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Showing posts from February, 2018

Wet Paint! Big things in small packages.

© 2018 Kelly Reark,  Orca 2018 . Watercolor on hot press paper. (8 x 4.5 inches) " Orca 2018"   Inspired by a recent trip to Sea World and some upcoming contributions to the Ocean Foundation, I painted this watercolor portrait of a beautiful killer whale. I was fascinated with the way the colors of the arena bounced off of their slick rubbery skin. This piece was the smallest in the February art launch, and sold to one of my Very Important Patrons (VIPs) who just so happens to have a love for those same Orcas at Sea World. Art Trivia - Did you know that the Mona Lisa is only about 20 inches x 30 inches?  VIP EMAIL SIGNUP  (Get access to my art before it goes out to the public!)

Manatee Love

"Manatee Love"  was the second piece in my February 2018 art launch. These gentle manatees have such squishy whisker faces just begging for a smooch. A few years ago I swam with them in the Crystal River and Kings Bay springs here in Florida. I now know why people love them so. My VIP email subscribers see exclusive first looks and  first dibs . "Manatee Love" will  not  be reproduced as a limited edition print. One of my VIPs purchased  "Manatee Love"  before it was ever even seen by the public during the private art launch. She got this one of a kind, original watercolor of mine before you ever even knew it existed and what's more is that she got it for only $150 . Now do you understand why getting on my email list is so darn important???    VIP EMAIL SIGNUP © 2018 Kelly Reark,  Manatee Love . Watercolor on cold press paper. (8.5 x 8.5 inches)

ROFFS Artist of the Year 2017-2018

© 2017 Kelly Reark,  Sepia Sailfish . Acrylic on fiberglass. Kelly Reark Chosen as 2017-2018 ROFFS ™  Artist of the Year In a press release on November 16, the announcement was made that I won the Artist of the Year title at ROFFS™. What an honor to be among this elite group of artists! ROFFS™ annually selects an artist to feature as "Artist of the Year." The purpose of this honor is to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with artists in the marine community. Artists are selected based on a variety of objective and subjective criteria. ROFFS™ promotes the Artist of the Year and does not get a commission or any direct financial benefit from this. They just love really great marine art! Previous recipients have been Don Ray, Steve Goione, Carey Chen, Kevin Brant, Barry Barnett, Daniel Jean-Baptiste, Mark Ray, Tony Ludovico, Judy Shillingburg, Larry Rackley, David Mellor, Dustin Cole, Dennis Friel and Adrian Gray. Click here to go  to the ROFFS™ websit

Bahamas Royalty

© 2017 Kelly Reark,  Bahamas Royalty   Permit. Acrylic on fiberglass fish mount (34" Permit) The idea for Bahamas Royalty came through looking at photos of my last trip to Marsh Harbour. A queen triggerfish, queen conch, queen angelfish, silver king ... so many royally beautiful fish from our daily dive! Having a marine biology background, I enjoy the research involved in preparing a work. I look at the entire ecology of the main subject: the habitat, lighting, supportive species, food source and biology. Days of sketching later, I settle on my idea and got to work with the paint. My process is to sketch multiple views of each creature or landmark. Then I use transparent paper to make an outline and work out the best placement on the fish mount. Many of my sketches and images are saved for another project because my ideas are usually too many for one fish mount. The next step is to antique the areas that I want to give that "old paper" look and to pai

Inside Joke

The inside joke ... When I paint, my style is realistic surrealism. I enjoy the challenge of accurately painting God's creations in somewhat ideal settings, and I also enjoy infusing humor or sarcasm. Here is my FL lobster - we call lobsters "bugs". These bugs and all sorts of other bugs are a fact of life here in FL. This one is hiding under the fin of the mount, which I have painted with a Kino flipflop. I don't know about you but when I see a bug in my house, my Kino is usually the first thing I grab. 

Dads who fish raise kids who fish

I was lucky growing up. My dad is part Indiana Jones, part Bruce Willis and part Steve Irwin (before any of us knew who Steve was). He taught my brother and I how to hunt, fish, use weapons and use our heads in the Great Outdoors. We learned to take only what we needed, to not kill anything we weren't prepared to eat, and to leave nothing behind. We learned how to be happy no matter the weather, or at least be quietly unhappy when the waves were taller than the sides of the boat. We've had so many great adventures together as a family. Now that we are grown with families of our own, we choose to get together and continue our adventures! There's no place any of us would rather be than together in the woods or on a boat somewhere. Even when we disagree, we try to disagree over a campfire or a bait well. Our family is strong because of the love and learning provided by our parents. If you are blessed to be a father or grandfather, or if you might someday be one, tha

Are tarpon scales real silver?

