UNAPOLOGETIC OBSTRUCTIONIST

Alright…I had these stickers made up a couple of weeks ago and had considered just handing them out as time went along…But, in light of yesterdays ASSHATERY by PDT, our fearless Commander of Big Chief Tablets and #2 Pencils and his insistence on letting big money destroy our environment…I’m giving them away for free. It’s real easy, just email me at sbichsel@gmail.com or hit Contact up there and fire me a mailing address and I’ll send one (1) of each of these stickers your way. I have 90 of them left and if the demand is great enough, I’ll have more printed. If by chance you would like to donate some $’s to the cause, you can send it to through Paypal to the same email address or just click HERE.

Be an Unapologetic Obstructionist

A little history….Several weeks ago I was called an “Obstructionist” in a meeting, to which I countered with “Unapologetically so, and thank your for the compliment.” Even though the entire conversation was in jest, the interaction had been playing in mind for several days. Fast forward a few late nights, and with Sturgill Simpson blasting through the headers and Adobe Illustrator at the end of my digits, the Unapologetic Obstructionist graphic was born.

Now, while I shy away from most political deliberation and will delve into those arguments only with those I know to be equally level-headed no matter their affiliation. I do feel it’s my obligation as an artist to make the occasional statement. So, here’s my proposition to you. Being that there is now a near constant threat of trading many of our natural and beautiful places for money, I want to persuade you to also be an #UnapologeticObstructionist when it comes to protecting those natural playgrounds. Not only for us (because that would make us seem small and petty) but also for those souls that will follow in the paths we ultimately protect.

There are rules…and they are as follows:

1. Be unapologetic for standing in the way of someone or something’s progress especially if that someone or somethings sole intent is to harm or otherwise diminish a natural environment for the profit of a few. 

2. Obstruct, by any means necessary, the someone’s or something’s identified in rule 1.

Some definitions:

Unapologetic – Unwilling to make or express an apology. (Urban Dictionary – To be careless and not give a f**k after a certain situation.)

Obstructionist – Deliberate interference with the progress or business, especially of a legislative body. (Urban Dictionary – One who designs or acts in a way that obstructs others, making it difficult or impossible to do what needs to be done. Frequently uses conflict of interest to obstruct others. Also known as an asshole and most likely proud of it.

Go Get Out In It!

The 8 Faces of No Posts

Welcome to the new year and some new art…Expect to see some different thing posted over the coming weeks. Fair warning that it will not all be fly fishing related! These images are definitely a part of that “Not” fly fishing related thing I just mentioned.

image

image

I call them “The 8 Faces on New.” They were created one night while killing some time in front of the tv. All were completed on the iPad using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro.

Adventure and inspiration is wherever you happen to find it!

REVIVE

A Special Shout out goes to the crew over at Revive Fly Fishing today. Their Spring issue hit the intertubes yesterday and I am honored to be their featured artist in this issue. If you haven’t checked them out yet…go do it now, I’ll wait…Good stuff huh? They just keep upping the ante in the online, fly fishing mag business. I look forward to a long relationship with them and wish them all the best in the future! Not that they need any luck, pure talent will carry them as far as they need to go!

revive

ENJOY!

Never be afraid to put yourself out there! Get Out In It…

BIG WOOD AND TROUTFEST

As the title implies, this post has to do with some of my latest projects. Big Wood, was theme for my showing at Troutfest… A couple of weekends ago I took my first shot at selling my art in a public setting. My online audience, via Twitter, Facebook and Instragram have been an incredible source of inspiration and support over the last couple of years. But, I really wanted to get out and more importantly, get local. GRTU’s Troutfest seemed like the perfect setting for this endeavor.

Troutfest is a great event, with a focused group of like minded folks, that just want to share their passion for fly fishing in a beautiful setting along the Guadalupe River. I considered my first showing a success, I sold half of what you’re looking at in the picture below. And the contacts made may prove very fruitful in the long run. And in a strange turn of events, Dave and Emily Whitlock bought a print and an iPad stand from me! It was a great 2 days, made a lot of new friends and look forward to seeing them and meeting more, at future events.

Part of the Troutfest Display
Part of the Troutfest Display

You will need to see the pictures to get the “Big Wood” reference…So click the picture above or click HERE to see the Big Wood and some of the things I offered at Troutfest.

Long story short,

Never be afraid to put yourself out there! Get Out In It…

FISH & CHIPS & COLORADO

It’s been a while since my last post. Sorry about that! I seem to be saying that a lot lately, if I’ve said it to you recently…sorry about that too! Work, home and other commitments have me scrambling to find the time for much in the way of artistic creativity, fishing or social media interaction. I see a light at the end of this tunnel, I’m just hoping it’s not a runaway Mack truck hauling 3 more months of suck! Time will tell…

You’re not here to hear me complain, so on with the good stuff! First up, a Haida art inspired wood trout that was painted 3 times, stripped back down to wood twice and finally painted white, some black, some red, a touch of grey a tad of yellow…Hell, I finally just gave up and clear coated the SOB and posted it to Instagram. Thanks for all the hits over there by the way! Your support is amazing.

