My series of paintings of fishing flies has led to quite some interesting discoveries. I found out about a film called Kiss the Water about Megan Boyd. It happened to be screened in London this week so I went along to see it. The film is a combination wonderful animated paintings and images of Megan’s Scotland, and interviews with people who knew her. Well worth watching if you have a chance to see it.
The next episode in my research for the Fishing Flies Painting series involved a little discovery. In conversation with a friend who fishes, I learned about Megan Boyd – an eccentric Scottish woman who lived a austere life in the Highlands, and created the most complicated, wondrous fishing flies.
Her fishing flies are in museums and collections all over the world, and she famously turned down a request from the Prince’s aide who, on behalf of his royal employer, asked for a few little fishing fly gems in a hurry. She was going to a Scottish dance that night.
Megan Boyd never charged more than £1 for the flies she made, which now change hands for £1000 or more. She died in 2001 a the age of 86, leaving behind a legacy of delicate beauty.
This is the second in my fishing flies painting series for Running With Brushes. I’ve been researching the subject online and talking to friends who fish. There are so many different types of fishing fly, I’m going to be spoiled for choice.
This particular fly is called General MacArthur by Darren MacEachern and Carrie Stevens – the red, white and blue, with the yellow and black flash make the US military theme quite clear. I found the painting of it a little challenging because I wasn’t in my studio so I didn’t have the brushes I would normally use.
The other Fishing Flies Painting in series so far:
So here it is: the first of the fishing flies painting. In yesterday’s post I mentioned that painting a damsel fly had led me on to an idea for a new series and this is it.
Sometimes inspiration for a subject is a bit like that word association game families play on long car journeys. I started with painting wings as an exercise in mastering strokes with a round brush, wings led me to flying insects, which led me on to fishing flies. And they have such great colours, they are a dream of a subject for a watercolourist.
Fishing Flies Painting Series
It was only a while after I had finished this painting that I remembered having seen a fishing flies painting somewhere else. Eventually, I managed to squeeze my brain enough to remember where it was: fellow 100 Wash Challenge artist, Christy Lemp posted a picture of a gorgeous fishing flies paintings on her website in May. The subject is ideal for Christy’s wonderful bright loose style. She turns them into little gems.
I enjoyed painting this one so much that I’ve decided to do a series of them for Running With Brushes. Another one tomorrow, perhaps.