Are those tarpon scales real silver? It sure would seem that way! Congratulations to Alex Shouppe's team on the HEY MOMA! with Captain Wayne Joiner for their $32,400 first place win in the 2017 World's Richest Tarpon Tournament. Captain Wayne also took home the Jay Joiner Memorial Belt Buckle. The first fish caught and second place prizes went to the Wise team aboard Captain Charlie Coleman's CASUARINA. Combined winnings collected by Howard Wise's team amounted to $48,600. Captain Nat Italiano and SPOOK hosted Howard Franklin's team. They caught the last fish of the tournament and won $27,000. Nat joked with me that their fish was probably worth about $1,500 per inch. Maybe an exaggeration, but still proving it doesn't have to be a record-setting fish to win a record-setting prize.  Goodbye, my love. Many of you braved the heat to catch up with me at the Boca Grande Invitational Art Festival, and I am SO thankful for that! Great to

World's Richest Tarpon Tournament 2017

Break Out the Big Guns ... It's time for the World's Richest Tarpon Tournament! I am proud to announce that my artwork will represent the 2017 World's Richest Tarpon Tournament this week. First prize in last year's WRTT was $39,000 (prize amount depends on the number of boats). There's also a rodeo-winning-cowboy-sized belt buckle up for grabs. I am sure it would look great on a shelf, but can you imagine the looks if you were to sport that baby with a Columbia and some flipflops? The tournament is Thursday and Friday, May 25-26. To go along with the tournament and silver king celebration, I will be participating with approximately 50 other marine wildlife artists in the invitational fine art festival in downtown Boca Grande. My brand new Tattooed Turtle shell will be on display during the event. The art festival is Friday and Saturday from 10 am - 4 pm. If you haven't purchased your 2017 WRTT Tervis tumbler or fishing shirt, they are in short supp

Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament

What Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament means ... For more than a decade, my mom and I fished the  Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament   together in Boca Grande Pass aboard my dad's boat - the SALTY CRACKER. Mom and I love fishing, and it is something many mother-daughter teams share in this particular tournament. Ladies Day has traditionally been fished on Mother's Day weekend because it is the one weekend during tarpon season when captains would reserve a tide and take their spouses and daughters out on the water to have a family day instead of taking a charter. In the beginning we were all just out there together, taunting and fishing and waiving to the other women in the Pass. Through the hard work of some very special ladies, the first official tournament was fished in 1990. Forward, 27 years later, there is as much camaraderie and competition as ever. There are great prizes and shenanigans too. It's the one big tournament where female anglers flood Boca Grande Pass

It's more than a mount ... it's a memory.

Within Reach tattooed tarpon mount (C) Kelly Reark It's more than a mount ... it's a memory. From the very first tarpon mount I created, I was "hooked" on this unique art form. Every one that I do is completely original and individualized to the story behind it. Most people that ask me for tarpon mounts want to be reminded of the beauty and historical sites in Boca Grande, or the fantastic memories made while catching their Silver King. In addition to the very popular tarpon mounts, I have created some sea turtle mounts and am currently working on a free-standing snook mount. Sign up for my VIP Patrons emails to see photos first.

Wet Paint! Turtle Jelly

© 2018 Kelly Reark,  Turtle Jelly . Watercolor on cold press paper. Wet Paint!  As my VIP, you get exclusive first looks at my completed new art pieces. You also get  first dibs  on purchasing them before I make a public art launch! Isn't that exciting? I've been working on some pen and ink drawings combined with experimental watercolors. These various pieces will  not  be reproduced as limited editions. They are meant to stand alone and be special original works. So that's it! It's first come, first served. In seven days, I will make the offering public if it has not sold to a VIP. "Turtle Jelly"  is the first piece I launched in February 2018. A sea turtle is diving in fast toward a stylized moon jellyfish. I used a very graphic, illustrative style. The line drawing is pen and ink using various brush tips and it really highlights each scale and shell plate in contrast to the loosely painted water. ($150) This painting sold within


There have been multiple asks for a link to my VIP email signup form. Here is the link! Thank you for your interest in my artwork. The VIP Patrons on my list enjoy advance access to new artwork. Art Launches happen as I complete new artwork. I can't pre-schedule my creative process! My art is in demand and many times the originals sell to my VIP Patrons before ever being released to the public market. This is the singular best way to see all of my new art and have a shot at purchasing it.  Otherwise you will have to wait for me to do a public art launch. :(  Who likes to wait?  Especially when it means most likely missing out on buying your choice of artwork.  For instance, I launched a turtle painting this month (February 2018) to my VIPs and sold it within  minutes . There were a dozen inquiries to that painting. That art is not going to be reproduced as a print, so the patron who acted on the email offering was able to acquire a very special piece of artwor