I live in Joplin, Missouri and love fishing the little creeks, streams and ponds around the area. I also enjoy going to Arkansas from time to time, as well as any other place that has fishable water. In May of 2011, a tornado tore through Joplin about 10 blocks south of my house. In the wake of that tragic event I did some soul-searching. In the years prior to that, I had gotten away from doing art of any kind, so I decided to take some time and create a piece for my home that I had wanted to do for several years. The piece I wanted to do was Brook Trout markings made out of Oak and stained rather than painted. I really loved working on that piece, and as I did other ideas came to mind of how I could combine my love for fly fishing and my passion to create. From there I’ve done other abstract fish markings out of wooden dowel rods as well as cutting, sanding, and staining/painting scales of different fish. Creating pieces this way gives them a dimension and texture that are unique and interesting (to me anyway!) to look at. I’ve also done several paintings and even a Tarpon piece out of aluminum that I was a TON of work but I think turned out pretty cool.
I’ve also gotten back into drawing – t-shirt designs, fly boxes, stickers, etc. I really like having fun and drawing things that I think are fun or funny. Probably the most popular things I’ve done are my pigs. I was literally in the shower one morning thinking about how fisherman call big fish they catch “pigs” and thought it would be funny to draw an actual pig with Brown Trout markings. People who don’t fish don’t get it, but fisherman see them and immediately get the joke. I’ve done several other pigs since the initial Pig Brown Trout – Smallmouth, Musky, Carp, etc.
I have thoroughly enjoyed getting involved in the fly fishing community through my art. There are so many folks I haven’t actually met, but there is a camaraderie that exists between those of us who know the joy that being obsessed with being outside on the water pursuing fish on the fly.
If you would like to order something from Nate or keep up with his latest art, go to his website, Nate Karnes – ScaleFish Studio.