Published May 31. 2017 - 7 years ago
Updated or edited Jul 13. 2018

Gavin Erwin

South African artist Gavin Erwin paints wonderful pictures of fish and fishing - some colorful and abstract, some very naturalistic.

Sailfish in the surface
Warm, clear saltwater
Gavin Erwin

The first time I saw some of Gavin Erwin’s work, was on a shared Facebook photo. The vibrant vivid colors and style was really eye catching. This was a style of painting that I have not seen before.
I got in touch with Gavin via Facebook (the marvels of modern communication) and asked him if we could feature him on Global FlyFisher. He agreed and I sent him a list of questions.

When did you start painting?

My father introduced me to fishing at a very young age where he taught me to appreciate the environment around me and its not always about the fish you pursue, its about having a love for your surroundings.

Why fish or fishing specific paintings?

Little did my dad know that these outings to the dams and rivers and mountains would lead to an obsession for fishing and not long after my father would find fishy looking drawings lying around and at that point he knew I was hooked for life.

Do you paint other subject matters?

I can and I have painted other subjects in the past until I realized I don't get nearly the same satisfaction as I would when painting my underwater Edens.

Abstract adipose fin
Abstract rainbow
Abstract tarpon
Abstract closeup
Gavin Erwin

How would you describe your work? Modern, abstract, impressionistic or another style?

I've been struggling to put a label on my art for as long as I can remember, is it abstract, is it modern or even impressionistic but to be honest I don't really know and I am not in a real rush to put a name tag on. One must have the freedom to label my art they way they perceive it.

Hamill's Killer
Royal Wulff
Cameron's Favorite
Gavin Erwin

Is art you main source of income to do you paint as a past time?

It is a bit cliche but I was a struggling artist for a very long time but slowly but surly it all came together and I have clients from all around the world supporting and showing a love in my art.
My days consist of sitting/standing in my studio painting away listening to good music.

With what do you paint? Oil Acrylic?

With the love of art one must always find different mediums to keep the creative juices flowing as to not sit stagnant with the same old stuff. I tend to chop and change between acrylic to pencil to sharpie pens and sometimes even a little metal work.

Any specific preferences?

As I say I chop and change between mediums but I always love a very detailed acrylic work which in comparison takes way longer to complete but is hugely satisfying once it all comes together.

Fra Diavolo
Full dressed
Gavin Erwin

How do you decide on a theme for a painting?

A decision on which art piece is on the table or still in my head is completely random depending on which image has inspired me or even what mood I am in on the day on the hour really... kinda like fishing, sometimes you are in the mood to throw a tiny midge pattern at a cruising brown trout in the middle of the Drakensburg and sometimes you wish you had a 50kg tuna on the line breaking your back.

Rock cod
Gavin Erwin

Favourite theme to paint if any?

My favorite theme is fish fishing and anything to do with it.

Where do you stay?

I am situated in Bedfordfiew Johannesburg South Africa.

Do you have formal art training? Or self taught?

I am basically self taught and uninfluenced in my technique thus the struggle to put a tag on my style in which I create art.

Gavin Erwin

Do you fish yourself? What type of fishing?

I am obsessed with fishing in general and it is difficult to single out a favorite. Just like my art I go through moods and that translates to canvas and I find fishing is very much the same for me I love it all. I am an avid fly fisher and fly tier but light tackle spinning and big game fishing is an equal passion of mine depending on my mood.

How much research do you do for a specific painting?

Sometimes I need research and and inspiration for painting and the best way to get this is to get out, go fishing take photos soak it in. Sometimes it comes straight from my brain to my hand so it really all depends.

What are your inspirations?

My inspiration is fishing and everything that goes with it including wild life, trees, mountains streams and deep blue seas, I just cant get enough.

From above
From above
Gavin Erwin
Gavin Erwin

Dream fishing destination?

To be honest I couldn't pick one ultimate fishing destination with so many spectacular places on this planet filled with fish to be landed on rod and line.
But If I had to pick a few... let’s see...
Popping for big Ignobilis (Giant trevally) alongside the cliffs of Oman which shares its border between 3 countries, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Holding some of the biggest GT's ever recorded and a plethora of other angling species.
New Zealand would be my next bucket list place due to the size of the wild brown trout swimming in those pristine rivers and its abstract and beautiful scenery.
My 3rd destination would have to be targeting big Barramundi on fly in Australia, due to the acrobatic show and the pure brute force on the initial run spending most of its time in the air.
I could go on all day but you get the just of it.

Reel design - heads
Reel design - fin
Reel designs
Gavin Erwin

Do you do commissions?

Commissions is a very popular thing for me. You can paint a set of your favorite fly's or even a scenario involving your trophy Sailfish or wild Rainbow Trout

The studio
The studio
Gavin Erwin

How can people buy your work and where is your work available?

The easiest way would be to come straight to me via phone number, email, Instagram or Facebook or come visit me at my Gallery/Studio where it all goes down.
28 York Road
South Kensington
Johannesburg 2094
South Africa
Phone: +27 726860825

More fish
Gavin Erwin

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