Friday, January 4, 2013

Wooden Steelhead

Happy 2013! This past December I finally completed an ongoing project for an old friend just in time for Christmas. After a very successful fishing trip to upstate New York for steelhead, James Capes of Autumn Brook Angling and I came home with dozens of great pictures of these amazing fish. With the amount of really good reference photos I definitely thought about doing a painting, but I remembered something James had mentioned during the 5 hour drive up. Apparently back in the day some enormous salmon were caught in the area we were going to in huge numbers. Since they were only meant for food, they would record the sizes of the largest ones by tracing the outline against a wood plank and cut out the silhouette. With this idea in mind coupled with a few years of high school wood shop under my belt, I decided to go for the appearance of a mounted fish. Although challenging at times, combining wood carving with painting worked out really well for this piece, especially after spraying it with a high gloss lacquer at the end; this made the fish appear wet and more lifelike. As a strong first attempt at something like this, I could definitely see doing another one now that I have a system in place.

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