing up to the grounds the weather was hot.  Out in the sun soaked parking lot, a button up shirt was apparently not the best choice as it was constricting and unrelenting to the warmth that painting was going to generate.  These were my first thoughts before the rain began to pour.

The rain washed away all my efforts very quickly and the moisture in the air was not going allow for a painting to be immediately feasible.  Stephanie Uter the program coordinator was kind enough to ask if I had another painting on standby that would work for the auction.  I did, but didn’t want to make that a luke warm plan B if everything else falls apart.  The rain eventually subsided after a little break the paint was being cast at record levels.  empty marks were being hit and the scheme came together just like I had hoped.  As another squall came through I stood next to the painting with an old piece of Lexan to cover it out in the pouring rain that seemed like it took forever.  My fingers had lost their sensitivity and the reoccurring idea kept coming into my mind how the majority of people contract hypothermia in conditions that were between 40 and 50 degrees.

By the time the sun hit the button shirt on my back it was the most welcome sensation that gave new hope to the completion of the fly cast painting.

Eaglemount was bustling with activity and walking through the door Susan saw the  work and said “I think that painting might have to go home with me”.  As the bidding began Susan was the winning bid and some of the nicest folks to meet.  I can’t say enough about the generosity and warmth at the Eaglemount event but it is definitely put on for the right reasons and with Sharon Smith making me a part of the Western Rendeszvous I am grateful.

 36″x48″ Acrylic on Lexan

Eaglemount Live Auction


Fire Hole River


If you have ever been to Yellowstone National Park and you get away from all the busses and the traffic there is a sense of foreboding of being in the absolute untouched country where anything can happen and you are all alone.  There is peace to be found and a sense of awe.  There was a conservation meeting in town the day before that capitalized on the issues facing the invasive species in the streams that are part of Yellowstone.  The activity along the banks with the entomology was intense with a flurry of caddis fluttering up out of the river in about 20 minute intervals.  What goes on underneath these waters whether there is a different species or not, still has the geological make up from history gone by that harbors a vast amount of secrets.



The Fire Hole River is just below Hot Springs that pop out of the earth.  The stream bottom is red and gold just like the title would suggest.  A slight hit of green of vegetation is on the rocks and with a heavy flow, the depths brought about a hard Paynes Grey with a cool freshness to help contrast the highlights.  Conditions were perfect for a fly cast painting.  With an 18″ x24″ Lexan surface the size of the river was likened to the range of the Gallatin River further down the valley.  Before the painting began the concept of thinking about how Burnt Sienna and gold would play against a dark back ground as if it were tiger stripes and brimstone as a fly cast painting is created where the earth begins.





18″x24″ Acrylic on Lexan