US Bank Stadium Art Collection

Minnesota Vikings US Bank Stadium Art Collection

Like myself Jim Marshall created work for the Minnesota Vikings US Bank Art Collection. The photograph is of me, sports artist John Robertson, with Jim Marshall, defensive lineman, for the Minnesota Vikings  from nineteen sixty one to nineteen seventy nine (1961 – 1979) In the Sports Artist John Robertson with Minnesota Vikings lineman defensive end Jim Marshall at US Bank Stadiumphotohe had just had autographed a page from a book that has one of my paintings of the famous “Purple People Eaters” .  They were the great front four linemen for the Vikings. “The Purple People Eaters” included; Carl Eller, Allen Page, Gary Larson and Jim Marshall.  The painting commission hangs in the new Minnesota Vikings US Bank stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.   I met Jim at the art opening for the US Bank stadium a week ago.

Jim Marshall created from the nickname he gave himself “silver eagle”.  He liked to draw an eagle on his football uniform that “became synonymous with the Viking legend,” according to the Vikings press release.  Jim Marshall said he was inspired by the Odin’s raven on the flags on medieval Vikings’ long ships. The bird’s ferocity held meaning for Marshall, and he began to fashion his own version of the symbol. His creation was a “silver eagle”.

It was really exciting for me to meet Jim Marshall as I was, and still am a big fan of the Vikings.  Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Jim Marshall with sports artist John Robertson at the Minnesota Vikings US Bank stadium opening art show.My wife is from Minnesota and I have been going back with her at least once or twice a year since we have been together.  Marshall is a few years older than me so we are contemporaries.  He is a big, big man standing six foot four and two hundred and forty five pounds.

 

Jim Marshall “Purple People Eaters”About the painting

Sports Artist John Robertson’s painting you see in the photograph is eight feet by twelve feet, acrylic on canvas. This is the other page that Jim Marshall autographed for me which shows him Autograph page of Purple People Eaters linemen from Minnesota Viking with Carl Eller, Allen Page, Gary Larson, Jim Marshall, rushing the passerin the Purple People Eaters painting.  The original painting is in the lobby to Norsemen’s suites in the US Bank stadium where the Minnesota Vikings play. This is a private area for the suite owners but the doors are sometimes left opened so one can see them from the public area.

US Bank Stadium Minnesota Vikings Purple People Eaters

Minnesota Vikings Stadium Painting

One of my pieces ( artist John Robertson) In the new Minnesota Vikings stadium is The “Purple People Eaters” which shows the legendary linemen Carl Eller, Allen Page, Gary Larson and Jim Marshall.   The Artist John Robertson standing next to his painting of Minnesota Vikings f the Purple People Eaters defensive linemen Carl Eller, Allen Page, Gary Larson and Jim Marshall projected on the the jumbotron at US Bank Stadiumpainting you see in the photograph is eight feet by twelve feet, acrylic on canvas.  The “Purple People Eaters’ painting is in the Gold Suites lobby to Norsemen’s suites.  This is a private area for the suite owners but the doors are sometimes left opened so one can see them from the public area.

What was fun about the opening is meeting Carl Eller and Jim Marshall who autographed the photograph art book featuring the stadium’s artists.  We also had a chance to meet the great Minnesota Vikings coach Bud Grant.

US Bank Football Stadium

We went to the art collection opening at the new  U.S. Bank Stadium where the NFL Minnesota Vikings will be playing their football games starting this 2016 2017 football season.  The stadium has a museum-quality art collection.  Both my wife (Lynn Hanson) and I have pieces of art in this collection. Lynn Hanson and John Robertson Minnesota Vikings football stadium painting US Bank, Gold Suites lobby to Norsemen's suites Purple People Eaters and Viking ship.

U.S. Bank Stadium has some unique features in comparison to other NFL stadiums, It has the largest transparent roof in the nation and five 95-feet high pivoting glass doors that will open to a nearly three-acre plaza and the Minneapolis downtown skyline. While the stadium’s roof will be fixed, the transparent 200,000 square feet of glass throughout the building will give fans an outdoor feel in a climate-controlled environment. The stadium seats are just 41 feet from the sideline. Seven levels in the stadium and it has two of the largest and highest-quality HD video boards in the NFL that are located in both the east and west end zones.

Minnesota Vikings Stadium Art Collection

To see a short video of some of the collection you can go to : http://www.usbankstadium.com/about-the-stadium/art-collection/  You will see two of my paintings in the video.  What is an interesting side comment is that my name is not listed on the Minnesota Vikings US Bank Stadium with painting of the Purple People Eaters defensive linemen Carl Eller, Allen Page, Gary Larson and Jim Marshall projected on the the jumbotroncollection artist’s list although my paintings are in the stadium.  My understanding is that only a couple of artists that were not from Minnesota were included in the collection – me being one of them.  This was intentional as the other artists not from Minnesota were also left off the list.  My wife, Lynn Hanson was include as she is from Minnesota and her sister lives about an hour from downtown Minneapolis.

Yasiel Puig LA Dodgers

Destiny

Yasiel Puig – mega-talented right fielder of the Los Angeles Dodgers – and as of this writing and finishing of this painting may be destined to leave the Dodgers in s trade.   Here are a couple of links to other sites that write about the rumors more clearly than I ever could – as I am a sports Yasiel Puig Portrait, art, painting of mega-talented right fielder of Los Angeles Dodgers holding a bat and painted from the back with his name showing on his baseball jerseyartist and not a writer.  I only try to provide a little background to the paintings I paint.  So if you are interested in what may happen or want to see what people were guessing before whatever happen, did happen, then check out these two links:

https://theringer.com/los-angeles-dodgers-yasiel-puig-trade-rumors-bdd1183e1fb2#.2rzufiz0e

http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/dodgers-are-open-to-trading-struggling-yasiel-puig-071816

Yasiel Puig Migration to US

As most of you who are reading this know that Yasiel Puig left the island of Cuba and was smuggled into the United States with the help of people with special interests in Miami and Cancun.  Even with outside help, by anyone’s imagination, it must have been a trip and risk that few would be willing to take.  People make the trip for a variety of reasons – but most do so for economic or political motives.  And, apparently there is a lot of crazy stories surrounding Yasiel Puig’s migration to the United States.   If you are at all interested in what Yasiel Puig faced in his travels to the United States, you might wish to read the article attached to the following link.  http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/10781144/no-one-walks-island-los-angeles-dodgers-yasiel-puig-journey-cuba

Short Bio of Yasiel Puig

He grew up in Cienfuegos, and played for the Cuban national team in the 2008 World Junior Championship, where they won a bronze medal. He then played in the Cuban National Series, but a failed attempt at defecting to the United States had him out for a season as punishment. He then tried several more times to defect to Mexico (so as to get to the U.S. by land), finally succeeding in 2012. Puig signed with the Dodgers in 2012.

