The first fishing trip was a bit dubious. A young Wendy Goller tried to step from boat to boat and, as boats tend to do on water, they started to separate, causing her to lose balance and plunge into the murky Santee River. However, that wasn't her lasting impression of fishing.
"Hooked on Fishing" is Goller's show at the Beaufort Art Association that explores the love for angling that she developed later in life. Goller studied art at the University of South Carolina, becoming interested in fishing when she met her husband, Jim, a former S.C. Department of Natural Resources marketing director.
Goller, a Realtor in Beaufort by day, explains the beauty in fishing.
Question. How did you get into fishing?
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Answer. If you would have told me when I was 17 years old reading Seventeen magazine that I would one day be reading Salt Water magazine, I would have never believed you. My husband is something of a fishing legend. I picked up on it through him.
Q. Did you have any interest whatsoever before you met him?
A. Not before I met him. But when I met him, when we were younger, we'd go on a lot of off-shore trips for big game fish. That was very exciting. Everybody takes pictures on those big boats when you're pulling in fish. I'd look through those photos and say, "I want to paint this." That's where it comes from. I have pictures of our kids with the first fish they caught, the first shark they caught. They're good memories.
Q. Are you basing most of your work from photographs?
A. I do take a lot of pictures. It's all from photographs. You know, you can't paint plein air in a boat (laughs). I'll be out on a boat and think, "Wow, look at that beautiful fish." The dolphin, the color is just beautiful. They are just a gorgeous bright yellow green when they come out and then they fade as they die. The sailfish has stripes underwater but then they fade. I wanted to show the beauty of these fish.
I do like painting portraits of people, too. I did this one with a guy with a straw hat holding this big tuna. His smile is so big. I love kids with their fish; kids with a big smile holding up their first catch. It's a great scene.