A Ducati riding, Wyoming roaming, fly fishing girl born in Tennessee...
"She's a Ducati riding, Wyoming roaming, fly fishing girl born in Tennessee... "
This is how fly fishing artist AD Maddox is introduced on her web site, and an introduction that has exactly the effect that I suppose was intended: I gotta know more about her!
But it actually wasn't this intro that stirred my interest as the first. I don't remember where I saw AD's beautiful, bold and colorful paintings the first time, or even which sighting that made me contact her. AD's paintings are all over the place: on book and magazine covers, on catalogs, in articles, even on clothing. They can also be found several places online.
As a part of my long running article series on Fishy Artists, it was natural to contact AD and run her through the mill of questions and get art samples for an article.
AD is quite a brand, and even though I tried, I couldn't track down her real name. It was AD Maddox no matter where I looked.
So I simply asked whether it was a secret, and AD replied with a smile:
- Hahaha! AD stands for Amelia Drane. I'm Amelia Drane Maddox, and I'm a brand! I love it... That was my goal!
1000$, 20 minutes
- My first trout piece sold in the gallery in 20 minutes for $1000, AD tells me, and continues:
- Not a bad beginning and a career was born.
Not bad at all.
The story is that she actually started painting on furniture back in 1998. AD tells about the transition to fish paintings:
- The furniture was sold in a Center Street gallery in Jackson Hole. The gallery owner suggested that I paint trout as a subject. She said they would sell.
And sell they obviously did. The first thousand dollars after 20 minutes. No wonder AD's career took a turn. She started fishing to have references for her work. As she explains:
- I fell in love with the sport and the vivid electric colors of the trout. The adrenalin I got from catching was a rocket ride. So quiet hours in the studio followed by adrenalin in the field. This balance worked for me.
Oil on Belgian linen
AD paints with oil on Belgian linen. She calls the method so simple you could miss the process in a heartbeat and end up making the task your worst nightmare. She explains her work process like this:
- My method is look... Don't think. My art is a gift and an outward flow. Thinking gets in my way... Just stand in front of the easel and paint.
And it does sound easy, but as she says, it requires exactly that: many hours in front of the easel.
- Each piece goes through the same process: Drawing the image, basecoats, layers upon layers, corrections, tweaking, more layers, glazing and the finale - signature! Presto!
And with a smile she adds:
- Now doesn't that seem simple, Martin?
"Now doesn't that seem simple, Martin?"
A pro for 15 years
AD has been living off her work for 15 years.
- No other jobs, as she says.
- I'm very lucky.
People can buy all forms of her work in her online store: originals, prints and even post cards. There are contact links for people to reach her personally all over the site. One good reason to contact AD is to commission work. She can do custom pieces based on your ideas, a photo or some other source of inspiration. But expect 3-6 months delivery time.
AD also sells her work through her own site ADMaddox.com as well as in a couple of galleries:
- My work is available in Jackson Hole at the Wyoming Gallery and here in Nashville at Fly South flyshop as well as my studio in downtown.
AD lives in Nashville nine months of the year and then spends the summers in Emigrant, Montana.
- That's my fishing time.
No other jobs. I'm very lucky