Sportsman and Artist
C.D. Clarke travels the world hunting, fishing, and painting. He carries his art supplies on his back, so that he can paint on location. Born and raised in Rochester, NY, C.D. received his BFA in painting and illustration from Syracuse University in 1981.
Never far from the outdoors, C.D.'s lifelong interest in the subject (particularly angling and hunting) has made it a substantial portion of his work. Boats, leaky waders, fishing rods, wet wool, bird dogs, decoys, and shotguns are integral parts of C.D.’s life. He paints them with a sportsman’s understanding, making his work essential to the true sportsman’s art collection.
C.D. prefers to work from life whenever possible, painting in the field, en plein air. Much of his work is created on location, often times standing knee-deep in a salmon river or on a bonefish flat, or bobbing along in a skiff. His immersion in the subject results in a spontaneous composition.
In a very personal way, C.D.'s method of painting captures the light, color, and, most importantly, the feeling of landscapes, such as sparkling bonefish flats, misty Scottish salmon rivers, raw, windy marshes, icy Chilean Andes, warm, sunny Argentinean pampas, and other sporting destinations. Then, working from watercolor sketches and photographs of the sportsmen and their equipment, C.D. accurately depicts the sporting scene in oil paintings and larger watercolors completed in the studio under more controlled conditions. The boats, planes, dogs, rods, and guns, as well as the anglers and hunters themselves, in addition to the landscape that they inhabit, are all true to life.
C.D.’s originals are avidly collected by prominent sports personalities all over the world, including: ESPN’s Flip Pallot; TV-host Andy Mill; Orvis Company owner Leigh Perkins; businessman, author, and philanthropist Bob Rich; super-guides Paul Dixon, Brian Horsely, and Tim Klein; and many others.
C.D. has traveled extensively, capturing anglers and hunters pursuing their passions all over the world, including the Caribbean, Russia, Scotland, England, Canada (east and west), Hawaii, Alaska, Montana, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, Belize, Christmas Island, Cuba, the Seychelles, and Zimbabwe.
Each year, C.D. takes four to six major trips to sporting destinations all over the world. He is commissioned by hunters and anglers who collect sporting art to capture their favorite locations in watercolor and oil. If you would like to accompany him on a sporting trip, or if you have a sporting trip planned and you would like to be accompanied by a sporting artist, then please contact C.D.
C.D.'s work has been widely exhibited and published, including:
Atlantic Salmon Journal;
Sporting Classics Magazine;
Fly Rod & Reel Magazine;
Field & Stream Magazine;
Gray's Sporting Journal.
C.D. has illustrated and provided cover art for many sporting books.
C.D. shows annually at the Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival in Thomasville, GA, and at The Fly Fishing Show in Edison, NJ.
Adirondacks National Exhibition of
The American Museum of Fly Fishing
The Easton Waterfowl Festival
The Fly Fishing Show
JANUARY 29 - 31, 2021
Holland and Holland
Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival
NOVEMBER 14 - 22, 2020
The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art
The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum
"Birds in Art" Exhibition
C.D. is a director on the board of the Atlantic Salmon Federation, a member of the NYC Dinner Committee for the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, and a member of The Ruffed Grouse Society, Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, and the National Wild Turkey Federation.
I have always had two strong interests: art, and the outdoors. I started out in a program that would have put me into the Forestry School at Syracuse University. After one semester, I realized that forestry was Chemistry and Math, so I turned to Art.
I did nothing for three years but paint. It didn’t matter how many paintings turned out; I just did them. I learned everything I could about landscape painting. That’s where I learned to enjoy the process of watercolor. I got a lot out of Syracuse University, but none of the knowledge that I use as a landscape painter came from there, other than basic drawing skills.
All of my knowledge of light and how things are recorded and responded to came from years of working outdoors, on location. That’s the most important thing an artist can do. What an artist learns about light and color in the field is indispensable.
I am commissioned by hunters and anglers who collect sporting art to capture their favorite locations in watercolor and oil. Each year, I take four to six major trips to sporting destinations all over the world. Many of my paintings are created right on the spot, standing on a rocky beach, in a windy marsh, or on a sparkling flat.
I also record the people and equipment on film, so that I can add them to my paintings when I am back in the studio. Working in this manner, I end up with an accurate depiction of the sporting scene. The boats, planes, dogs, rods, and guns, as well as the anglers and hunters, themselves, are all correct. Additionally, the light, colors, and feel of the landscape are true to life. At other times, I use the sketches I made in the field along with my reference photos as the basis for a painting completed in my studio under more controlled conditions.