About the Painting

The painting by sports artist John Robertson is approximately  4 feet by 6 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas

Ryne Sandberg MLB second baseman

Ryne Sandberg My Niece’s Favorite Player

The “Ryno” Ryne Sandberg played second baseman for the Chicago Cubs.  I painted this sports art for my niece as a wedding present.  My sister lived in Chicago for a number of years and, as IPainting by Sports Artist John Robertson of Chicago Cubs Second Baseman Ryne Sandberg throwing a baseball remember, she went to graduate school there also.  She is a big fan of the Chicago Cubs and when her first daughter was born she named her Ryne after Ryne Sandberg.  Although they eventually moved away from the Chicago area they continued to be fans of Chicago.  Knowing that I am a sports artist, my niece asked for a Chicago Cubs painting.  So I have surprised her with this baseball painting.

Ryne Sandberg Major Accomplishments

Ryne Sandberg was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in January 2005; he was formally inducted in ceremonies on July 31, 2005.  He was a perennial All-Star and Gold Glove candidate, making 10 consecutive All-Star appearances and winning nine consecutive Gold Gloves from 1983 to 1991. His career .989 fielding percentage is a major-league record at second base

Quotes from Ryne Sandberg

In his  July 31, 2005, Cooperstown, NY Baseball Hall of Fame speech he said, “The reason I am here, they tell me, is that I played the game a certain way, that I played the game the way it was supposed to be played. I don’t know about that, but I do know this: I had too much respect for the game to play it any other way, and if there was there is a single reason I am here today, it is because of one word, “respect.”¹ I love to play baseball. I’m a baseball player. I’ve always been a baseball player. I’m still a baseball player. That’s who I am.”

One of my favorite quotes from Ryne Sandberg is because it has more meaning in to life and not just baseball.  He said, “In baseball, there’s always the next day.”  There  is always the next day to move on with your life.  Don’t let the past haunt and weigh you down.  I like that thought.

The John Robertson Sports Art painting is 48″ by 63″ acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Rescue Lifeguard California State Parks

Lifeguard Tryout qualification

Painting art of California State Parks woman lifeguard with her liefguard tube under her arm as she looks towards the ocean for a swimmer in danger

Prior to summer the California State Parks have tryouts for State Parks lifeguards.  They hold the lifeguard tryouts up and down the California coast.  This gives a potential lifeguard an opportunity to see if they are physically fit for the job.

I photographed this woman lifeguard at the tryouts for a sport art painting. The tryouts were held at the Sycamore Canyon State Beach just outside of Oxnard, California.  All applicants are required to successfully complete a 1,000 yard open water swim. Time limit of 20 minutes. And then they have a continuous 200 yard run, 400 yard swim, 200 yard run. Time limit of 10 minutes.

After that strenuous test there is a qualification appraisal interview.  And then the applicant needs to complete the California State Park Lifeguard Training Program. (8 days/80+ hours) Includes department certification in CPR & AED, Public Safety First Aid, and open water search & rescue and other aquatic lifesaving techniques.

Lifeguard Challenge

At this particular tryout the surf was so big they cancelled the actual tryout but allowed people to practice the course and the high surf.  The surf was running about six feet, heavy winds and a strong rip tide.  This was a dangerous swim and the State gave warning, suggesting that you better be a strong swimmer to attempt the 1000 yard swim.  The regular state lifeguards put the swimmers into the water a couple of hundred yards up the beach, allowing for the drift of the current and the riptides.

It was a challenge for the lifeguards to get their jet skies and their rescue paddleboards into the water – which took a number of attempts.  I would guess about a dozen lifeguards went out on paddleboards and another dozen guards stayed in shallow water to help with any struggling swimmers.  Other California State Parks lifeguards were available on shore for any problems.

I took about a hundred photographs that day, documenting the tryouts.  This particular lifeguard caught my interest to paint.   The sports art painting by artist John Robertson is approximately 8 1/2 feet by 4 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

 

 

Muhammad Ali The Greatest

Met Muhammad Ali

As I am a big fan of Muhammad Ali  it was thrilling to meet him in 1984.  I may not seem an important meeting, but to me, really exciting.  At the time I was working for a large chain of furniture and appliance stores and travelled to the national housewares show in Chicago.  It Art painting of world famous heavy weight champion of the world greatest boxer Muhammad Ali with the words Shines in Nightly Honor written cross the front.was in January and the wind chill factor made the temperature about fifty degrees below zero.  Anyone from the Midwest knows what that is like – and for a guy from California it was, well, freezing!!!  I was walking the aisles at McCormick Place, a cavernous convention center, and it was not warm inside either.  I looked up ahead of me and here comes a big man in a beautiful beige, cashmere overcoat walking towards me.  Muhammad Ali!!!  I wanted to shout out Ali!!!  Ali!!! Ali!!!  But I didn’t.  I just sort of put myself in front of him with my hand out and a bit of drool on my face.   He gave me a huge smile and stuck his hand out to me.  I am sure I said a few really stupid things to him but he was gracious and looked at me directly as we spoke.  I have no idea what he said to me as I was too nervous to pay much attention to anything other than my small hand in his.  What I do remember is that his handshake was very soft.  It was like he had a big, fluffy pillow hand that my hand just sunk way into his cushy grip.

When I became a fan Muhammad Ali

Although I had followed boxing when I was a kid, I did not become conscious of Muhammad Ali until I was in the Navy.  Before then, growing up I watched the Wednesday,  Friday and Saturday night fights on a black and white television with my step-dad.  At that time my favorite fighter was Archie Moore who fought as a light-heavyweight and had one of the longest professional careers in the history of the sport.   I also liked his nickname, “The Mongoose”

I joined the Navy in 1961 and didn’t pay much attention to boxing.  But in November of 1962 Muhammad Ali fought Archie Moore.  At the time I was on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the Pacific and as entertainment the ship broadcast-ed the fight over the ship’s radio system.  Hundreds of sailors gathered in different recreation rooms around the ship and listened the fight.  Of course, I was for “The Mongoose” and was sorely disappointed when he lost.  But that is when I became aware of Ali.  After that the ship continued to broadcast the fights.   By the time Ali fought Henry Cooper in 1963, I was a die-hard fan.  And that continued all through his career.

