Last week we kicked off our February Giveaway, featuring three of Sarah Landstrom's Canvas Prints. Sarah's artwork speaks undoubtedly speaks for itself. However, there is much to her than classic trout art. This past week I got the chance to sit down with her catch up on everything from how she got started fishing to her plans for 2017. Here is what she had to say.
**Remember to use coupon code LANDSTROM2017 when checking out online to qualify for the drawing
Trouts: Sarah let's start from the beginning. What got you started with Fly Fishing? How has it impacted you since?
SL: I stumbled upon fly fishing. I mean, really stumbled upon it. I was hiking a trail along the Missouri River in Montana, when I came across my friend Kathleen who was learning how to cast. I hopped down to try it out, and fell in love immediately. Back in my home state of Michigan I had grown up spin fishing, but fly fishing was a completely different experience. Since that first day, I have fly fished everywhere I've moved. Montana, Michigan, New Hampshire, Alaska, etc. And it has been the perfect partner to my painting practice.
Trouts: What is your idea of a perfect day on the water? Where would you be?
SL: My perfect day on the water would probably have to be somewhere on the North Fork of the Blackfoot River in Montana. Back in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Just able to spend the day hiking to new spots and watching bull trout run after the fish on your line. It really doesn't get much better than that. I'm hoping to have many days like that this summer.
Trouts: You have kind of erupted on the fly fishing art scene, your work certainly shows a serious talent. How did you get your start on that side of things? Are there any similarities between fishing and painting?
SL: Painting fish came pretty organically when I moved to Chicago for Art School. I wasn't able to fish regularly, so I ended up painting the Trout that I was missing so much. But as far as getting into the Fly Fishing art scene goes, I did an immense amount of research before getting my work out there. I contacted galleries, fly shops, etc but really found the most guidance talking to other artists that I admired who were part of that community already. They were all extremely generous and helped me find my footing. I hope I can show the same kindness to other artists some day.
Fly Fishing and painting have become really interdependent to my practice. Not because they are similar, but because painting has changed my relationship with fly fishing, and vice versa. I've gained such a deep respect for these beautiful fish. Every time I take in the colors, I instantly think about painting and how I could possibly try to capture the beauty and feeling of the moment.
Trouts: Do you have any personal favorites? What has been your best project?
SL: My most recent work is almost always my favorite. You become so attached to a piece when you spend that much time with it, and it can be hard to let them go unless you're working on something new.
My favorite project was probably the first boat I painted. I was extremely nervous having someone entrusting me with their boat. Thankfully, it turned out beautifully, and lead to so many amazing unforeseen changes in my artist career.
Trouts: What is your favorite species of fish to paint?
SL: I absolutely love painting Cutthroat trout. The saturation in the cheeks, and really distinctive spots are so beautiful and so unique with each fish. They're so naturally dramatic looking just in color, it's incredible.
Trouts: What are your plans for 2017?
SL: This year is dedicated to getting my work out there, which means it'll be a big travel year for me. I'll be heading out to Montana and Colorado for various events this summer, as well as making trips to lodges in New York and Iceland. With plenty of fishing and painting in between, of course. Working with new species from those different areas.
Trouts: Anything else exciting we need to know? Besides fishing and painting what else should we know?
SL: I am extremely excited to be one of the many women in the fly fishing industry. It's been so inspirational to hear the testimonies of women who have worked so hard to gain a place in such an incredible community of people. I would really encourage other women to reach out to their local fly fishing shops to see how they can get involved on a local level.