Tim Gault

One of the highlights of this past summer was to get to talk to Tim Gault. An avid fly fisherman, artist and conservationist. Here is a little bit about Tim and what he does in his own words. Definately worth the read.

Pictured here is one of my favorite pieces and one of many that Tim has made.

“I’m a professional designer, creative director and fine artist living in Portland, Oregon. When I’m not in my studio, I’m often found roaming art galleries and museums, enjoying live music or sports, fishing, or doing things with my family. I’ve been creating art my entire life and painting specifically with watercolors for over 20 years.

My Passion for Nature:

My fish paintings are meant to be reminders of just how beautiful and exciting these simple creatures can be. We’ve probably all been around a stream or lake and caught a glimpse of a fish jumping or flashing by underwater. Maybe you’ve watched a trout swimming behind a rock, it’s tail waving back and forth at just the right speed to hold its position as it awaits its next meal to drift into view. If you have, I think you’ll agree it’s a pretty cool moment when you get to experience this elusive and fleeting view of a hidden world.

This is the feeling I really want to express in my paintings. I want you to feel as if you’ve just caught that momentary glimpse of a sleek and beautiful creature partially obscured and distorted by the flow and glistening of the water in which it moves and lives. The patterns of refracted light scattering through the water surface and dancing across the fish add even more beauty, which is a theme I’ve grown more and more interested in portraying in my work.

More importantly, I worry about the health of our waterways, along with the rest of the environment on our priceless and beautiful planet. Fish habitat and numbers have been dwindling for decades, often due to little thought for the impact of our social and economic decisions on the wildlife we know is there, but aren’t confronted with on a personal level. I want to draw attention to how special and important our fisheries are by taking them from the hidden pools and eddies out there in the wild, and placing them smack dab on the walls, clothing and products we encounter daily. I hope my fish paintings can have a positive impact, no matter how small, on the struggle we humans have to live in harmony with nature.

My Technique:

When painting, my goal is to always maintain control of every stroke, drip, wash, glaze, shape, line, color, value and texture I’m using. However, one of the truly beautiful aspects of watercolor is its tendency to give accidental and unexpected results, especially when painting with what’s known as wet-in-wet technique. Just as it sounds, wet-in-wet simply means painting with wet paint on wet paper. The reason unexpected things can happen when doing this is because the paper doesn’t stay completely wet for very long. So if I brush clear water on the paper, then brush wet paint, then more clear water followed by more paint, certain areas have started to dry and interesting things happen when wet areas run into half dry areas. The results are very hard to control and don’t always work out for the best, but they can often add the interesting and beautiful effects that make a painting unique and exciting!

This technique is exactly how my paintings typically start out. After several hours of work, I let the painting dry, then I do a new layer over top being careful not to cover over the most exciting or interesting areas of the first layer. This second layer is typically done in a combination of wet-in-wet and wet-on-dry paper as I more distinctly define the shapes of the subject I’m painting. I continue to work layer after layer in this way, letting each one dry after spending several hours.

How many layers do I use? It just depends upon how many it takes before I feel I’ve achieved my personal interpretation of the subject. Also, I feel strongly that a painting is only as good as its weakest area, so it’s important to be thorough. Sometimes this means doing more work on a painting I thought I’d finished a month ago, because seeing it with fresh eyes I notice something not to my liking. It happens all the time. It’s tricky though, because overworked watercolors loose their freshness and that’s not good. Part of being a good artist is knowing when a piece is finished, which is much harder than it probably sounds!”

I really want to thank Tim for sending out some samples of his work. His technique and eye for colors and design is second to none.

Check out Tim on his website or any of the links below. Tim also has an Etsy shop where he sells his art and right now he is running a special free shipping deal now through the holidays.





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