Fly fishing fan catches people's art vote

19:10, Dec 20 2012
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UNEXPECTED: Southland Art Society Inc Provincial Pride Members Art Awards people’s choice winner Michael Scheele

An Invercargill water colour artist who has combined his 40-year passion for fly fishing with his talent as an artist has been recognised in the Southland Art Society Inc Provincial Pride Members Art Awards.

Otatara's Michael Scheele won the people's choice award, which was voted on by about 50 members of the public choosing from a selection of about 70 entries.

Mr Scheele, who said his work had been shown in galleries across the world, draws inspiration from his fly-fishing adventures, winning the award with 12 Fly, a water colour painting of fly hooks.

As a youngster, Mr Scheele was always sketching and drawing as a hobby, until one day someone suggested he could make a living out of it. Since then, he had completed between 5000 and 10,000 paintings and no matter what was happening in his life, he was always painting.

Mr Scheele said winning a people's choice award meant more to him than an award voted by judges.

"I just think it's so cool . . . I didn't expect it. It's a really nice surprise."


Invercargill City Gallery manager Kathryn Blomfield said Mr Scheele had asked if she was lying when she told him he had won the award.

He was visiting the gallery picking up his art work when she told him.

"He said to me, you're not lying are you? " He was absolutely blown away, she said.

The people's choice award, sponsored by Mainland Karting Southland, earned Mr Scheele $250.

Other award winners included Christopher Flavell, who won the premium award; Freda Ryder, second; Katy Buess, environment award; Bonita-Lynn Parker, most original; and Russell Sutherland, most interesting use of medium.

The Southland Times