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Fly Punk - Issue 4

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Fly Punk - No tweed, wicker baskets or trousers tucked into socks. Just a free digital magazine aimed at the fly fishing punk ... Read on and join the party ...

FLY ART ― alex (A.L.)

FLY ART ― alex (A.L.) poland― T he foundation for my current combination of passions was laid down years ago. I remember being a young boy growing up in rural Maine. I had a small wild brook trout stream in my back yard. I spent countless hours catching trout there, and learning the sounds and nuances of my environment. Back at home it was quite common to find my mother painting on her table top easel. My mother, grandmother, and great grandmother are and were all oil artists. I believe the time I spent as a young child watching them, laid down the framework for the journey that has led me to where I am today. I did not begin my fishing journey as a fly fisherman. It started as a 5 year old boy with a Zebco 202 button cast, evolved into a bass fisherman in my teens, then to surf fishing in my early twenties. Like fishing, so did my art evolve. I loved to sketch as a child and teen. Those around me always wanted me to take on painting. My mother and grandmother included, thought this would be a great avenue for me based on my drawing talent. However, even though I almost attended college for art, I never felt the need or drive to paint. Once I got to college age I gave up drawing altogether and my artistic drive turned to other more active things. As my nature is, the way I fished began to change. When I turned 28, I picked up a fly rod for the first time! This was a point in my life that I will remember forever. Suddenly, I was consumed by something that was organic, it was so primal for me. I felt connected to something bigger than “nature”. The fast paced, arrogant, prideful attitude of my youth melted. I acquired what I feel was true humility. Gone was the feeling of young grandeur, I was less important, I was smaller, I was a speck in the grand scheme of things. It was like breathing fresh air for the first time. This major enlightenment then spilled into my life off the river. My friendships were strengthened. My struggling marriage took an amazing turn, based on what the new me brought to the table. It was just crazy! With this new found passion of mine came my first experience with true inspiration. In the past when I did sketch, the hardest part was just finding something to draw. However, after I spent time looking at past fish I caught; reveling at their colors, textures, variations, and shape, this is when I said….”I need to paint”. I talked to my mother and asked what I needed and stocked up with my first oil paints. This was my beginning. Since then it has been a whirlwind of discovery and fun. Now my wife and children look forward to our weekends floating the nearby river in our raft while fishing, swimming, cooking riverside lunches, and so on. Life has taken on a new pace, and the way I measure its fulfillment has changed. Somehow fly fishing and art, have molded my life closer with those around me. My family life has been enriched. I feel like I have more to give. I have come to realize that I don't necessarily have a “work” life, "home" life, and a “play” life like many have led me to believe. When I paint, at that exact moment, I feel a confluence. A convergence of all things creating “my life”. Then when I step back and I look at my painting finished, I feel an expression of all this. https://www.alpolandart.com 30 | 31 www.fly-punk.com

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