Jim Gwiazdzinski


Artist’s Statement

“Throughout my youth, whether fishing local rivers, ponds, or Long Island Sound, I always found myself gravitating to water. As a teenager, I fished on the F/V Endurance, a 42’ Bruno lobster boat, which fished out of Cos Cob Harbor, CT. Many times when getting off the Endurance, I would jump onto another boat and chase blues and bass, that were in turn chasing menhaden into nearby coves and harbors. At night, I would anchor off Island Beach or Great Captain’s Island — solo many times — and watch the myriad Long Island lights blink and flash. I couldn’t help but think about what was beyond and what swam within that limitless expanse, the Atlantic Ocean? What was it like to be on open ocean, no lights, no shoreline?

This intimate connection with the water led me to fishing aboard various commercial vessels, calling Shinnecock Inlet, Point Judith, and Stonington their home ports. The freedom and individualism of fishing can be contagious and intoxicating, but it is a sometimes fierce, hard way of living. Toiling aboard commercial vessels gave me a priceless education and work ethic as well as proximity to the sights, sounds, and smells of the Atlantic. Shark, tuna, sunfish, whales, various seabirds, as well as the occasional submarine provided a unique, and at times, breathtaking experience.

Those experiences are lifelong and have given me the fodder and inspiration to draw. The species I choose to draw almost always have a story behind them that impels me to sit down and put pen or pencil to paper and turn my life of adventure on the water into a work of art.”