Spike Knuth is
a self-taught artist, photographer and author. Born in Milwaukee, WI in
August 1937, his interest in the outdoors began at age 7 with birds and
fishing in southeastern Wisconsin’s Okauchee Lake. From age 8-13, he
spent many summer vacations and any other opportunities he had, honing
his fishing and nature study skills. His interests expanded when he
moved with his parents and brother to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin in east
central Wisconsin. Here he spent countless hours around big Lake
Winnebago, in nearby Supple and Eldorado marshes, the world famous
Horicon Marsh, Lake Butte des Mortes and many other marshes and lakes
in the area.
During this same time period, he expressed his interest and love of
wildlife and the outdoors through the developing of his talent in art.
He began studying plants and flowers so when he depicted wildlife in
his paintings the vegetation depicted would be genuine.
His childhood dream and desire of wanting to be an outdoor writer and
wildlife illustrator full time, came to fruition in February, 1974,
when he began working for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland
“Oddly, art was not my initial interest; wildlife and the outdoors
were. But I began to write and illustrate wildlife because wildlife
fascinated me and I felt the urge to want to share my fascination and
interest in the creation through my artwork and writing. I think it helped too that my mom and dad were accomplished gardeners.
It was another niche of learning that added to my interests in the
future. “They of course encouraged me a lot in my early years. “There
is a never-ending supply of subject matter out there and I was always
driven to put a name to some new creature; an insect, or turtle, or
plant. My dream now is to illustrate as many birds, fish, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and plants as I can.”