Lifelong love of marine life inspires featured artist’s work

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Butterfield Garage’s featured artist for January is Mike Fitzpatrick, who fishes and paints with equal enthusiasm.

He spent Tuesday, Jan. 5, at the gallery painting and discussing his vibrant marine life paintings.

He has spent his life on the water, growing up in South Florida where he could be found fishing from the beaches or piers, in canals and the Intracoastal, offshore or in the Bahamas.  When he became a “Florida Gator” he added inland lakes, rivers, creeks and roommates’ aquariums to his list of favorite fishing spots.

After graduating from the University of Florida, he became a U.S. Coast Guard licensed boat captain. He spent the next 30-plus years running and maintaining private pleasure and tournament sport fishing boats from Cape Cod to San Salvador and all over the Gulf of Mexico.

He painted marine life off and on over the years for family and friends or to donate as awards for fishing tournaments, and in 2017 he let his hidden artistic talent out of the fish box for everyone to enjoy. He is now fulfilling his lifelong desire to paint professionally and has created dozens of “Fitz Originals,” some complemented by his own unique handcrafted wooden frames.

In vibrant colors, his self-taught and evolving style depicts the beauty and energy of sea life. Fitzpatrick’s enthusiasm is infectious, and his paintings reflect his great love for both painting and the underwater life in the sea.

Butterfield Garage Gallery is located at 137 King St.

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