With a 40-year career as a photographer shooting images on assignment in 72 countries around the world, my experience and perspectives of light and the tremendous emotions absorbed by harnessing its qualities and subject matter to film has now also emerged into my new-found passion of painting.
Born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, I have spent the last 31 years living on a working ranch on the western slope of Colorado. My heart, my soul, and my identity are rooted within the American West, and both my photography art prints and now my oil paintings are a reflection of this love affair with the light that plays and dances among every valley and community.
Painting has become a new-found passion and a way to portray the fragility of both the lifestyles and ecosystems of the American West I am intrigued by how species both unite and fragment our western states, and how the identity of many of them have become both symbols of political allegiance through persecution and at times sacred symbols of conservation success. Through my paintings, I want to present the magical beauty and diminishing iconic treasures that help define the western spirit with larger-than-life representations that are loose in structure but defined with an artistic license of interpretation.
There is an ownership to western values, and the spirit passed on from each generation has uniquely carved an identity that lives within the pearl-button snaps, the angle of a hat, or the iron latch to ranch gate. What can't be easily understood within the landscapes of the west are the ecosystems and species that profoundly define the wildness, the freedom, and the expansive landscapes. Water is the new gold, and within the veins and currents of the creeks and rivers that wind their way from the high country, we find trout, perhaps the most delicate and beautiful species of all. Painting the expressive colors and patterns of the various species as metaphors to healthy habitat and the magical reflection of what we can't easily see beneath the surface is my current focus. Through my paintings of trout, I find a way to express a part of my childhood fishing with my Dad, and a way to enlighten our world to what I believe is the most beautiful expression of the American West.
Along with his work as a photographer and branding consultant, John Land Le Coq (Johnny) is the founder and CEO of Fishpond, Inc. As one of the world’s most respected brands of fly fishing and outdoor gear, Le Coq has designed each product since the company was founded in 1999. One of the most important areas of focus for the Fishpond brand is to advocate for environmental policy change to ensure that we continue to have healthy habitat, clean water, and open lands for species. In 2015, Fishpond became a Certified B Corporation which meets higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.fishpondusa.com Le Coq is also the co-founder of Case Logic, Inc., which is now owned by the Thule company from Sweden. This company was the foundation of his product design background, and this company remains today as the world’s leading brand of music, photo, and storage accessory products. caselogic.com
Le Coq is currently on the Board of Directors at the Woodwell Climate Research Center in Woods Hole, MA. He is the co-founder of Science On The Fly, a rapidly growing environmental organization that uses citizen science to collect water data from rivers around the world to help influence climate policy. He is the founding partner of Beyond The Pond which is the funding/branding board for the National Fish Habitat Partnershipswhich he is also serves as a Board Of Directors. In January 2022 he joined the Board of Trustees with The Nature Conservancy.
John Land Le Coq/Otter Creek Ranch/Heeney, Colorado/johnlandlecoq.com
Product design is an integral component to my focus and vital to the complete understanding of how photography and design work together to tell a story.