for some strange reason I seem to spend a lot of time painting pictures of trout. Some people say painting is therapeutic. Who knows?

A former colleague painted a beautiful bird some years ago. She brought it into the lab to show me. It was a great painting and I told her that she was a gifted artist and should stick at it but she said that painting the damn bird, far from being relaxing, drove her mad with fury. Maybe the supposed therapeutic value of painting depends on the subject. Trout might be relaxing and beneficial but birds should be avoided!

The fish I paint are trout I have come across in person so to speak, having fished the waters from which the fish were caught. I am busy painting at the moment and am trying to secure a few “keepers” which will illustrate a book I hope to publish next year.

There are four trout I want to include. One is a great big brown trout that comes from Lake Onslow in New Zealand and was caught by Murray Thompson. Another, again from New Zealand, comes from the Mataura river. It is based on the lovely fish on the home page of fishing guide David Murray Orr´s website. The two remaining trout are both from Ireland. One of these is from Lough Mask and is typical of the fish from the large limestone lakes in the west and other comes from a mountain Lough whose name I have forgotten.

The best trout from the Mountain Lough was caught a few years ago by Mark McCann. It is pretty typical of the fish that come from this remote spot. I have been painting these “mountain” trout, on and off, for a few years now and the paintings have improved over this time.

Here is a picture of Mark with his fish together with my most recent effort to paint it.

The water colour version of Mark´s trout takes shape.

The water colour version of Mark´s trout takes shape.

This is it more or less finished.

This is it more or less finished.

The real thing

The real thing