Muhammad Ali Inspiration

Individual fans have their favorite quotes of Ali.  My favorite is, “”The fight is won or lost far away from the witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”  Why this quote so inspirational to me is that, as an artist (painter) their are years of time spent at a canvas trying to paint a good painting.  I’ve painted hundreds of  large-scale portraits.  The first fifty portraits were terrible and I would not show them to anyone.  But I knew I had to put in the time and the hard work would pay off.  And soon I could paint a descent portrait – now, I get three good ones for every ten I paint.  I understand what it takes for an artist to have created a body of work for an art or museum show.

Another quote that is just as inspirational to me is: “Impossible is just a word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”  My experience with this quote is certainly not one of overcoming a huge impossibility – but – I didn’t start painting until I was forty-seven years old.  And before that had shown no interest in art, museums or galleries.  But someone suggested I paint to help relax me.  I was a businessman and had been an English major in college. Pretty far away from art.  But I fell in love with painting. and by the time I was in my fifties I started selling paintings and now am a professional artist.  Anybody who knew me before I was an artist would say “impossible”

About the Painting

The Muhammad Ali painting by sports artist John Robertson is approximately 50″ x 70′ acrylic on unstretched canvas

Joe Mauer Painting

Sports Baseball painting of Minnesota Twins catch Joe Mauer

This painting of Joe Mauer first baseman and used to be catcher of the Minnesota Twins major league baseball team is approximately 8” x 10” on a 11” x 14” piece of drafting film. Ink and watercolor.Image of Minnesota Twins first baseman and catcher Joe Mauer when he played catcher squatting in the catcher's stance behind home plate

Joe Mauer’s main position when he started playing was catcher and sometimes first baseman.  When asked to paint him for a relative he wanted a painting of Joe as a catcher.  As a catcher Joe took a few hits to the head causing some concussions.  On November 11, 2014 the Twins announced that Mauer would permanently move to first base in order to protect their star player from further concussions and the day-to-day physical wear of being a major league catcher.  Since then, like in the past he has performed nicely.

Inspiration for the painting

This painting was created for a  gift to my nephew-in-law.  He is my wife’s sister’s son who absolutely loves the Minnesota Twins and goes to as many games as he possibly can.   My wife’s family is from Minnesota and her sister lives just about a hour north from the Twin Cities.  When my nephew left Minnesota to take a teaching job in Mexico he wanted something that would remind him of his home state.  His mother suggested a baseball player and we somehow found out his favorite player was Joe Mauer.

I did paint Joe as a surprise and it eventually the painting ended up in Mexico.  My nephew comes back to the states for all vacations and, of course back to Minnesota.  And one of the first things he does is go to a Twins game.  We get to see him every summer and a few times he has come to California to visit.   Also, he is moving on from Mexico after three years there he is not sure where his next job will be.  But he does like teaching in a foreign country except for missing the Twins

Nephew Second Passion: Minnesota Vikings

What is going to be fun this upcoming summer 2016 is the opening of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.  Both my wife and I have painted large-scale sports artwork for the new stadium and will be able to take her nephew to the opening in July.  He is excited about the whole process as football and the Vikings is his next big passion.  Don’t tell him but I will probably get some prints of the images I painted for the Vikings and they will be a great gift for his return.

Fist Jam For Rock Climber Hold Painting

Definition of a Fist Jam Hold for Rock Climber

A Fist jam is a rock climber hold where you jam the hand into a crack with a clenched fist position, the expanded muscles securing the hand.

Eight Reasons to Give Up As a Rock Climber

If you are a rock climber and wonder if you should give up the sport or continue to climb

Fist Jam image rock climber image when climbing rock is where a hand is jammed between rocks for a good hold on the climb
Fist Jam rock climbing sports art painting by artist John Robertson is 50″ x 70″ acrylic on unstretched canvas.continue the sport these are the things you do that suggests you should give up the sport.
  1. You’ve chopped the rope with your axe while ice climbing.
  2. Your climbing partner uses you to “test” for rock stability.
  3. You fell off the tailgate of your pick-up truck.
  4. People ask if you’re a park ranger.
  5. You buy shoes a size too big.
  6. You aerate your lawn with your crampon.
  7. If you wear baggy shorts and no underwear
  8. If you say “I think it might be this way”

Why the rock climber paintings?

My daughter and son-in-law are rock climbers and own an outdoor recreation store in Ventura. – Real Cheap Sports, Ventura’s Outdoor Store is located in the city of Ventura on the Southern California coast. The store was originally founded by Jeff and Yvon Chouinard and opened in 1981 as Patagonia’s original outlet store, just one block from Patagonia’s corporate headquarters just west of downtown Ventura. Today, Real Cheap Sports resides in its original location, but has an expanded store space. Operating independently since 1998 as an “Outlet Dealer,” Real Cheap Sports is Southern California’s largest outlet store for Patagonia closeout merchandise and features discounts on clothing and equipment from a variety of reputable outdoor manufacturers for backpacking, climbing, hiking, sea kayaking, and international travel. Come and visit them sometime. They are always be happy to see you. Or visit their web site http://www.realcheapsports.com/

Rock climbing Hand Jam

Hand Jam Rock climbing Hold Painting

Image of a rock climbing hand hold hand jam rock hold jammed between two rocks to help a rock climber hold onto the face of a rock while climbing it.
Hand Jam rock climbing sports art painting by artist John Robertson is 50″ x 70″ acrylic on unstretched canvas.

There is two types of hand jams in rock climbing – Thumb-up hand jam – jamming the hand in a small crack with the thumb in an upward position, enabling greater reach between holds. And

the thumb-down hand jam – as with the thumb-up hand jam, but with the thumb placed downwards, a less maneuverable but more secure hold.

Eight things that let you know you are not a rock climber if:

  1. You think escalators would help while rock climbing.
  2. You think trails need to be wider so people can walk while holding hands
  3. You think reflectors need to be placed on rocks every 5 feet so people can climb at night with flashlights
  4. You think rocks should be stacked in a more orderly fashion.
  5. You think it is kinky to wear a harness
  6. You think it is okay to use your dog on belay.
  7. You think that you think you don’t need a helmet.
  8. You have to unwind your climbing rope from your SUV’s winch.

Why the rock climbing paintings?

