Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Winter:  Is there anything so peaceful as gentle falling winter snow, especially when hunkered down in a cozy warm cabin?

Winter (Sold):


Sunday, March 4, 2018


Genesis:  The first book of the Bible; a Latin and Greek word meaning the “origin” or “beginning.”  The 5x7 landscape below features the Rahway River, in the hustle and bustle of Union, New Jersey, where two side-by-side U.S. 22 highway bridges cross over it.  It was here, back in ’62 --- lifetimes ago--- young wannabe anglers embraced the pastime of fishing, often drowning worms or drifting salmon eggs to hatchery trout.  We were young noble knights of the eternal Order of Sir Izaak Walton and the Rahway River was our preordained turf.  This was my Genesis to the eventual world of flyfishing for wild trout and bamboo rods.

Notice the trout dimple, if you can, forever burnt into the fabric of my mind.

Genesis (NFS):



Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Winter and Catskill seasons:  Is there anything as inspiring on a fleeting winter day, then a frosty afternoon trek along a snow-covered road.  Soft dabbled sunlight casts long shadows, as mountain air cools like a brick dropped from a four-story building.  Don’t dally, but enjoy the sights.

Winter shadows:




A partial wet flow, of an ice covered mountain brook, glistens in mid-day sunlight.  Unrestrained water gently gurgles meandering downstream.  In coming weeks, as snow melts, this mountain brook will bellow the loud notes of a full church choir.

Biscuit Brook winter:




For a change of seasons, we find ourselves in a Catskill hollow, where native brook trout reside in a secluded small pond.  A pond with a time-honored, weathered, abandoned structure in clear view; a clash of the present and the past.

A summer’s day hollow:




Flyfishers, the Esopus, and brook trout:  Big Bend, a fisherman’s landmark on the Esopus Creek.  It was a favorite of the late Arnold Gingrich, noted author, flyfisher, and a founder of Esquire magazine.  The idyllic scene from above has graced the pages and covers of many publications.

Big Bend, Esopus Creek (DtC):




Not far away, upstream as the crow flies, lies Jennings Pool.  Preston Jennings was another noted Esopus flyfisher, and friend of Arnold Gingrich.  He often cast his offering in this Mt. Tremper pool, viewed below in autumn attire.

Autumn on Jennings Pool (Sold):




The New York State is the native brook trout, no small wonder why given the colorful garb it wears.  The one below took up residence in the East Branch of the Neversink, a watershed home to such flyfishers as Theodore Gordon, Edward R. Hewitt, Leonard Wright, Ed Sens, and many others.

East Branch Neversink brook trout (Sold):



Monday, January 29, 2018

Life’s reflection and more Catskill watercolors:

Why (DtC):



A question living creatures often ponder, this one at the bottom of a stream with reflections of a clear net--- from above--- all about.  Why, why am I here with a fly stuck in my jaw?  Why can’t I move freely about and why is that unfamiliar round thing behind me?  Why are the lines of refracted light in such odd patterns?  Why are you and I so up close and personal?  But perhaps most pressing, why are you anglers so in love with me most of all?


A Catskill Hollow (NFS):




What is it about a hidden Catskill hollow some find so alluring?  Is it because nature fondly calls these places home?  Could it be many are the birthplaces of mighty waterways?  Perhaps the small wild trout have something to do with this affection?  Maybe on this misty, foggy, drizzly day, the very elements of life are alive in this damp, cool ravine?


Friday, January 19, 2018

Catskill brook trout:  Salvelinus fontinalis, a native New York trout, although taxonomically it’s actually a char and not a true trout.  Historically brook trout were the only Catskill trout, but nowadays brookies might not be the largest nor most cunning fish in these mountains.  However, there’s little doubt brook trout are still the prettiest of the bunch, especially in autumn spawning attire.  Typically brook trout require the coldest and purest of waters, even if it’s a little acidic.  As such development, pollution, and competition from other trout species tend to reduce the brook trout’s current range to headwater streams and small tributaries.  Typically a six-inch Catskill brook trout might be a decent size while a foot-long fish a real trophy, though in ponds and lakes brook trout can grow in stature.

How can any serious fly-fishing fanatic not love the bodily colors of a wild Catskill brook trout?  These vibrant fish are both the hunted and the hunters.


The hunter (DtC):


This trout is poised in attack mode, patiently postured for a fleeting morsel to approach within striking range.


Bewilderment:




Confused by the sting of a Brown Bivisible stuck in its jaw and a slight tug from a tippet--- working to redeploy this fish from the creek bottom’s safety, it fins in bewilderment.


A Gunks brookie (Sold):


Not all wild regional brook trout are only found in the Catskills, some might make their homes under the shadows of the Shawangunks, in white conglomerate bedrock streambeds.


Hardy and the brook trout:



Perhaps one of the most prized fly reels ever manufactured, a Hardy reel and a brook trout make unlikely unwater acquaintances.


Traver’s trout:



This watercolorist only paints original venues, refusing to mimic the work of another artist.  However, a persistent husband pleaded that she paint this scene for him, so she acquiesced.  The work was originally portrayed by Samuel A. Kilbourne (1836-1881) and later graced the covers of old Orvis catalogs and Robert Traver’s book, Trout Madness.


Friday, November 24, 2017

Recent landscapes:  We travelled a bit this past autumn, with various watercolor and oil landscapes below inspired by our journeys.

Cape Elizabeth is home to the Portland Head Lighthouse, located on the rugged Maine coastline at Fort Williams Park.  This Lighthouse has a rich history dating back to 1776 when revolutionary American soldiers stood watch for British invaders.  Construction of the Lighthouse itself began in 1787 and grew incrementally with time.  Currently the Lighthouse is owned by the Town of Cape Elizabeth, with the U.S. Coast Guard maintaining the actual light and fog signal.  The watercolor below is:

Portland Head Lighthouse:




Dark Hollow Falls Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in Shenandoah National Park.  Much of it traverses along the Hogcamp Branch of the Rose River, and is roughly a six mile roundtrip circuit located in close proximity to Big Meadows Lodge.  The falls itself is roughly a seventy foot drop in elevation.  The watercolor below is:

Dark Hollow Falls:




Clermont Manor originated in 1728 by Robert Livingston and was later home to seven generations of Livingstons until 1962.  Originally it was comprised of 13,000 acres, but the family also owned over a half-million acres in Dutchess County and the Catskill Mountains.  The word “Clermont” has French derivatives meaning “clear mountains” inspired by the scenic view of the Catskills from the family estate.  It is a New York State Historic Site and also a listed National Historic Landmark.  The oil below is:

Clermont, 11x14:





Located on the Clermont State Historic Site are several gardens.  The watercolor below is the gate leading into, and from, on such a space.

The Gate:




Perhaps no exercise is more invigorating, or rewarding, than a purposed stroll on a crisp, autumn day.  The watercolor below is:

Autumn walk: