Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Inspiration takes many shapes for me.  I like order.  My workspace below is kept in order despite the chaos my life seems to be pulled towards. Some days I feel the "oldest child" in me will be the death of me.  A topic for another therapy session.  This particular trip to the couch is reserved for those who are dear.
If you were to open up the notebook right of my Wacom Tablet you would see a long time tradition of mine I haven't shared with anyone.  Since I can remember I have been drawing notes and maps on locations fished in moleskin notebooks.  Going on ten years plus now.  This particular notebook happens to be for my son.  As we are about to embark on our first Father-Son road trip, a week long fishing adventure, I have taken to drawing the locations we will fish, including the bugs, and their materials used into this notebook.  The plan is to have all locations planned to fish written into this notebook for Hudson so some day in the future he can review our trip, maps of places fished and bugs used.  During our adventure I'm planning on adding detail to each location, only drawing out rough sketches pre-trip as place holders for the trip's happenings to be filled in... as they happen.

Please forgive my penmanship, it's a close second to my command of the English language.  I don't really know what the reason was for my first notebook. All I know is I have a couple shoe boxes full of these things now spanning the better part of the 90s and now full into the double-ought.  Places like the Baja all the way to small creeks in Winsconsota

cover the pages of journals.  I don't have many folks to share them with.  To be honest, I was a bit scared to share with anyone I have been a closet-map maker of fishing locations since I picked up a long rod.  Now ready to take H on his first road trip, I came to the thought: he will inherit these journals some day.  There is honor in that and took away some of the apprehension of sharing the activity that has consumed my time for so many years.   Granted, these sketches are far from art, but making full circle; back to art.  The space I  use to write articles, edit photos and respond to SID email has one thing in view from my seat (outside an picture of my two kids)- a painting by my dear friend Bob.  "An Outside Chance".  Bob is my inspiration.  He and I have shared a correspondence over the years that I feel reflects that of the tender-hearted forefathers of fly fishing.   Now I don't share Bob or the forefathers talent to make words dance off a page and draw a reader into their living room, but I do partake in the desire to correspond with people and on topics meaningful.

Take "An Outside Chance" (upper right corner of first photo).  A man walks a misty stream, looking for something worth casting to.  My life is this image over and over.  The hundred feet or so in front of me, is anything but clear, yet I walk.  Looking forever, for that next rise.  Bob's work speaks to me on that kind of level.  Having the opportunity to know him to will be forever one of the greatest privileges of my life. I stare at this painting daily.  For me, it is the Kinni.  The river I grew up on.  I would wake up mornings in college, after a life time of conventional fishing, and drive out to a misted - stream with high limestone walls peppered with deciduous trees and green growth.

If you get a chance, look at Whitefish studios.  Bob's paintings are everywhere an outdoors man looks, but there are such unique stories to his work that each piece shares a piece of his soul.  Those tiny pieces of Bob that come through in the paint inspire me. They inspire me to be a better person, a better angler,  a better dad.  Passing along to my son some day his art,  journals, and my story.

Take a look at Bob's stuff, see how easy it is to see yourself.


Anonymous said...

Outstanding Aaron. Those journals will be a treasure to your son.

Laurynas said...

Wow! Nice job, man :) Thanks for a hint, I'll do some sketches of places I'm going to too :)Best regards from Lithuania!

Tashi said...

These are beyond amazing. I always start one and then have trouble seeing it through. Thanks for the inspiration.

On a separate note. The SID blog now is on the right side of the page, with the adverts on the left. Is is just me or did this take a second to adjust to for anyone else?

Thoughts AO...

Peter Strid said...

Sweet. I like the idea. My little man is now 5 years old and already has a few fish under his belt on the fly rod. I'm going to follow suite. I've been painting lots of FlyFishing stuff for him also... http://stridart.blogspot.com/
Time to start a journal and incorporate my art into it.

TheGreenhornAngler said...

Moleskins are an essential tool for many aspects of life. I too have trouble keeping information flowing into the journals but I am finding with age and fishing they fill up much quicker!

Awesome work as usual!