My daughter and son-in-law are rock climbers and own an outdoor recreation store in Ventura. – Real Cheap Sports, Ventura’s Outdoor Store is located in the city of Ventura on the Southern California coast. The store was originally founded by Jeff and Yvon Chouinard and opened in 1981 as Patagonia’s original outlet store, just one block from Patagonia’s corporate headquarters just west of downtown Ventura. Today, Real Cheap Sports resides in its original location, but has an expanded store space. Operating independently since 1998 as an “Outlet Dealer,” Real Cheap Sports is Southern California’s largest outlet store for Patagonia closeout merchandise and features discounts on clothing and equipment from a variety of reputable outdoor manufacturers for backpacking, climbing, hiking, sea kayaking, and international travel. Come and visit them sometime. They are always be happy to see you. Or visit their web site http://www.realcheapsports.com/

Art Basketball Layup Painting

How I became a Sports Artist by Painting a Basketball Layup Painting

I have been asked a number of times how I became a sports artist – which started with basketball layup paintings.  Most people assume that I was an avid sports fan and painted what was of most interest to me.  Actually, it was strictly by accident I became a sports artist.A painting of a left hand holding a basketball layup getting ready to dunk the ball through a hoop

A number of years ago I was painting large-scale portraits of the musicians in a night club in Santa Monica, Ca. named The Temple Bar.  The completed portrait paintings hung in the windows that faced Wilshire Blvd, a well traveled street.  I frequented the club, one or two nights a week for about five years.

Fox Sports Calls

One afternoon I got a call in my studio from a person claiming to be a director for Fox Sports Net and he had seen my paintings in the window of the Temple Bar.  He said they had been looking for an artist for a NBA basketball commercial and wondered if I was capable of doing some large-scale sports paintings.  It seemed like a foolish question as he had already seen my work in the windows – and I thought it was just a friend messing around with me.  Yeah.  Right.  Fox Sports is calling me to paint some paintings for a NBA commercial.  He convinced me he was for real and invited me down to their studios in West Los Angeles.

Painting the Basketball Layup

Once there (he was serious) we discussed a few concepts he had.  I told him I could do any of them he wanted.  The one that was selected was of five feet by seven feet basketball layup paintings of a hand in different stages of doing  the layup and dunk into a basketball hoop.Photograph of my paintings on the set for shooting a basketball layup commercial for Fox Sports showing hands in different position dunking a basketball

As you can see by the photograph the paintings were put in a circle and the camera spun around to animate the look of the basketball layup being made.   They also showed an artist painting the basketball paintings in a very expressive, impressionistic way.  I was not in the commercial as they hired a young kid to play my roll as the artist.  The director said, as an older person, I was not the demographic they wanted as the artist.

The commercial ran nationally in spot markets for the season and the basketball layup paintings were used as the front and back bumpers for the commercial and the middle part announcing what game was to be televised. Photograph of set of Fox Sports Commercial for the NBA basketball season showing the back side of my basketball layup paintings

Fox Sports then hired me to paint portraits of Willie Mays for an MLB All-Star game in which  Ken Griffey Jr. and Derek Jeter interviewed Willie for 4 1/2 minutes. Again, my sports paintings were featured in the interview.

I was now identified as a sports artist.  An artist sports agent contacted me and started representing me for big commercial jobs – stadiums and arenas, restaurants, corporate offices, etc.  And I have been doing that ever since.  The bottom line of it all is that I was very lucky to have been “discovered” by someone at Fox Sports and then by the agent who promoted me.

Basketball hoop Painting

Abstract Basketball Hoop Painting

A few years ago I was approached by a sports art agent to do some paintings for the (at the time) a new Amway sports arena in Orlando, Florida – where the NBA Orlando Magic plays basketball. The paintings were to be used on the walls and in spaces for the arena.  I don’t recall how many

Image of basketball and hoop in the alley in yellow colors abstract

paintings I did for them but I do remember a couple of them were basketball related and this contemporary basketball hoop painting was among the different paintings.

This abstract painting of the basketball hoop is good size: sixty inches by seventy-two inches  (five feet by six feet) acrylic on unstretched canvas.  What I was asked to paint was something bright and colorful and represented basketball in an abstract way.  A couple of the other paintings I did for them were basketball paintings of Venice Beach street players I had photograph at Venice, Ca.  This is where the great basketball  movie “White Men Can’t Jump” was filmed and in our neighborhood.  (These paintings are posted somewhere on this blog)

How I selected the subject matter

At the time I had not done many non-figurative paintings so it was a bit of a challenge for me.  I wasn’t really sure where to start.  But one evening my wife and I were walking the alleys of Venice.  We always liked seeing the backs of the rundown properties and the deterioration of the neighborhood.  There is something very human seeing old garages and backs of old cottages.  My wife actually owned a small cottage that was held up by the wings of termites.   As we walked in the alleys I kept seeing old, rusted and unused basketball hoops attached to dilapidated garages.  And growing over some of the garages were vines and flowers.  One in particular captured my imagination – a garage with Nasturtiums (yellow orange flowers on long green vines) draped through the hoop and over the garage doors.  Perfect.

I took a bunch of photographs from a variety of angles for reference material.  Back in my studio I painted the scene in a realistic manner, recreating the alley and garages and trash cans and the hoop and the flowers.  And then I took a big brush and slashed paint all over the canvas.  And what you see is the result of my effort – a contemporary, modern sort of basketball hoop abstract painting.

Football paintings Jim Thorpe Football Baseball and Olympic athlete art

As A Boy – Jim Thorpe – My Favorite Athlete

I have no idea when Jim Thorpe showed up in my conscientiousness.  But he seemed to always be there.  I am sure it had to do with my step-father who loved football. In my youth we

Football painting of Jim Thorpe, Olympic gold medal athlete of the century, in a football uniform holding his helmet. Football painting is 4 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.
Football painting of Jim Thorpe, Olympic gold medal athlete of the century, in a football uniform holding his helmet. Football painting is 4 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

used to go to the old LA Rams games at the LA Coliseum in 1952 -53 to see quarterback Bob Waterfield, and Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsh, and my favorite of all nicknames for a football player, Dick “Night Train” Lane.

I am sure my step-dad told me the stories that most people heard about Jim Thorpe  – winning the gold medal in the pentathlon in 1912 Olympics, crowned by the King of Sweden as “the greatest athlete in the world.  In which Thorpe said, “thanks King.”   This is what Thorpe said about track and field;   “…Track and field, because it was something I could do by myself, one-on-one, me against everybody else.” And then my step-dad would go one about Thorpe’s college football career at Carlisle and becoming an All American in 1912 and 1913.  He played professional football for seven different teams and signed with the New York Giants baseball team in 1913.  He had different feelings about playing college football and professional football.   Thorpe said, “[T]he college game…brings out that something which is lacking in the pro game–I guess you could call it spirit. The college player…will willingly sacrifice his leg to gain the necessary yards that spell victory for his team. That’s spirit. The professional gridder will play it safe, because he wants to be in condition to earn more money in his next game. That’s business.”

As an Athlete

There were years Thorpe played in both pro sports of football and baseball at the same time.  And then the bad news came that he had played sports for money during the Olympic years and was stripped of his medals.  As Thorpe said about it, ” “I went to play baseball in North Carolina for a couple of summers and paid for it the rest of my life.”

