Chris Armstrong was renowned for his artwork as well as his passion for fishing and the outdoors.
This past spring the hunting a fishing industry lost a talented and intuitive artist named Chris Armstrong. I worked closely with Armstrong during my tenure as Editor of Western Outdoors magazine, and a strong friendship evolved that journeyed with us beyond that time and place – from fishing the Louisiana wetlands to hunting on the High Plains of Colorado, Armstrong would arrive and add a dose of magic to the air - his creative talent manifest in every wisp of breath and in each comment on life. His vision of the world still held loosely to the joyous energy of youth that many of us traded in to be “adults,” and it added a palpable electricity to the space he occupied.
Armstrong so loved the Louisiana wetlands and offshore fishing out of Venice that he made the first individual donation to the conservation campaign called Vanishing Paradise. His gift was a grand painting of a spoonbill crane, and the painting was sold to Louisiana Sportsman magazine owner Tony Taylor. It was the first individual cash influx to a campaign funded by a foundation and was a galvanizing moment for the many who treasure that special place beyond roads and the modern bustle.
Chris was a true talent. His vision was born from his keen observations of the world around him and influenced greatly by his passion for fishing and life. As Editor of Western Outdoors magazine I worked closely with Chris as both collaborator and friend. His art elevated the pages of Western Outdoors into an award-winning publication. His ability to show the "underwater" part of the story so critical to an angler's understanding of the angling craft was priceless. His artwork influenced many outdoor publications and products and the loss to all is great.
About the Author
Lew Carpenter is a Regional Representative for the National Wildlife Federation. He works with NWF's affiliates and other independent organizations in Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. The groups include thousands of conservation-minded hunters and anglers. He also works with the outdoor writer's community to educate hunters and anglers on the rapid loss of Louisiana wetlands.