If I had to guess, I think the question an artist is asked most is “Why?” Why am I driven to paint the things I paint? Why do I have the desire to make a difference--to influence--to inspire?

I care deeply about the environment. So much so that it's hard for me to understand people who are aloof or in denial about what humans are doing to the planet. I'm especially connected with the coastal Georgia landscapes and the wildlife I grew up surrounded by.

I love fishing and diving and I want my children to live in a world where they can catch redfish for dinner out of a creek, or dive on a healthy reef, or experience the thrill of swimming in an ocean where sharks aren't extinct.

I’ve learned that being an advocate for the things I care about doesn't necessarily mean being an extremist-but can be as simple as sharing my love for something with others.

I don't have to be a political lobbyist. I'm not a famous television star or cultural icon with a platform to reach millions of people. But what I do have is a paintbrush, a canvas, and the people I meet and interact with every day (here online and the real world).

Photo Shoot with Matt Shaw-2

And maybe the best I can do is paint the things that I love in such a way that you might love them too.

Maybe the best I can do is paint these landscapes that have shaped my life so that they will be remembered in 100 years, as they were.

Maybe I can remind people who visit these coasts and fish these waters of that "big one that got away" (or didn't!) and encourage them to come back and support conservation efforts through sustainable recreation.

When you are looking at my art, know that it is all painted with intention - know that it is all fueled by this "why".