Talent and Motivation for Marine Artists

Four artists discuss their motivation

Four American marine artists tell us what motivated them. Courtesy Brian Kolshak, Courtesy KC Scott, Courtesy Chessy Ricca, Courtesy Jason Mathias

Brian Kolshak. Amelia Island, Florida

Brian Kolshak
Brian Kolshak Courtesy Brian Kolshak

My parents are the reason I’m a marine artist. I was fortunate enough to be exposed to fishing and spearfishing with my dad when I was younger, and my excitement for it has never stopped. My mother is an artist also, and as a child, I would sit with her as she painted portraits, trying to copy her. Eventually, my elementary “doodles” became decent sketches, and my sketch pads quickly filled up. The two passions naturally merged, and I’m inspired by others’ love of sport fishing. I still can’t believe I get to create drawings and marine-art commissions for so many offshore enthusiasts around the world.

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KC Scott, Lake Park, Florida

KC Scott
KC Scott Courtesy KC Scott

When I was a child, my father and grandfather got me hooked on the world of fishing. Just like fishing, art has been a major part of my life since I was very young as well. Naturally, I drew and painted the things in my life that I was most interested in, fish being one of them. In 2008, I started to focus full time on my art, recognizing an opportunity in sport fishing that would allow me to pursue it as a legitimate career. 
To bridge two of my lifelong passions—sport fishing and art—is more than a dream come true.


Chessy Ricca, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Chessy Ricca
Chessy Ricca Courtesy Chessy Ricca

Have you ever looked at a fish up close the moment it’s pulled from the water? After all of the chaos is over and the adventure becomes still, your heartbeat settles down to normal, but the fish is still there, its colors as vibrant as ever. There is so much more to the experience of a catch. For me, the real beauty lies in the intricacies of a fish’s face. What might initially look silver to us is really a rainbow of pigments and mutations. As an oil painter and historian, it is my goal to capture those hidden colors using classical techniques to help describe the story—the one that lives in your memory forever.

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Jason Mathias, Stuart, Florida

Jason Mathias
Jason Mathias Courtesy Jason Mathias

Growing up around my grandfather’s South Florida offshore charter boat, Do Stay, my father’s inshore flats boats, and spending time underwater in the Florida Keys had a huge influence on me. Back in the 1980s and ’90s, underwater cameras were large, expensive and almost nonexistent, and no one at the time was privy to that underwater imagery. I wanted to be able to share that with the world through art. The underwater effects on light and the influence on color and form fascinated me, and I really wanted to capture that on canvas.


This article originally appeared in the April/May issue of Marlin.


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