UK painter Rod Sutterby has contributed fish paintings to several books and exhibitions
I first really noticed Rod Sutterby's paintings in the book Atlantic Salmon done in collaboration with Malcom Greenhalgh. where his beautiful illustrations make this book a special experience. In connection with a new series of articles about "Fishy artists" here on GFF, I contacted Rod, and he returned with answers to my questions and some samples of his beautiful art.
This is what Rod tells about himself:
I was trained as a "Fine Artist" and made large abstracts but I had a young family.
In the real world I became a jobbing illustrator for books and magazines and was asked to paint a minnow for an encyclopaedia of fishing.
I later progressed to painting all the fishes for "The Fisherman's Handbook and Advanced Guide" and whilst initially not owning a fishing rod, I became fascinated by all species of angler's quarry. My paintings became somewhat like cave art - they were animals from another world which I hoped to catch, perhaps even by magic.
When studying a preserved fish specimen at The Natural History Museum in London I discovered that there was sparse information about trout and salmon, other than decaying Victorian specimens. I now had a couple of rods and reels and set about trying to rectify this lack of fresh information, setting out to precisely record Salmo specimens. However, with only limited fishing skills, this would clearly take time and I quickly sought skilled anglers and authors to find fish for me and in this way learned about the hidden lives of these species.
The conservation of wild salmon and trout and respecting their life strategies has become of enormous importance, especially now, given such great global changes. These motives now lead my artwork but like the cave artist I hope I paint fishes with a hunter's eye. I have never killed a fish for the purpose of painting but sometimes of course for eating.
I use traditional materials and methods for my works: Water-colour, Oils, Acrylic, Pastel and Pencil.
Painting is my main source of income. Recently I have painted large landscapes from my local environment together with new specimens when they occur. I work in a converted hay-barn, in the remote hills of Northumberland with the River Tyne and it's tributaries nearby.
There is a permanent exhibition of my salmon paintings at The Fondation Saumon, Chanteuges, Auvergne, France.
I shall be exhibiting a one-man show of paintings at the Customs House Gallery in South Shields, Newcastle upon Tyne, from 20th October until 25th November 2006.
Contact me at my email address for enquiries, a catalogue of paintings for sale, or adding to my mailing list for forthcoming exhibitions. rodsutterby·at·beeb.net
You can find my web site here.