July’s featured artist is Richard Anwyl. His love of Nature shows through in his thoughtfully crafted pieces. If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by our shop and check out some of his pieces we have hanging on our walls!
Medium/ Techniques, etc.: I’m medium agnostic but work a lot in pen & ink, pastels and watercolors, occasionally acrylics. Really enjoy story telling through collage work, but that’s more personal work.
Artist Statement: I honestly think of myself as an observer of life; it’s a conscious mindset, a way of being and seeing the world. I often say it’s almost impossible to be both an observer and participant. You can’t see all of the small nuances and details of what is occurring if you’re in the middle of the fray. I like shifting into that frame of thinking, of looking, seeing deep. … As to my art, I’m a student of line, always seeking that elusive perfect fluid stroke, whether brush, charcoal, pastel or pen, it doesn’t matter the tool. There’s an unconsciousness to a great line stroke, a seamless translation of what the eye see’s and what the hand does. That fluid natural stroke conveys so much natural energy and power; it’s why some people will say I don’t know what it it is about that piece but it makes me feel something special or different. As an artist you feel and know it as soon as you lay it down in your own work, and it’s immediately visible in the work of others. For me, my art is very selfish, it’s an expression of those things that speak to my heart, that keep me centered, the things that bring me immense joy and pleasure. There’s a comfort and calm or me in Nature, an astonishing beauty nestled up to a clarity about what is right and real. I love bearing witness, watching nature in all its moods; getting lost in the details, acknowledging both beauty and violence. It’s why photography has always been special to me as well. Because I frequently carry a camera around people always ask, are you a photographer? My reply is a constant: I’m not a photographer, I just take lots of pictures of the things that I see that spark an emotion. It’s why I love shooting people, a gesture or expression, light, color, a setting or juxtaposition, anything that ignites an emotion I’ll make an effort to capture.
Where are you from? I was Born in Des Moines, Iowa.
How did you get started in the arts? I was enthralled with bugs and animals as a small child, loved sitting in flowerbeds watching butterflies and bees. Would capture them in jars, bring them home and release them in the house. I started drawing when I was young, like most kids – notebooks, sketches on homework pages, anyplace you shouldn’t. My mother was an artist, though she never knew it, she did ceramics and had a great design eye. I learned a lot from her. I went to school at the University of Neb. and Colorado Institute of Art in Denver. Started my career in Denver in both design and illustration. Spent my career in Design working with great photographers and artists from all over the world, was really really fortunate. These days I create for myself, what speaks to my heart!
Why Fly Fishing Art? …. Man, that’s a loaded question! As anyone involved in the sport will tell you, there’s about a ten thousand rabbit holes you can go down. I have a friend who is a terrible fisherman, but makes the most exquisite original recipe Atlantic Salmon Flies you imagine, he’s one of the top fly dressers in the world. Have another who is a crazy gifted entomologists, and a top flight fishing guide. For me, it’s all about the cast. The rod and line are like musical instruments, there’s a palatable emotional beauty to how line loads and unloads a rod, captures and releases all that energy. There’s a rhythm to a cast, and if you listen closely, a melody as well. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy fooling a fish, but am far less interested in landing him than I am in making that perfect cast. It’s in part why I love sight fishing; give me the bow in gin clear water with bonefish moving and a 20 knot quartering wind. Making that cast happen correctly and then coming tight – that’s fly fishing. But I still haven’t answered your question …. Fly fishing art because fishing flies are some of the most beautiful creations out there – end of story!
Favorite Fly? Seriously? Ain’t no such thing! Favorite species and favorite fly a better question to answer. Big Georgia/Florida Largemouth Bass – – Dahlberg Diver / mouse pattern in gray. Alaskan Northern Pike, monsters – 50” plus leviathans,(my favorite species), Tarpon Snake with long bunny tail; but doesn’t matter what you throw at em’, they’re eating machines. Pretties flies, Salmon flies, gorgeous creations.
Words to live by/fish by: STOP, just look around at where you’re at, and thank God for the blessing of just being!
Other favorite artist: Oh my, they’re countless. I’ll keep it local because there are some crazy talented folks in Montana. Here are two… Bruce Park / Bozeman, his pastels are magical – 40 and 50 layers of pastels turn his work into pastel paintings. He’s just getting better and better as well. I think he’s one of the premier talents in that medium. …. Robert Osborn /Livingston, his b/w photography is so so strong, on so many levels. His series on Cowboys of Central Montana is deeply emotional seminal work. His printing is flawless and his ability to garner the kind of trust required to capture that imagery is astounding. Two greats!
Find more of Richard’s work online at rickanwyl.com or on Instagram at @therickanwyl