Photo Sep 15, 2 46 11 PM

Or as my wife told me the other day, as she  admired this lovely piece of art “You really suck at painting!” Thanks for that honey… Anyway, hand cut, hand carved, hand painted (3 times) and I’m still not entirely happy with it, even though it looks awesome from a distance. Here it is, If you want it, it’s on sale, see below!

We went to Denver for some stuff earlier this week. Guess what, it was wet. I did sneak in a day up in the high mountains and I gotta say, a day above 10,000′ elevation is good for the soul. A day with a giant brown trout in my hand would’ve been better, but hey, the front range has bigger problems right now than me catching its fish! So, here’s the deal – If I sell that fish up there, I’ll donate 100% of the money to a charity involving animal rescues or river / stream restoration along the front range. Or if you have something you strongly believe in, I’m open to suggestion! Ping me and we can work it out.

While I was there, I saw flood damage and I saw stuff like this:

Photo Sep 17, 12 35 06 PM

and I painted stuff like this on the iPad on the plane ride home:

And I painted stuff like this on the iPad on the flight home...

Chips? I came home with a bag of them smashed all to hell in my suitcase!

Thanks for staying with me and playing along! And as always, Never be afraid to put yourself out there (self professed failures and all)…Get Out In It!

SURF

If you are going to fly fish the surf for the first time and fail miserably…IMG_2437 IMG_2448

Tight Lines

at least make the locale some place EPIC! Like the beach at the Hotel Del Coronado at sunset!

I promise some new art in the next post! 3 days camping, 7 days in California and a very busy week on return has limited my creative mindset…

Never be afraid to put yourself out there! Get Out In It…

A FARMER

Something a little different that I wanted to share… I know it’s a Super Bowl commercial for Dodge Trucks and this is in no way an endorsement for them, but the message is awesome, important and worth 2 minutes of your time. I remember my high school Ag teacher, Mr. Get Watson, playing a recording of this speech by the late Paul Harvey for us and not really knowing what the importance of it was. Tonight, while sitting on the couch, I come across the video below, listened closely, replayed it 4 times and as I watched, tears welled up in my eyes and that importance hit me. KEEP READING THE RAMBLINGS AFTER THE VID

[iframe width=”620″ height=”340″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/AMpZ0TGjbWE” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe]

Mr. Watson was by far the most influential teacher I had in all of my schooling (next to my art teacher, Ms. Meaker.) He took an interest. He lived down the street I grew up on. I was friends with his sons. He taught me how to weld. Use a hacksaw. Wire the taillight of a 1971 Ford Truck. Make a right angle on the ground using the 3′ -4′-5′ method. Deliver baby pigs. Take care of said pigs. Break the ice in a water trough in 10 degree weather at 6:30 am on a school day. If you open a gate, close it behind you! Accept that death / loss is really just a part of life. And that a new life is a miracle to behold, be it a cat, dog, pig, cow or human…Hell, I look back on it and most of what I am today can be tracked back, in some way, to him. I was interested in his Ag classes. He taught me stuff that I still use to this day. He tried to teach me that what my Grandad (a farmer) did was important and that I should take notice. Through him, the FFA taught me rules, regulations, how to judge a chicken and dammit… Parliamentary Procedure. And most importantly, If you screwed up, he knocked on your front door when he knew you and your mom were at home! Thanks for being there mom!

I sat in a dark room and cried on the day my mom called to tell me that he passed away.

He tried to instill the importance of being a “Farmer!” But for all of his might, somewhere around the 1st day of life after high school graduation, I strayed from his direction and spent a few years careening down a path that was neither productive or healthy. I was still around and still involved in my Grandad’s farm for several years after. But, I never fully embraced the importance of being a farmer. I watched my Grandad, Dad and Brother work that small farm in the Texas Panhandle, throughout the first 23 years of my life. While my mom busted her a$$ to raise us kids…alone! Then I met a great girl, I married her, we had some furrkids, I helped on the farm when I wanted or thought I could, but still, never fully embraced it. My Grandad passed away in late 1999 and the farm was sold not long after. A barn, an irrigated crop circle and memories are all that are left of the farm I remember.

I’ll tell you straight up, that not embracing my families, long standing farming heritage is one of the biggest mistakes of my 41 years on this rock…

Maybe it’s the wisdom that comes with age. Or watching acres of productive farmland being consumed by what we now call progress. Or the fact that not many people walking today are the likes and character of men and women such as my Mom, Grandad, Mr. Watson or Paul Harvey (some reading this won’t know who that last one is, so do your research and give him a listen). But, I think we’re all kind of lost…

I think that all this started manifesting on our trip to the homeland last Thanksgiving and certainly set in when my Father in Law passed away on New Years Eve. These men worked hard, their wives worked harder, their kids worked, they suffered, they survived, they asked for help only when absolutely necessary, but would do anything for anyone that needed a helping hand -without hesitation, got by on a meager existence, had “party line” telephones, didn’t grow up in a techno filled world, or did they…I could go on, but I’m tired.