As I loved to play sports, particularity football I knew his story well. We always thought of Jim Thorpe as the great football player from his success at Carlisle Indian Industrial School.  (as an aside:  The link is to the Wikipedia information about Carlisle and very interesting – about early turn-of-the-century college football and Indian affairs)   I, like a lot of boys wanted to be a football player.  This was long before there was any real organized football for children.  (We were called children then, not youth.)  So we got shoulder pads and helmets (with Ram colors and insignias) and banged into each other on the grass and sidewalks in front of our houses.  In those days the helmets had one single bar in front of the face so it was easy to catch an elbow or knee into the face.  Sixty years have not erased some of the scars.

Hall of Fame – Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe was eventually inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1963 in the inaugural class of 17 athletes.  Grantland Rice, a legendary sportswriter said that Thorpe was the greatest football player ever.  It wasn’t because he was the best at any particular aspect of the game, passing, running, tackling but that he was really good in all of them making for a great, all around football player.

Here is a good place for a lot more information about Jim Thorpe “The World’s Greatest Athlete”

 

Kobe Bryant Basketball Art

Ten Things Kobe Bryant and I did at certain times.
Comparisons between Kobe Bryant and me.

Painting of Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers making a jup shot with his hands above his head.When Kobe Bryant left high school he was drafted and went directly into the National Basketball Association. The NBA. Whereas: when I left high school I could have easily been drafted – into the armed services (yes I was around for the draft) but I joined and went directly into the NAVY. He was a shooting guard and took thousands of shots. I didn’t shoot anything – but I probably had a thousand shots in some fly biting bars in a variety of ports around the southern pacific.

In his next year Kobe won the slam dunk contest and named an all-star in his second season. And I ended up in a dunk tank as a target for officers raising money for their new basketball court. I was good for seven dunks before being dragged from the tank with a fish in my mouth.

Kobe Bryant Success

Bryant continued on to become the cornerstone of the Lakers . He led the NBA in scoring during the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons. In one game, he scored a career-high 81 points, the second most points scored in a single game in league history behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game in 1962. He became the most valuable player a number of times and won a few championships.

My Successes

Me? Let’s see, what have I accomplished? At my last job I was fired for “not being a team player”. Although, it took them 23 years to figure that one out. No MVP that is for sure. Back to those high school days. When they ranked the senior class of 837 teenagers I was ranked 835. Yup. That is correct. I was 835th in a class of 837. Two kids had worse grades than me. Of course they were friends of mine. That fine high school education has led me on to a life of quiet obscurity.

And near the end of his career Kobe Bryant had a torn Achilles tendon that started his decline. But me? I never had a decline. You have to have had some sort of assent to decline from. And I certainly had/have my Achilles heel and my only claim to fame – I have more than two Achilles heels.

Andre Ethier Outfielder LA Dodgers Painting

LA Dodgers Andre Ethier Still Out

As we all know Andre Ethier  the MLB left-handed outfielder is still out with his broken leg mending.   He has  played his whole major league baseball with the Dodgers.  He did start in the Oakland farm system but he’s never did play in the Major League with Oakland and started with the Dodgers in 2006.  Andre does have an interesting ritual before every game—ever since he was in the minors—he eats a peanut butter and honey sandwich on wheat bread and two Baseball painting of Andre Ethier, outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers as he is sliding into home plate while the catcher protects the plate and tries to tag Ethier outspoonfuls of tuna.  One of the interesting things Ethier has said about himself is, “I wasn’t an all-American, and I wasn’t drafted until the second round. I wasn’t that guy everybody said to watch out for the next couple of years because I was going to make a big impact. I guess that lights a little fire under you and makes you want to show what you can do.”

Value of Playing for one Team

There is something valuable in a player that has only played for one team. They seem more real, not a rent-a-player, moving from one team to another.  They care more about their own team.  In his eight years with the Dodgers he has seen the good, the bad and the ugly – the success in October and the failures that can start in the July’s – and the seasons with the injuries.  He’s a he’s a 2-time All-Star with a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove in his history.

Captain Cluch

Because he has been able to perform under pressure he was given the nickname “Cap’n Clutch”.  In one season he had six walk-off hits which included four walk-off home runs that tied the Major League record for most in a season.  When asked about it in a Sporting News interview he said, “It’s one of those funny things. People understand that I’m pretty intense when I go up there, pretty focused and locked in; I can have that tight, white knuckled- grip look to me. I wasn’t that good in those situations early in my career; I was awful in those big, game-changing at-bats. I think I established that you can learn to become good at that but it takes a certain easiness and calmness to do it. There’s nothing better than having a feeling going up there: I want to be in that situation; I can’t wait to get that at-bat. Then you hit the ball and you look as you run around the bases—you just ended a game like that with one swing. It’s a great feeling. You’ve got to want to be in that situation because a lot of times you’re going to fail. But it’s what you look for. If anything, I’ve shown that I’m able to handle that situation and come through.”  A couple of his accomplishments:  He broke the Dodger record for most consecutive at-bats with a hit. He’s the only Dodger to have more than 30 doubles in six consecutive seasons.

What others Say About  Andre Ethier

As Don Mattingly, manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers said, “It’s like you’d rather have Andre up with the game on the line in the ninth…”   Mattingly continued, “That’s kind of the thinking there. You save for the biggest at-bat in the ninth.”  This gives the Los Angeles Dodger fans those great “Captain Clutch” late-inning heroics.

There has been some question about Ethier batting against left-handers.  In a GQ article Andre addressed a the question asked by Nathaniel Penn :  “Against right-handed pitchers, your numbers are spectacular. Against left-handed pitchers, you’ve struggled throughout your career. That spring your manager, Don Mattingly, had to defend you and affirm that he’s not going to platoon you this season—i.e., bench you when the Dodgers are facing a left-handed starting pitcher. At this point in your career, how do you go about improving your ability to hit lefties?

[This area] is one where I think more than anything this spring we—I mean me and [Dodgers hitting coach]  at the time, Mark McGwire—have been working really hard. Nothing mechanical, just more the mental side: visualizing and making ourselves better and really figuring out a way to just be confident in all situations.

Sometimes as a baseball player or just an athlete in general you stick to the things you do well and you keep practicing those things. Those areas where you have issues you try to fix ’em but at the same time you try to limit your exposure to those. But in baseball you gotta go up there and face everyone in every situation. I think it’s a thing where now lefties are coming out of the bullpen earlier in the game to face left-handed hitters. There’s maybe two lefties in the bullpen that are there every day just to try to get you out when those big at-bats are coming. You gotta learn those guys; it’s just how the game’s really been evolving.”

Although he has not played this season he does have a good perspective on his future play.  Andre said,  When I get back … “I just want to take advantage of every day that I’m in the lineup.”

