E Markie Art

Bozeman, Montana

Chi Wulff Fly Fishing Blog Interview

Ethan Markie

Last week I was fortunate enough to sit down with the crew of the Chi Wulff Fly Fishing Blog for an interview about my art. Here is a quick excerpt, visit chiwulff.com for the full interview:

“What are you most intrigued with right now in the fly fishing art world? What plans do you have on the horizon for your art?”

“I love exaggerated and bold colors, high contrast and saturation. To me this just makes the final piece pop. It is not meant to be accurately realistic but to me that is how I interpret the memory and focus in on what made that fish special or unique. Fish are fun to paint because each one has such unique markings and coloration. There can be so much variety even within one species.

I go in phases of what gets me jazzed to spend hours at a desk or easel and create something. Landscapes are something I hope to get better at. I mess around with other wildlife on occasion. I really like painting birds and hope to get better at that too. Time and time again though I keep coming back to fish, and more specifically trout. I like having a niche to focus on, but also don’t want to get burnt out on one species or style of painting. Currently I am really into close up interpretations of fish skin. I like working large enough to be able to use a sizable brush and show texture in the brush strokes and contrasting colors.

As for the future of E Markie Art, I am not exactly sure! But that’s ok. My hope would be that I can somehow use art to inspire others to be more connected to the outdoors in some way. I would also like to use art to give back in some way, maybe working more with local conservation groups to preserve what we have left of our outdoor environments. Recently I was fortunate enough to work with the Bitterroot Chapter of Trout Unlimited to create a unique piece used to raise money for protecting and enhancing the wild trout. I hope to form more partnerships like this in the future.

I guess if I had to sum up the future of E Markie Art I just hope I can continue to create some badass paintings that people actually want to hang up in their homes! It is neat to think about your art being displayed in a stranger’s house or in some far away place.”

Ruby River Brown Trout Painting 4MP.jpg

Thanks again Chi Wulff!

The Inspiration Behind "Cutty on the Rocks"

Ethan Markie

My paintings are usually not very realistic. The colors are not exactly how you may see them in the wild. I like to use art to exaggerate the parts of the memories that stick with me the most. In “Cutty on the Rocks” these memories were a blend between the tones of the cutthroat trout and the riverbed in which they swam.

That trip was my first fly fishing experience within Yellowstone National Park. I was fortunate enough to become friends with a co-worker at the time. Bob used to guide inside the Park many years ago and had stories about the historic pre lake trout swarms of native yellowstone cutthroat trout that would swim the rivers and tributaries around Yellowstone Lake. He would recall such tales with vivid detail and excitement, that we were soon planning a trip down together to re-discover his old stomping grounds.

That night we stayed in West Yellowstone and in the morning we picked up Bob’s lifelong friend before heading into the Park. Bob was about 3 times my age at the time, and his friend was about the same. His friend was about 90% blind and about 90% deaf, the result of a long battle with a crippling disease. That day I saw Bob hold his friend’s hand and guide him through about 100 yards of deadfall forest, along the gravel bank of the Yellowstone River, and out into the water. No doubt they have done this before, but I just stood back in disbelief. Bob left his friend with a bit of casting direction on angle and distance on where the fish should be and that was that. Five minutes later he was hooked up. I thought about what it would be like to experience fly fishing and fighting a fish with no vision or hearing. The compassion of their friendship and shared love for the sport and the creatures in the river was something I will never forget.

I fished a bit myself throughout the day, but took the opportunity to watch this dynamic duo take place as Bob and his friend worked several of the largest trout I have ever seen out of the river that day. The fish were perfect representations of the wild surroundings we all found ourselves in. Immaculate fins, spots that looked as they had been painted on, and the most unique colors making up the base of these aquatic torpedoes. Light olives blending to bold yellows finally transitioning to gold. These patterns were abruptly disrupted by vibrant crimson red along the gills and continuing down the flanks and bellies. Each fish was a bit different, ranging from shades of pink, red, and various degrees of tans and yellows. I have never seen any other subspecies of trout quite like the ones of that day.

That day will be forever burned in memory. The painting was a small attempt to portray those sights and feelings with paint and canvas. I tried to imagine the feeling of the blind and deaf man fighting the trout, and how sense inducing that must have been for him. Hopefully he was able to picture something like the colors of this painting within his brain that day.

  • The original has since been donated to help support a local art gallery here in Bozeman Montana. You can view the original Here.

  • Prints of “Cutty on the Rocks” can be purchased Here

  • Vinyl water resistant stickers of this painting can be seen Here

Bob with one of several that day.

Bob with one of several that day.

Welcome to E Markie Art!

Ethan Markie

First of all, thank you for visiting my new site. After about a year of ramping up my art, the time has come to put a more public face on things. I hope to use this website to expose my work to more fish and wildlife enthusiasts out there. Already within the first year of launching E Markie Art on Instagram, I have been able to make new connections and share my work to many of you visiting here.

E Markie Art has been able to connect with the local community and participate in several fundraising events concerning local education and conservation efforts. In October, a piece titled “Fall on the Bitterroot” was donated to raise money for the local Bitterroot River Chapter of Trout Unlimited. This January, one of my favorite pieces, “Cutty on the Rocks” was donated to our local art center here in Bozeman, The Emerson, to help celebrate local art and raise funding for future art education. I hope to grow these opportunities in the future and continue to use my art to aid in the benefit of these causes.

Sharing art with others is an intimidating and rewarding experience. Being ready for public appreciation and critique will hopefully lead to more positive networking opportunities and better art as E Markie Art evolves and grows. Where is it going? Not sure yet!

E Markie Art would like to use canvas and paint as a creative window to help spread the appreciation for our wild environments, and hopefully lead to some bad ass paintings along the way! Feel free to reach out via the “Contact” page regarding any and all networking opportunities, new commission pieces, or questions about ordering prints, or just painting in general! Thanks again for checking out my new website!

-Ethan

"Trout Trio" 48" x 24"