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Detlef Buettner

  Detlef Buettner, a native of Hamburg, Germany, caught his first fish on the Elbe River when he was 12-years-old and has been fishing ever since. The idea to paint life-size watercolors of fish began in 1977, when at age 18, he took a fishing trip to Finland. While traveling, he decided to begin drawing fish, using a cruder style than he now uses. "I had the basic idea of tracing the fish but the fish didn't have the detail. The fish was drawn in pencil from memory and little notes", he says. Buettner was encouraged in his early artistic attempts by having two of his works, a Northern Pike and a Yellow Perch,  published in a German fishing magazine. The drawings were accompanied by an article the artist wrote about how to draw fish and how committing them to paper can increase people's appreciation of their catch. Detlef moved to Alaska in 1982. "One of the reasons I came was the fishing and the beauty of the land."  He studied at the University of Alaska Southeast, graduating with a degree in Fisheries. He also took watercolor classes, and beginning with a Steelhead he caught in Peterson Creek, revived his interest in painting life-size fish, now in watercolor. He has completed numerous paintings of fish native to Alaska and Northern Europe. His first limited edition print was published in 1987. That edition of "Coho Salmon" is now sold out. In addition to prints, Detlef's fish are also available on  art cards. Detlef currently works for the Alaska State Department of Fish & Game and lives in Auke Bay with his wife, Jacqueline, and his son, Kaelen.