I was a Minnesota farm boy who came to Poulsbo, Washington in my early twenties and soon became enamored with the sea. Wrangling a ride on an old, wooden sailboat, I spent a summer cruising the waters in the Inside Passage and became convinced thatDon Kotts, Marine Artist the sailing life was for me. Upon arrriving back home, I soon found myself in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, processing the giant king crab and was introduced to the world of commercial fishing.


That was thirty years ago and in that time I have combined my love of art, sailing and fishing into a lifestyle that continues to this day. Over the years I have sailed not only the waters of the Pacific Northwest, but have built a small gaff-rigged yawl and cruised the Caribbean, spent time sailing in Tonga in the South Pacific, and many ports in between, including transiting the Panama Canal.


I obtained a USCG Master's Licence and used it in the Alaska fishing industry, working on fishing boats ranging from 42 to 350 feet. Today, I still go north, up to six months a year, now working on the super trawlers, the large boats that fish pollock in the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia.


My intimate knowledge of both the sea and the boats that ply them enable me to paint them with an accuracy and precision that is difficult to obtain without having been there and experienced the play of light on the water, the storms, the rigging of the boats, and all the details that make up a successful marine painting.


Don Kotts, marine artist, fisherman, sailor.