Artist Mike Savlen in his studio in Key West, Florida
As an avid fisherman and sportsman Mike Savlen's work is a natural expression of his inner passion for the outdoors. He can paint anything on anything in any medium and constantly experiments, grows and evolves as an artist. His work tends to flow between figuration and abstraction in the form of fleeting discord colors, sharp contrasts, varied brushwork and lyrical notes designed to keep the eye wandering around the canvas.
Collectors often say that they see more every time they look at one of his paintings and although his work is very different from traditional fishing art it is certainly never boring. Opting for the military instead of art school allowed Savlen to cultivate a unique vision in how he portrays his subjects. His exploration and dedication to his art are two reasons he has been featured in most every major fishing publication and his work continues to draw new collectors from around the world.
Savlen sold his first painting at age sixteen to the wife of world renowned artist/author Rudy DeReyna. While he has always been involved in art in some way he has also been and done many other things which has helped form his art. Savlen’s professions have run from ditch digger to art director, Victorian restoration painter to nightclub owner, sign carver to commercial fisherman and many more in between. He has also served in his country in two branches of the military, jumped from a perfectly good plane and bungeed from a bridge. He has been known to run barefoot through the snow at times because he like the way it feels, and has climbed mountains in the dark to watch the sunrise. However Savlen says the one constant in all the things he does do or has done, is that he can never stop creating. Like a magnet he is always drawn back to art.
Savlen says,"I am constantly inspired by what I experience outdoors I am an avid hunter and fisherman and proud of it. From beautiful to brutal, hilarious to heartbreaking. I find nature is truth in the purest form. Never asking for praise and having no need for forgiveness.”
Out in the wild Savlen has learned interesting things about himself and the art of nature. Varied experiences have lead him to new knowledge and insight, such as how very intense the colors of the woods become when an angry bull moose chases you down a mountain. Or that bears can appear to be gentle, playful creatures and are a lot of fun to watch or sketch, until you refuse to share your frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwich with them.
Long periods afield have proven to Savlen that squirrels actually do fall out of trees and birds fly straight into them. Also if your not careful, the sound of an icy river your fly fishing in, can lull you to sleep and give you a hell of a shocking wake up. The artist in Savlen never sees snow as pure white, but a reflection of the millions of colors around it and “Savlen the sportsman” has learned that the sound of silence twenty miles from civilization can be quite deafening.
You may think these strange reasons for inspiration, but to Savlen nature is the purest and most honest art there is. The perfection lies in its imperfection.
Inevitably there came the day when Savlen decided to forego chasing his tail and the almighty dollar. To take his leap of faith, and accept the fact that he is simply an artist. He now paints full time professionally, and with the incredible patience, help and tenacity of his wife Donna-lee run Savlen Studios in Key West, Florida. Which allows him to travel the world. Chasing that “catch of a lifetime”, brief moment of inspiration, and his next big adrenaline rush.
Simply put: Truly embracing the great adventure that is life!
"Catch Every Moment"