• Published:June 27, 2017
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Marine artist Anastasia Musick brings fish to life through movement and realistic dramatization.

The multi-talented artist, originally from Kazakhstan, started off as a student looking for a sports scholarships in America, but turned her heart towards art when she was awarded a scholarship to Robert Morris University in Chicago. Anastasia actually graduated with a degree in architectural technology and a minor in computer science, but the program allowed her to pick up new painting techniques and support that pushed her in the right direction for her art career. With a chance to focus on her studies and have all of her art supplies paid for, there was also plenty of time to pump out new work.
Anastasia has always loved fishing, but after graduating from her school in Chicago and moving to Mississippi, it was a trip to Florida that changed her life.

"I just fell in love with saltwater fishing," she said. She also started painting fish for fun.

Before Anastasia decided to solely focus on marine life in her paintings, she painted floral arrangements and various subjects, including paintings of dancers, from salsa to ballroom. After that she worked on paintings of World War II aviation. She partnered with museums and donated 30 percent of the proceeds from her paintings to various veterans’ organizations.

Anastasia has been painting for 16 years now and her work continues to expand and receive a lot of attention. In the beginning of her transition into marine art, she worked with local charter captains to create opportunities to get out and fish. She moved to Port Charlotte, Florida, permanently after one of her trips. To get out on the water more, Anastasia would tell captains that if they helped her catch her targeted species, she would create a painting as a gift, a tradeoff for letting her accompany them. Working with captains and getting to know more fishermen helped her expanded her knowledge and visuals for new species of fish. Anastasia says she does not paint a fish unless she has caught it and seen it firsthand.

"When I don't paint, I fish," she said. "Sometimes I just take my paint and I go paint on the dock, holding a paintbrush in one hand and a pole in the other."

After catching a fish, she uses that visual and depicts the scene on canvas. Being able to experience the catch, she can clearly depict how the fish looks rather than guessing or looking at photos in a magazine. She strives to create being anatomically correct pieces of art, but her technique also brings out dramatic movement in her subjects, rather than just a fish in or out of the water.
"When I don't paint, I fish. Sometimes I just take my paint and I go paint on the dock, holding a paintbrush in one hand and a pole in the other."
-- Anastasia Musick

A lot of her inspiration comes from her backyard in Port Charlotte, there is a small dock that leads to a saltwater canal. A lot of her imagery comes from the various species of fish she sees while in her hometown, such as redfish and snappers, but she has also expanded to the freshwater market, painting largemouth bass and freshwater trout.

Redfish are her favorite species to paint, since it was the first saltwater fish she ever caught and the one that helped Anastasia's career take off. "I love to show good drama," she said about bringing species to life in her paintings, using motion, giving the fish a character and story.

Anastasia and her husband have come up with a name for her style, calling it "personified conceptual realism." When looking through Anastasia's earlier pieces and continuing down her timeline of work, you can see not only improvement, but a continuous use of motion and emotion in her art.

The marine artist continues to grow her brand and stay busy. In July, Anastasia will be working on an 8-foot by 14-foot painting live at ICAST, the world’s largest fishing tackle trade show. In November she is going to be the featured artist at the Palm Beach Sailfish Classic.

It’s been a long journey, having lived in 11 countries and learning to speak five languages, but this artist continues to create and build partnerships.

Through all of her work, between taking commissions and contracts with different companies, Anastasia continues to work and do what she loves. Whether she's drawing inspiration from a few steps away from her home or through various charter trips, she feels at home in Florida and has had many different opportunities come her way in the marine world.

To see more of Anastasia Musick’s work visit anastasiamusick.com/.