Returning to The River

Winter's Remains

Winter’s Remains

The time finally came to return to the river after a brutal Midwestern Winter.  The first day on the water for the year is always special, no matter the outcome.  As I drove east on highway 94, I suspected that many people in the colder regions of the US would experience the same ritual over the first few weeks of March.

My return to river brought the first fish of 2014 to hand, and buoyed my body and mind with fresh air, cold hands and familiar smells.

The lasting affect of this return was clarity of thought, or perhaps rather, questions on matters that until I set foot in the water, had been lying hidden from view. Frozen in too much time watching the internet.  Too much time thinking about what they are doing.

river23As a result of my return, two things have started to become clear to me pertaining to my creative output:

1. The river and land are my places of all things mind/body/soul/vibe/high frequency/etc, and I don’t attend their services as often as I should.  Without this time getting wet, slimey, dirty, sweaty, freezing my hands and taking part in Nature’s cycles, my creative output is grossly misinformed and misdirected.

2. Time in these places always reveals how messy and “imperfect” the balance of life is.  In my absence in the last 5 months or so, I lost my way.  I strove to define, contain, and push my illustrative chops.  What I have forgotten is that this pursuit is not me.  I’m messy.  I’m happy, productive and moving forward when I see, create and appreciate the harmony within the mess.  Too rigid, not enough distortion.

It tells me to keep it loose.  Keep it a bit more on the edge.  It’s ok to falter, ok to not be the best, ok to not be good at something; let the work fail, and let the work sing.  Return to a mode of creating, an aesthetic long followed but temporarily lost, and the work will progress.

Return to The River | 2014 | 6" x 12" | Mixed media | Collaboration with Arlo Keeler

Return to The River | 2014 | 6″ x 12″ | Mixed media | Collaboration with Arlo Keeler

Tight lines and horns high amigos.

On it

Thank you Simms for these great gloves so I can draw a permit in my freezing basement

Thank you Simms for these great gloves so I can draw a permit in my freezing basement

I was planning on doing some drawing today, but it kcked into higher gear when I saw this.

I’m a fan of Surly.  I know those guys.  I’ve been pining to pen some bottle/can art for them for the last 2,000 years.  I now have my chance. I make no assumptions, just going to put my work out there and see if it gets in where it fits in.

So, a couple sketches this morning, a nod to the old Creator/Destroyer in the basement, and finishing off a Permit drawing while rocking my Simms gloves.

God damn.  Making art is awesome.

Have a good one amigos!


Pilecastius the Dragon Slayer



Pilecastius the Dragon Slayer (Necromancer 2) | 2014 | 12″  x 6″ | Pen and watercolor on paper | Prints available here:

The second finished piece in the Necromancer series goes out to Pile Cast – a wicked cool fly fishing blog by a wicked cool guy.   I’ve received a good deal of support from him, so in a way, this drawing is a way to say “thanks”.

At large, there is an underlying theme to the Necromancer series developing; I could pick any subject, personal or unknown, to base these images on.  So far, I’ve chosen to pick people/subjects that have had an influence on my life as a fly fisherman.  I think that personal connection helps drive these pieces, it helps generate motivation and inspiration. 

I also pick scenes that say “Heavy Metal” while they say “Fly Fishing” – I mean, why the hell would I draw anything else right?

Horns up.



Friday nights


Deadlines at work, a lot of unfinished drawings, and the to-do list never ends – I feel bloated.  Need to get some of these projects d.o.n.e.

All in good time.

It’s Friday night, and this husband and father just came off a 50 hour work week.  Not complaining, just relishing a Friday night in the basement with my drawings and what-nots.

Drinking some German Craft Beer, and some of that new shizz from my peeps at Summit.  Strollin’ down memory lane, appreciating those good times.

Hope you’ve got a cold one and feeling of accomplishment tonight.  Cheers amigos.