Paddle Out Studio

Original art for the waterman's soul, by Paddle Out brand founder, Richie Gudzan.

Art has everything to do with water. If you’ve ever ridden a board, eddied out in a canoe, been entranced by tailing redfish, or felt a roll cast come peeling off your fly rod, you’ve felt the same creative inspiration / satisfaction that comes from putting a brush to canvas. For most of us who surf, fish or paddle, the inspiration we get from our time on the water is just too much to keep inside. Some of us make music, some of us paint, and some are just artists with their craft – be it board, rod, or vessel. Point is, if you spend enough time in the water, you get it.

I'm a fisherman, surfer, paddler, and painter. The sea is my muse. I love the lines of a wave, the way light refracts off water, and the incredible color palette of fish. My latest interest (i.e. obsession) is gyotaku – pronounced “ghee-oh-TAH-koo”; meaning “fish rubbing” in Japanese – an old technique from before cameras were available to document a trophy catch. Basically, I start by brushing ink or paint directly onto actual fish I catch (responsibly & sustainably harvested), then gently lay handmade paper on top to reveal a life-size imprint of the catch. The best part is that the fish can still be cleaned, filleted and eaten after printing, so nothing goes to waste! While the traditional Japanese prints are black & white, using sumi ink and rice paper, I’ve adapted the technique with a modern twist on structure, composition, and vibrant color. 

I frequently exhibit my work at shows and art festivals around the Southeast - see a few samples below. You can also find some of my art on stand up paddleboards by YOLO Board (see Contact us any time to check availability of original work and see what's new.

-Richie Gudzan | Founder, Paddle Out