Faith, Family, Freedom, and Fish

“Faith, family, freedom, and fish…” This is the mantra of native Tennessean self-taught artist and fisherman, Dan Sharley, whose artwork now decorates the walls of Alive’s Murfreesboro residence. His blend of two passions – fishing and painting – has garnered the attention of many, and he hopes that sharing his art with Alive will offer comfort, peace, and joy to patients and families at our Murfreesboro residence. Read on for the interview between Alive and Dan Sharley.

Alive: When you sat down to draw your first watercolor painting of a fish, did you anticipate it becoming more than a hobby?

Dan: Not at all, I had no game plan for it becoming more. I am thankful to my mother who pushed me to pursue more than sports. From a teenager on, I have loved art. She really encouraged me to pursue other hobbies, so I thank her for that. Now, I am marrying my two passions: fishing and painting.

Alive: Fishing and painting are both forms of art that take a lot of patience. Are there any other life lessons you’ve learned through these art forms?

Dan: I’ve learned to use the outdoors as my muse. Both [arts] definitely take patience. Learning to balance both has been another lesson I have learned. Although they may compete for my time or energy, I understand that there is space for both.

Alive: What legacy do you wish to leave through your work?

Dan: Joy. I hope it brings somebody some joy. That is my goal, I hope it brings the person viewing [the art] to a certain moment in their lives. I hope it harkens back to a memory or evokes feelings of happiness.

Alive: What led you to donate your work to Alive? Do you have a personal connection to Alive?

Dan: I have such respect for the workers and staff of Alive. I wanted to give back to a place that has given so much to my family and friends. When Alive cared for a friend of mine, they gave dignity to them. Jennifer Levi (now Alive’s Senior Director of Inpatient Units) is a friend of our family who cared for my wife’s grandfather while she was still in a nursing role. She was so warm, and it made a lasting impression on all of us.

You can find Dan Sharley’s artwork by visiting