William Allan

American, b. 1936

Silver Salmon - Gualla (Salmon Eye #2)

1975

Watercolor

27 1/2 x 19 1/2 inches

William Allan has had two obsessions in his life: fishing and painting. In the early 1970’s, these two strong forces merged to form a series of watercolors that are the high point of his artistic career.

Allan would travel great lengths to find specific species in remote areas along the West Coast of the United States, including Alaska. He was drawn by the varied, vibrant colors that shone from his catch. As each hour passed after the catch, he immortalized the beauty of the fish and documented the subtle transitions of their colors and textures as they faded into the opaque stillness of death. He was surprised by nature’s wonders, but once captured on paper, he worried he would not know how to capture it again.