Giant. 2023. Joshua Spies.
Joshua Spies is a Christian, husband, father of 2 sons, and makes his living and serves the Lord with his artistic talent (Ephesians 3: 20-21). Josh paints from his real-life experiences. He has a passion for conservation, up-close and real encounters with wildlife, then sharing them through his art. His paintings come from experiences in places such as Tanzania, Cameroon, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mongolia, Argentina, New Zealand, Tajikistan, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Spain, British Columbia, Yukon, Alaska, and Mexico.
Josh grew up spending countless days observing wildlife on the vast prairies near his hometown of Watertown, South Dakota. He took an interest in painting wildlife as a young boy and sketched his first duck at age 8. Mentored by Terry Redlin, Josh received his Bachelors Degree in Fine Art from the Department of Visual Arts at South Dakota State University. During his first year of school, he received national attention at an art show at Bradley University for his work in pencil. Since 1996, painting has been his full-time profession, and he has developed a remarkable career as an internationally recognized wildlife artist.
Conservation has always been a top priority for Joshua, and through his paintings he has helped raise millions of dollars worldwide for this effort. He won the prestigious Federal Duck Stamp competition in 2008 and has been a finalist in this event 5 other times. He was a finalist for Ducks Unlimited International Artist of the Year. His work has been selected for the Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever national art packages numerous times.
Josh is inspired by many things, from everyday happenings to extraordinary, once in a lifetime experiences. He said, “I am inspired by anything in nature that catches me off guard. When people look at my art, I hope they feel the same emotion I did when I first came upon that scene. I want them to experience the same split-second reaction I had. An instantaneous, in-your- face feeling. A feeling of awe and excitement and wonder. I enjoy what I do so much. I am continually humbled by the fact that other people want to look at what I create.”