Michigan-based artist Becca Schlaff was already an accomplished painter when a good friend—who also happened to be a fly fisherman—told her to “take a closer look at fish.” As Becca puts it, “I have been hooked ever since.” A recent recipient of a BFA in Art Education from Michigan State University, she has spent a fair amount of time exploring what really attracts her to the subject:
I find the colors and patterns of fish scales to be so striking, and when combined with looking at them in their environments (like water rushing over their scales or the sun filtering through their fins), I discovered my love of the outdoors was in a way, paralleled with acknowledging the natural beauty of fish patterns.
The results are gorgeous, bold, impressionistic portraits and details, focused mainly on the interplay of colors and patterns unique to individual fish. The trout and steelhead of her home state are her main subjects, but she has also branched out to saltwater species, such as permit and tarpon.
Read an excellent interview with Becca on the Fontanalis Rising blog. For more information and to see a gallery of her work, visit her website. Make sure to check out her blog, for an inside look on how some of these paintings are made.