John Swan | Bonefish & Tarpon Trust
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Artist of the Year 20170101

John Swan

Title Tails

Medium Oil on canvas


BTT’s mission is to conserve and enhance global bonefish, tarpon, and permit fisheries and their environments through stewardship, research, education, and advocacy. BTT serves as a repository for information on the life history of these species and works internationally with anglers, guides, scientists, regulators, and the public to nurture and enhance fish populations.

To bid on John Swans’s Tails, come to the sale or contact Copley at 617.536.0030 or by email ( to register for an absentee or telephone bid. Internet bidding is also available through Bidsquare, and more information can be found at

50% of the proceeds from the sale of John Swans’s painting, Tails, will go directly to BTT. Copley Fine Art Auctions’ Winter Sale 2017 will take place February 17 in Charleston, SC.

Place a Bid!

John Swan was born and raised in Maine and studied at the University of New Hampshire. In the 1980s, Swan was painting local rural landscapes until he completed a fly fishing painting that appeared on the cover of “Gray’s Sporting Journal”. This early success with a sporting scene ensured that hunting and fishing subjects would be an integral part of Swan’s work in the years to come.

Considered one of America’s foremost sporting and wildlife artists, Swan is equally adept in watercolor and oils. His paintings bring to life fishing and hunting trips to places as far afield as the bonefishing mecca of The Bahamas and Canada’s Gaspe Peninsula, also a favorite sporting haunt of renowned impressionist Frank W. Benson (1862-1951). “I paint wherever I can fish,” he admits. The result is a body of spectacularly immediate works set in the world’s premier sporting destinations.

Based on firsthand experience, and often created en plein air, Swan’s paintings are imbued with freshness: the energy of a tarpon struggling against the line or the quietude of a hunter’s early dawn preparations.

Among his distinctions are one-man shows at the American Museum of Fly Fishing, the King Gallery of New York, and the Stephen O’Brien Jr. Fine Arts Gallery of Boston. His awards include being named Artist of the Year three times by the Atlantic Salmon Federation as well as being the Ducks Unlimited International Artist of the Year in 1987. He has illustrated numerous books including Joseph Bate’s classic “Atlantic Salmon Fishing” and Thomas McGuanes’s anthology “Live Water”.