Brooklyn Nets NBA Art Basketball Painting

Brooklyn Nets (Maybe Kris Humphries )

A number of years ago when the NBA Brooklyn Nets were playing under the name of the New Jersey Nets I had painted a group of basketball and hockey paintings for the Prudential Sports Arena in New Jersey.  I did three basketball paintings for them.

image of NBA players from the Brooklyn Nets basketball team making a move towards the basketball hoop painted by Artist John Robertson on newsprint
Sports Art painting of Brooklyn Nets basketball player by Sports Artist John Robertson painted on newsprint with ink and acrylic paint

I think the painting is of Kris Humphries when he played for the New Jersey Nets.  I am not absolutely sure.  What do you think?  Certainly there is enough photos of Kris to make the comparison – on and off the court.   Humphries later  signed with the Atlanta Hawks.

Kris Humphries Odd History

Humphries has, in my opinion kind of an odd history with his marriage to reality TV personality Kim Kardashian.  It was turned into a Ringling Bros. circus in a two-part TV special showing the preparations  (Just what I wanted to see on TV)  – and the wedding itself aired on E network  (Something else I did not want to miss  Unfortunately my Tivo was nor working that day)  in what the Washington Post called a “media blitz” related to the wedding. The marriage didn’t last long, 72 days – half a basketball season. Humphries requested an annulment on the grounds of fraud or a decree of legal separation rather than Kardashian’s requested divorce.  A lot of the news outlets thought (along with half the sports world) Kardashian’s marriage to Humphries was a publicity stunt for financial gain orchestrated by E! Entertainment and Kris and Kim Kardashian to promote the Kardashian family’s brand and their television ventures.  (Well, it worked)  Humphries and Kardashian’s divorce was finalized on June 3, 2013.

Someone recently saw the NHL Red Devils  paintings at the arena but I have no idea if the basketball paintings were moved to the new Barclays Stadium in Brooklyn where the Brooklyn Nets now play.  If anyone has seen the paintings I would appreciate any information about them

About the Basketball Painting

The Brooklyn Nets NBA Art painting is 36″ x 48″ acrylic and ink on a gallery wrapped frame.  Most of the paintings shown on the blog have been sold, including this one.  If you click on the link for Paintings for Sale you can see what is available.  What I suggest is that you contact me for your specific need and I can easily paint something specific for you.  Just clink on the contact page for information.

Basketball Dribble Player Painting

 

Basketball Dribble

The basketball dribble is one of the fundamental skills of playing basketball.  It is as fundamental as a baby dribbling spit from it’s lips after sucking milk from a bottle – or me dribbling from my mouth while drinking Image painting of basketball dribble two basketball players, one dribbling and driving the basketball towards the basketball hoop and the other trying to guard the basketball playerGatorade after a few hard minutes on a basketball court.   As you don’t see in this painting of the basketball player that the control dribble is when the dribbler is crouched in a bent over position and keeps his body between the ball and the defender.  That kind of reminds me of my youth when I was on the couch with a new girlfriend and she kept a pillow on her lap.

A Short, Short Story About Me Playing Basketball

One day, long, long ago, I was a teenager and could run and dribble and jump and shoot a basketball through a hoop . But it was a long time ago, and it was just one day.

Keep your head up and eyes alert

Anyway, with a basketball dribble as the player in the picture does not show, keep the ball low to the floor and close to the body so the other player cannot reach it. Keep your head up, and visualize the whole court, so you can find the open teammate – or, in my case, when I played, I visualized the stands in fear that one of the cute/popular girls was watching me as I fumbled and stumbled down the floor.  The other players nicknamed me Cinderella because I was always running away from the ball. (yes, a stupid joke)  But I was not a good player.

Behind the Back Dribble, Through the Legs Dribble

Thirty years ago when I last played basketball you were considered a “hot dog” if you did a basketball dribble behind your back, or through your legs. But not any more!  Everybody can do it.  I see little kids in the park passing the ball through their legs as easily as they ride a bike.  It is just something I can’t do because I am knocked kneed and the ball keeps bouncing off the inside of my legs.  I remember one time I was dribbling right with my right hand, the defender tried to get into a different position and over-played me to the right.  Smartly and not so fast, I did a behind the back dribble to crossover to my other hand, and changed directions to the left, thinking I would send him into the popcorn machine. I tripped over the ball and ended up on top of the time keeper’s table with the clock shoved … will, I won’t say … other than after that I know what time it was when I went to the bathroom in the morning.  That behind-the-back move can be very useful if you are in your twenties and thirties and used correctly, in the right situation.  In my situations it was never the correct thing to do.  As the voice of the basketball defender said to me as he helped my off the time keeper’s table, “Yeah, right.”

Basketball Dribble sports art painting by artist John Robertson is 11″ x 14″ ink and acrylic on drafting film.

Most of the paintings shown on the blog have been sold. (They sell fast) But there are a few available. What I suggest is that you contact me for your specific need and I can easily paint something specific for you. Just click on the contact page for information.

New Baseball slide rule

Baseball Slide Rule

Under the new baseball slide rule into second, “both baseball players have to wear a dress.”  At least, that is what one of the Major League baseball managers was quoted as saying.  His point being that the MLB was taking all of the “sport” out baseball.

image of baseball slide rule a base runner being tagged out by the shortstop as he leaps into the air to catch the ball
Sports Art Baseball Painting by artist John Robertson is 11″ x 14″, ink and acrylic on drafting film. Available.

If the baseball player can’t go into second base with “spikes up and wide” in an attempt to break up the double play, then where is the excitement and risk of the game?  One of the new rules state: “A runner sliding into second has to make “a bona fide attempt” not just to slide into the base, but also to “remain on the base.”   In other words,  “no interference”.  In the case of this baseball painting the base runner is trying to interfere with the shortstop.

Keep Baseball Entertaining

It seems to me, part of the reason to slide into second base, during the possibility of a double play, is to interfere with the play.   Another way to break up the double play is to run the base path so the baseman can’t throw straight to first base.  So, instead of taking out the danger of the play, with the baseball slide rule they should put a rule in to make it a greater risk for the base runner to run the bases.  And that would be, the base runner has to run the bases in a straight line between the bases.  But, with the new rule, the  baseman may throw the ball at the base runner, and the base runner is not allowed to duck.  That kind of evens out the whole “fairness” of a need for a slide rule.  Let’s make sure both basemen and base runners are, “at risk”  and keep the game as entertaining as ever.  Maybe, even more entertaining.

If the League thinks it is protecting baseball players, it is eliminating not the most dangerous aspects of the game.  The most dangerous?  – getting hit by a pitch.  The next change is coming:  protect the batter by putting him into a batting cage.

