The Artist

Colin Herforth’s work – as an artist and as a person – is shaped in response to the human and natural life he finds around him. Inspired by everything from Southeast Alaska fishing boats, fishermen and women and – well, fish – to vibrant village scenes of Mexico and Central America, Herforth’s watercolors and pastels consistently come alive on the page. The very air comes alive if you seat him behind jazz drums!

Born to a musical family in Cleveland, Colin found his way to Seattle and signed on to a crab factory-processor that worked the waters off Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, the string of sparsely wooded and populated volcanic islands that are the farthest western point of North America.

These giant, industrial vessels are the ones that take the crab from the “Deadliest Catch”- style crabbers in areas far from shore, so the catcher boats can spend more time fishing. Colin found he liked the fishing world, but sought a smaller scale.

He found it in Sitka, where he moved in 1976 to hand-troll for king and coho salmon and longline for halibut and black cod. He fished for 14 seasons, which has to be one of the reasons that commercial fishermen on both coasts have found the images in “The Bight Before Christmas” to be spot-on.

In 1981, Herforth went to Mexico with a fisherman friend and ended up meeting his life partner, Christie Jones, an American artist living there. They returned to Sitka together and opened Fairweather Prints, a Sitka gallery that specializes in silk-screened and hand-painting clothing and all sorts of folk and fine art from both Alaska and Latin America. Colin and Christie travel South each year (last year was Ecuador) to find interesting new items for the store and inspiration for their art.

Herforth describes himself as both painter, cartoonist and musician (drums and guitar). For the paintings, go to Fairweather Prints. For the drums and guitar, find out where in Sitka the bands “Slack Tide” or “Jazz on the Rocks” are playing. For a memorable taste of Colin’s cartoonist side, check out the humorous, accurate, colorful images that abound in “The Bight Before Christmas!”