Bucky Bowles is an acclaimed wildlife and sporting artist living outside of Columbus, Georgia whose work is currently featured in the “Art Gone Wild’ exhibit at the Kelly Fitzpatrick Center for the Arts in historic Downtown Wetumpka, Alabama.
Raised in Southwest Georgia, Bucky grew up fishing and hunting and developed a love for the outdoors. His grandmother was an artist who felt it was important to expose him to art and introduce him to the tools to create at a young age.
Bucky would later attend the University of Georgia in Athens where he majored in commercial art and graphic design, later working as a commercial artist and art director. Bucky worked at a large printing company providing high-end full-color printing, serving 18 years in various management roles from Creative Director to VP of the company.
Despite his success in the printing business, Bucky says he always felt he would eventually work in fine art. Around 1990, he began noticing things as he drove around, such as the effect of light reflecting on barns in the afternoon sun, and felt a need to paint what he saw. It was during this time he began to paint.
Bucky eventually left his VP position, focusing more on his painting as he began working with galleries and entering shows while still doing some sales and consulting work. Once he had put his two children through college, he knew the time was right to step into a full-time career as an artist.
In 2007, Bucky realized his work needed a focus in order to reach the next level, it was at that time he chose to lean into his love for hunting and fishing and focus his work on outdoor sporting scenes.
Bucky describes his painting as “a scene with something going on.” He hopes to not just create something visual but rather an experience with a story behind it. He seeks to capture something special in each painting such as the sound of the water, the smell of the air, or the surprise of a covey.
Bucky says, “As a hunter and a fisherman, for a long time I’ve done a lot of things in the outdoors. I want these paintings to be meaningful.”
When asked about references for paintings, Bucky says he usually has a camera strapped to him while outside to capture moments of action. He says he likes the experience of being outdoors to guide the painting more than a photograph.
Bucky has been showing his art at the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in Charleston, SC and also the Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival in Thomasville, GA for many years. His art has also been featured on several covers and editorials in Grays Sporting Journal.
When asked about accolades and awards, Bucky says, “If someone buys my art and hangs it on the wall, that’s better than a blue ribbon.”
Bucky’s art will be on display in the “Art Gone Wild” exhibit at the Kelly Fitzpatrick Center for the Arts in historic Downtown Wetumpka through November 18th and at the Wetumpka Wildlife Arts Festival on Saturday, November 11th, which is an event in partnership with the Alabama Wildlife Federation.
Bucky’s art can also be found on his website, www.buckybowles.com.