John Piacquadio | Montana Artist & Flyfisherman
John Piacquadio's path to art isn't a typical artist's story. John always wanted to be a fisherman, even as a little boy...growing up in the Bronx. The city boy did get to go fishing once a year off the Jersey shore with his friend's dad, where he fell in love with angling for ocean fish. Later in his childhood, his family moved to Connecticut, where John self-taught himself fly fishing. He became obsessed and fantasized about being on the water always.
Art entered his life around the age of 12, and he later went on to study fine art and religious studies at Connecticut College. Along the way… some mental illness, some struggles with addiction, some fly tying, became an addiction therapist, got into mindfulness, moved to Brooklyn to Minneapolis to Mexico to Montana to Utah and then back to Montana. Currently, John is guiding fishing, returning to addiction counseling, and of course, making art John's love of art, fishing, and meditation finally melded to create the beginnings of ZenFlyArt.
"I came up with the idea for this body of work on my porch one night,
thinking about what it would be like to combine a few important aspects of
my life … meditation [along] with my love of fishing and art."
"I wondered if I could express it in an unforgiving medium. I started with
brush and ink, striving to be true to that fly, most of the time without pencil
drawing, capturing it in an sumi-e inspired work of art."
John's art quickly became loved by his fishing clients. Many asked John to paint the fly they had used to fish together. That's when his art evolved to include many commissioned pieces commemorating fishing trips for anglers. John has loved creating these fishing "trophies"; in addition to painting other subjects that inspire him.
While John is usually either tying flies and painting in his studio or fishing (either in Montana or abroad, or most recently in Colombia), John also spends time as the artist-in-residence at The Ranch at Rock Creek near Philipsburg, Montana, where he was a fly fishing guide before pursuing art full-time.
To learn more about John and his fly fishing art, read the articles or listen to a podcasts below.
Read articles featuring John Piacquadio and ZenFlyArt or listen to him talk art and fishing as a guest on podcasts below
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