Art Basketball player making lay-up

Basketball Player Lay Up

Sports Painting basketball player by artist John Robertson
60″ x 40″ (5 feet by 3 ½ feet)
acrylic on unstretched canvas

Like most LA Lakers fans I love them when they have a championship victory and don’t pay much attention to them when they lose. But for the last couple of years the Lakers have been doing just fine. I have no interest in the LA Clippers. Part of the reason why is that The Los Angeles Lakers  became the first NBA team to reach 3,000 wins. The Los Angeles clippers trail them by just 2,992.
No fancy analysis here about the Lakers and Celtic play. My main interest in basketball is in the beauty of the play. I am amazed at the basketball player’s ability (at their size) to create artistic moves. I’ve painted a few basketball players and prefer to paint the street players that play on the Venice California beach basketball courts.
Well, the season is about over for basketball and it is on to other sports paintings. Baseball is next with a few World Cup soccer (football) paintings thrown in for the fun of it.

Junior Livestock painting of Lamb and Boy Ventura County Fair

Ventura County Fair Painting

This painting from a subject at the Ventura County Fair may not relate to sports but, in some ways, it does. This painting of a boy with his lamb is from a series of paintings of the Ventura

Painting of a boy with a lamb from the Ventura County Fair Junior Livestock Show 7 1/2 feet by 4 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.
Painting of a boy with a lamb from the Ventura County Fair Junior Livestock Show 7 1/2 feet by 4 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

County Fair Junior Livestock Show and the farm animals in the livestock area. The 4H club , FFA and Grange youth livestock projects are just as competitive as any sporting event. Youth agriculture groups compete with annual auction from all over the county.  I have a niece who has been participating in the program for three years.  She has raised pygmy goats, lambs, swine and a variety of small barnyard animals.

One of my large-scale paintings was shown at the Santa Paula Art Museum last year.  The show was “Art About Agriculture” celebrating local agriculture heritage and contemporary agriculture.  The exhibition explores all of the facets of agriculture from workers to water, machinery to soil, to the food that goes on our plates.  Address of the Santa Paula Museum is 117 North 10th St.  Santa Paula, Ca.  My painting being shown is “Boy With Lamb,”  7 1/2 feet by 4 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Series of Ventura County Fair Paintings

I  am in the process of doing a series of large-scale paintings! Chickens, rabbits, sheep and goats, swine, cattle are just a few of the animals that are displayed by the youth. These animals have been raised by county residents, and are showcased for all to see. Then there is a Junior Livestock Auction – an authentic livestock auction.  I have finished six large-scale paintings of the young adults who raise a variety of animals for their annual auction.  Also included in the series of Ventura County Fair paintings are some of the horse events along wish a few of the people that I have seen at the fairgrounds.

Jump Shot Basketball Art

Frogs Have A Better Jump Shot

As you can see from the painting this player has a nice jump shot with a nice hand and arm extension above his head. It is suppose to be an easy shot to make from a distance but I could Jump Shot Basketball Painting art of two hands holding a basketball above the head preparing for a jump shot.not do it very well from any distance. Frogs have a better jump shot. A Kangaroo Rat could jump higher than I could.  And, even if I could get off the ground I was easy to block – being short. And being short the only thing I can dunk is cookies into milk – and the only good move I had after that was dribbling.

The Mindset to Play Basketball

Basically I could not, nor did not play basketball very well or often.  When I met my (at some point in the future) wife she was playing in a mixed, men’s and women’s basketball game, weekly. She was not particularly good which made no difference to her.  Her jump shot was no better than mine.  Only her teammates were critical of her playing and like the last kid picked in the gym class she avoided being chosen by both teams at almost any costs.  But she loved to play.  If the tenth player did not show up she started jumping around the court like a grasshopper. She knew she was about to be chosen.  She was never discouraged and just waited it out.  And enviably there would be spot for her.  The last team to choose a player would look at her, look forlornly towards the parking lot and the bike rack with hopes that a car or bike would be just pulling up.  Nobody.  The team would let out a collective sigh, and ask her to play.   She has long, grasshopper legs and arms so, to the annoyance to some of the shorter players,  she could actually block a jump shot – and did so without malice.  She ran up and down the court like a shuttle which showed she was a happy and eager to play and did so with all the enthusiasm of a small child.

“The Jump Shot” basketball sports art painting by artist John Robertson is 48″ x 60″ acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Most of the paintings shown on the blog have been sold. (They sell fast) But there are a few available. What I suggest is that you contact me for your specific need and I can easily paint something specific for you. Just click on the contact page for information.

Baseball Art Catcher Ramon Hernandez

Baseball ArtBaseball art painting of catcher Ramon Hernandez swuatting behind home plate with his catcher's hand extended out to catch the baseball

Baseball art painting of Ramon Hernandez is 50″ x 70″ acrylic on unstretched canvas

As someone once said, “A catcher is a backstop with a good art.”  And Ramon Hernandez was a great catcher with a good arm and got in front of everything.   (and can play first base)   He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the Oakland Athletics (1999–2003), San Diego Padres (2004–2005), Baltimore Orioles (2006–2008), Cincinnati Reds (2009–2011), Colorado Rockies (2012) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2013).

Playing Catcher

He has an interesting position to play catchers are the defensive leader on the field. They call the pitches and can position players on the field and have a pragmatic view of baseball. The great pitcher Bob Feller said, “If you believe your catcher is intelligent and you know that he has considerable experience, it is a good thing to leave the game almost entirely in his hands.”

A good catcher will have psychological insight and have a list of behaviors for each player approaching the batting box. His eyes are continuing to move across the field of play and his mind running the different offensive scenarios in his head. All of this going on with a baseball bat menacingly inches from his head.

Catcher Bill Dickey

Bill Dickey  a baseball catcher and manage of the Yankees once said about being a catcher,  “.A catcher must want to catch. He must make up his mind that it isn’t the terrible job it is painted, and that he isn’t going to say every day, ‘Why, oh why with so many other positions in baseball did I take up this one.”   He played catcher in the Major League for the New York Yankees for 19 seasons. Dickey managed the Yankees after retiring from his playing career.

Catcher in the Rye

And, of course we must have a quote from the most that famous catcher who hangs out in the Rye, ” Holden Caulfield, ” “Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.”

― Quote from, J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye.

