Being able to make your passion of art your job is a dream in and of itself. But for local artist Nick Laferriere it got even better when the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) chose his painting to be put on their annual stamp.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada issues the Salmon Conservation Stamp, which is purchased and affixed to the license of each tidal water angler who wishes to retain any species of salmon.
For the 2017/2018 season, that stamp will be adorned with Laferriere’s painting.
“This piece took me two months to do, and it was so much fun to paint I didn’t want it to end,” said Laferriere.
“But the deadline came up so I had to finish.”
PSF holds an annual contest, the Salmon Conservation Stamp Art Competition, to find the best piece of work to display on the stamp. And it was a very natural competition for Laferriere to enter, even though as a fisher and supporter of sustainable fishing practises, he had never heard of it.
“A friend and fellow artist actually told be about the competition. I couldn’t believe I had never heard of it before,” he said.
As a Manitoba native, Laferriere has been fishing his entire life. Then one day the self-taught artist stopped and realized how mesmerizing salmon are.
“Especially in the clear water out here in B.C., they’re incredibly beautiful,” he said.
He started off small when he began drawing fish, a difficult subject as its flowy nature gives it some intricate details.
“There’s so much movement in them, it’s like trying to paint a dress under water,” said Laferriere.
Over the years he has progressed with his technique, and now challenges himself to draw salmon from every different angle, getting as much movement into the frame as possible.
For the Pacific Salmon Foundation piece he also decided to add some more depth by using local materials, and painted it on a piece of douglas fir.
“I thought it was fitting to do it that way,” he said.
Being chosen for the foundation’s competition is the cherry on top of an already successful career. Laferriere stays busy with commissioned work, and also works with an Australian company called Fishwreck that uses his art for their apparel.
“They’re a fantastic company, a lot of fun to work with.”
To view more of Laferriere’s work go to www.nicklaferriere.com, or find him on Facebook and Instagram.