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 soul-lighting rush that my art attempts to distill into two dimensions.
I'm a painter, but at my core I'm a waterman. 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 yoloboard.com). Contact me any time to check availability of original work and see what's new.
-Richie Gudzan | Founder, Paddle Out