Juan Jose Serra
Argentinean fly fishing artist and photographer answers a few questions
Juan Jose Serra will be a familiar name to the regular visitors here on GFF. Juan is a frequent contributor to our user's pictures galleries with his excellent photos, so when Juan approached me and showed me some of his amazing paintings and inquired about being in our Fishy Artists series I was all excited. When you see his paintings on this page you probably understand why. So I sent Juan the set of questions I send to all the artists, and blow you can read his delightful replies.
How did you start working with art and with fishing related art in particular?
I started drawing when I was a child. I remember each day of those years, returning from school and taking sheet of paper right away (big if possible!) and trying to put my experiences of the day on the paper... sports mainly.
My first fishing experience was with my father at sea when I was 6. My grandfather's home was near the sea in the city Mar del Plata in Argentina, just one block from the seaside, and I can remember myself standing early in the morning, 6:30AM in front of the infinite ocean, the waves breaking, exploding against the immense rocks and the sun in the horizon.
My father preparing his rod, hooks, bait and casting! Of course I just watched him catching that corvina (redfish) as spectator. Then I had more and new inspiration for my pencils for the next many days!
I soon caught my first fish when dad bought me my own rod. He was a great traveler and he always wanted to bring us (three kids and my mother) to the fantastic places in Argentina by car during vacations.
Patagonia and trout fishing was the big next step!
The Nature there almost gave me a shock, a "hypnosis" forever. The incredible mass of the mountains, the colors, the movements of the crystal waters in the fast streams, trees in the wind and in particular... trout!
More and more "information" for me during the long, endless days of school, drawing and painting all those magic memories of summer.
Why fish and/or fishing?
I also paint other animals such as birds, tigers, horses, but as a passionate fly fisher, fish and fishing scenes are usually more inspiring to me. I always take lots of pictures with my digital camera during my fly fishing trips. Half of my time on the river is not casting, but taking pictures of fish, insects, landscapes. Eventually I have my inspiration for painting from some great photos of other photographers and flyfishers
Half of my time on the river is not casting, but taking pictures
What is your preferred method of painting/drawing/producing your work - if any?
I used to do pencil drawing many years ago. Then followed oil and acrylics, and now this last method is my favorite. Acrylics dry fast (I love it!), the colors are amazing and I like the way I feel the acrylics on the canvas, the contact, the texture, the contrast that I can obtain with them.
Is the art your main source of income - if at all a source of income - and do you do other jobs as a supplement?
Art was always a main route for me.
A couple of years in architecture, then graphic designer, photographer, painter. However, I was also and still am involved in industrial design (boats, clothing, sport supplies etc.)
Now, I want to expand my art as possible... to the canvas!
I do not consider that art and design is divided into boxes. I think that if you have sense of volume, color, space, balance... it's the same concept as music. The experience of exploring is the real joy, the colors are as the notes. There's no limit.
Can people buy your art and if so, then in which form and where?
I have a website with my fly fishing acrylic paintings. Originals and also prints on canvas and paper.
Where do you currently live and work?
I live in Argentina, about 30 miles from Buenos Aires city. I paint at home.