Baetis Feast-Rainbow Trout


Mark Susinno

With his classic artistic training and believable fishing scenarios, Mark Susinno catches the angler’s world from every perspective. Growing up around the Washington, DC area, “wildlife” had a different meaning for one of today’s most popular nature artists, Mark Susinno. Deer, pheasant and mallards were not found right in his backyard and he was not as familiar with outdoor adventuring as many of today’s nature artists. In fact, it was not until later in life when Susinno found his passion for angling that he began to feature wildlife and nature in his art. Mark Susinno discovered early his propensity toward art and specifically painting. He began painting at three and by high school was quite a talent. Susinno drew the attention of many fine art schools at various scholastic competitions and received a full scholarship from the prestigious Pratt Institute of New York. Susinno was a determined student and graduated from Pratt with a Bachelor’s of Fine Art earning highest honors. Susinno enjoyed his educational experience, but did not immediately find his niche in the art world. Painting did not become a professional pursuit until several years later with a seemingly unrelated event–his brother, Byron, introduced him to fishing. What started as a few simple casts became an obsession and the excitement he felt for angling began showing up on his canvases. Susinno’s gamefish images appeared to the public in 1986, when he won his first conservation stamp. Now, in just over a decade, Susinno is recognized as one of today’s foremost gamefish artists. His images have been on 18 different conservation stamps including Pennsylvania’s first of state Trout/Salmon Stamp. Susinno’s images appeal to both the art critic and the sportsman–his style combines classic strategies in artistic composition and believable scenarios in angling. Today, his works can be found in art galleries and sports shops across the country. Mark Susinno’s dedication to fishing and art go beyond his canvas. He is an active member of Trout Unlimited, The Coastal Conservation Association and the Potomac River Smallmouth Bass Club. Susinno is also a member of The Society of Animal Artists.

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To humans, the underwater environment of a trout stream might seem like a swirling flood of turbulent current, but for torpedo-shaped fish such as rainbow trout, navigating these flows present no more of a challenge than a stiff breeze does for a raptor like a red-tailed hawk. By way of coordinated use of their fins and their muscular flanks, they are able to hold in what appears to be strong current, darting this way and that to feed on the emerging stage of aquatic insects such as one of the species of the genus Baetis as I have depicted in this painting.