What’s the moral of all this, you ask… I’m not sure there is one. I feel better for having said what I did… So, watch the video, call your mom and tell you love her, hug a farmer, thank a teacher, go fly fishing when you can, enroll your kids in 4H or FFA, do something creative everyday, find what you love to do and do it on nights and weekends, be open and embrace change, try not to judge unless you would like Old Karmas baseball bat to smack you in the face with the same reality…

Good morning, good afternoon and in case I don’t see ya, thanks for playing along! Good Night…

LOOKS HOT…DOESN’T IT?

This weeks Fly Art entry:

Saltwater Flames

If you listen in over on the Twitters you might now that I am on the tailing end of a 7 day, self-imposed, Social Media vacation. No worries, I’ll be back in full force on Monday morning. I just needed my annual break from the constant barrage of misinformation.

With that in mind… I’m out! Enjoy that pretty picture up there! Did you notice the change to the blog header? Be sure to find all of your Easter Eggs! Most importantly, Thanks for playing along, now GET OUTSIDE and do something fun! 

Broken

As most of you know, from my tweets, a check-in from the emergency room on FourSquare and some post on Facebook that early Saturday evening we had a bit of high drama at Texas FlyLines world HQ. Below are the details of what happened and some comments and “Thanks” from me on the overwhelming show of support we’ve received from all of our friends (further defined later), family, co-workers and neighbors.

What Happened: At around 7:30 pm on Saturday our evening was progressing nicely… I had steaks on the grill, had just cracked open a nice Breckenridge Autumn Ale, it was still a balmy mid 70 degrees with a warm south breeze blowing! Basically your perfect summer evening (in November)! My wife was sitting in the living room, pounding away on her thesis, while watching some TV. I’ve mentioned before, that we may be the most boring married couple without kids EVER! Sounds nice doesn’t it?

At around 7:50, things go wrong – she calls me in to review something she had written. And then, with both of us less than 10′ from the front door, we hear a loud crash (neighbors heard it in their houses) of the front door flying open, slamming against the wall, and the door jam, frame and lock assemblies exploding!

Both of us stunned… It takes us a few seconds to comprehend what had just happened! My wife turns immediately and looks at the open front door, I look at the dogs then the door and then run outside into the driveway to see, well what, I don’t really know! I was just thinking that whoever kicked in the door and ran couldn’t have gotten far and that maybe I could at least see where they went or what type of car they jumped in.

When I got to the driveway, I saw 2 figures in the shadows near the golf course cart path. And 1 tall athletic looking male, late teens, maybe early twenties, running down the street, away from our house, towards his *accomplices*. I yell “HEY” the guy turns and looks at me then yells to the other 2 to “GO GO GO”! I take off chasing after them and they run onto the dark unlighted golf course… Full sprint, down the driveway, into the street! Where in NOT my most graceful and shining feats of athleticism, I promptly tripped, slammed shoulder first into the pavement, rolled over and pounded my head onto the asphalt! Completely pumped full of adrenalin, I jumped up and took off chasing again… Made it about 30 steps and realized something was wrong, bad wrong! My shoulder was making ugly noises, bones scraping together and torn muscles and tendons noises, noises a body shouldn’t make!

911 was called, Williamson County Sheriffs deputies showed up, no sign of the thugs was seen or discovered and an hour later I finally went to the Emergency room! A sad, long story that took place in a quite, safe neighborhood where golfing accidents are the norm… Not home invasions!

The rest as they is “Broken”! For me, a fractured clavicle (collarbone), bruised and battered shoulder and a nasty bump on the noggin! For us, a broken sense of security, a shattered front door and feeling of invaded privacy. For a neighborhood full of decent law abiding families and now *friends*, those same feelings of loss of security and their privacy invaded!

To get to the point and to that further definition of *friend* I mention in paragraph 1… I’ll give you a minute, go to http://dictionay.com and search for the word *friend* (hold music playing) okay your back! What did you find… 6 or 7 entries that read like this “a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.” Right? While that’s true, I have a different definition… A friend is anyone willing to step out of their world and show affection, empathy, sorrow, HELP, congratulations and again HELP, when it is most needed! In my book, even perfect strangers can be friends! I have “friends” people I see and talk with on a regular basis & and I have an even larger group of friends through Social Media that, like it or not, I consider my friends too. I’ve met some of you in person, the ones I haven’t shaken hands with… Maybe someday! This is the group of friends that I want to say THANKS to here!

If you’re reading this there is a high likelihood that you clicked a link on either of my Twitter profiles or on Facebook… So THANK YOU for the show of support since Saturday!

You may remember that the title of this is “Broken”. Sure my collarbone is “broken”, our front door is “broken” but my faith in humanity as a whole and my friends is NOT “broken”! As a show of gratitude and after my shoulder heals up… If you need HELP please, don’t hesitate to ask! When the time comes, (it will come) this line of communication will NOT be BROKEN!

Thanks for playing along friends, in six to eights week let’s go fly fishing!