Mark McGwire Charcoal Drawing Sports Art

Mark McGwire: Runs, Hits, a Few Errors

As you may know the great hitter Mark McGwire and was the Los Angeles Dodgers hitting coach is now the bench coach for the San Diego Padres.Mark McGuire on his knees with head bent down charcoal drawing by artist John Robertson

I certainly hate to have my past follow me round and try to forget about it as much as I can.  But I don’t have any great influence over others outcome in life.  So what is still important in  McGwire’s past history is his time with performance-enhancing drugs – and with that  needs to tell the players is the difference between human growth hormones (HGH), bovine growth hormone (bGH) and no hormones – and it has nothing to do with utters. He needs to continue to tell the players some side effects of steroids are reversible but other effects are never changed in the minds of the public.

Mark McGwire Moves On

By admitting he took steroids and bGH Mark McGwire inflated his statistics and his body. In 1996 McGwire hit 50 home runs with 390 official times at bat – every 7.8 times he was at the plate. Babe Ruth did that eating candy bars and “light drink.” When listening to McGwire’s infamous performance before House Government Reform Committee in March 2005 there were short pauses while viewers smothered their faces with laughter. McGwire didn’t hit 135 home runs in two years on bonbons. On Mark McGwire’s Charity web site you can see that he is making great contributions to society.  And for sports in general I imagine he is making a strong contribution against the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Made in Nature

Originally the baseball was made so you couldn’t hit it easily, high, or far, so 60 home runs a season hitters are usually pituitary freaks. But we want our players to be made by nature not in the lab. Remember when baseball players were small? (For example: PeeWee Reese). Joe DIMaggio was only 6 feet 2 inches and weighed 193 pounds. Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? There is a generation out there that thinks DiMaggio invented the coffee maker.

Like Joe DiMaggio, Mark McGwire is only a symbol – of what things were what things are and what things will be. I guess we, as fans, get what we deserve. But what I prefer to see the “Mark McGwire’s of the world helping the new players overcome their need for enhancers.

Football Paintings Sports Artist John Robertson

Football paintings: facts About a Football

  1.  Here are some interesting facts about a football: It takes about 600 cows to make one full season’s worth of NFL footballs.
  1.  The Wilson Sporting Goods Company in Ada, Ohio, has been the official football supplier for the NFL since 1941. They make more than 2 million footballs of all sorts every year.picture of a football paintings showing the laces in white and a close-up of the actual football painting is 50 inches by 70 inches large

  2.  A cow has only a 1 in 17,420,000 chance of becoming an NFL football that is used in the
    Super Bowl.

About a football

When one paints  football paintings one doesn’t always know much about the subject.  Here’s some information about a football much of which I did not know before reading about it on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_(ball%20#American_and_Canadian_football. The football is also referred to as a “pigskin”, because of their early use of pig’s bladder to cover the
ball.The ball is about 11 inches (28 cm) long and about 22 inches (56 cm) The exterior of the ball is made of leather, which is required in the NFL and collegiate football. The leather is usually stamped with a pebble-grain texture to help players grip the ball. Four panels or pieces of leather are required for each football.

Two of the panels are perforated along adjoining edges, so that they can be laced together. One of these lacing panels receives an additional perforation and reinforcements in its center, to hold the inflation valve. Each panel is attached to an interior lining. The four panels are then stitched together in an “inside-out” manner. The edges with the lacing holes, however, are not stitched together. The ball is then turned right side out by pushing the panels through the lacing hole. A polyurethane or rubber lining called a bladder is then inserted through the lacing hole. Leather laces are inserted through the perforations, to provide a grip for holding, hiking and passing the football. Before play, the ball is inflated to an air pressure of 12.5–13.5 psi.

The football painting by sports artist John Robertson is 50″ x 70″ acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Painting Green By Packers Linemen Football Art

 Green Bay Packer Linemen Fan

Although my wife is from Minnesota and I should be a Vikings fan I think my favorite team is the Green Bay Packers.  Both teams I follow regularly.  One of my wife’s sisters lives in Wisconsin so I’m not in total conflict with the family cheering  for Green Bay.Green Bay Packeers Linemen painted in Black and white by sports artist John Robertson

The linemen get little glory but the real football battles are fought there, as they say, “in the trenches” My favorite linesmen’s were from the “old school” Green Bay Packers. During late summer of 1963 I spent a couple of weeks in Green Bay and had the opportunity to watch the Packers daily practice. In those days the practices were open and we could actually sit on the player’s bench and talk with them.

Favorite Linemen Players

My two favorite players were Frederick “Fuzzy” Thurston and Jerry Kramer. They were key member of the Packers’ offensive line during the team’s glory years from 1959 through 1967, when they won five NFL Championships and the first two Super Bowls. Kramer was an All-Pro five times, and a member of the NFL’s 50th anniversary team in 1969. Thurston was named to the 1961 and 1962 All-Pro teams. Kramer , 6’3″, 250 lb. right guard, (and “Fuzzy” (Fuzzy was at left guard) were an integral part of the famous “Packer Sweep”, a signature play in which both guards rapidly pull out from their positions on the line and lead-block for the running back going around the end.“Fuzzy” is famous for his quote in response to a sportswriter’s question asked of him how he prepared for the famous Ice Bowl game (where the game-time temperature was 15 degrees below zero). Thurston’s response was “about 10 vodkas.”

This photo with me in it gives you a sense of the actual size of the  The Green Backers Lineman painting is 88″ x 60″ (approx. 7 1/2 feet by 5 feet)

Artist John Robertson
large scale black and white painting of the Green Bay Packers linemen in their down stance

Payton Manning Football Paintings Denver Broncos

Payton Manning the Mule Driver

Payton Manning is my favorite quarterback. One of the things I liked about it was his work ethic.  I sometimes thought of him as if he were a mule team driver.  He knew every player’s position and where they were suppose to be hitched in the wagon train line-up.

Painting of Payton Manning Denver Broncos quarterback handing off football to running back C J Anderson
The sports painting by John Robertson is 11″ x 14″ ink and acrylic on drafting film. Available

He was like a great artist, who worked constantly on his skills and analysis of the game.  When he stood behind the center you knew he was in command of the team.  He stood behind the center like the mule team driver and lashed out instructions to his offensive line.  He pointed and pulled and yanked at his players to get them in line. And them drove them down the field.

Payton Manning Retires

After 18 years in the NFL the 39-year-old Payton Manning finally gets to retire.   As we all know he won the Super Bowl this year with the Denver Broncos and has one other Super Bowl win with the Indianapolis Colts.

The five-time NFL MVP was a Super Bowl MVP, a 14-time Pro Bowl selection and a seven-time first-team All-Pro. His teams made the playoffs in 15 of his 18 seasons, and he reached the 4,000-yard passing mark in 14 seasons.

In the Broncos’ record-setting 2013 season, when they scored a single-season record 606 points — the first time in league history a team topped 600 — Manning set single-season records for passing yards (5,477) and touchdown passes (55). It was the second time Manning threw for at least 49 touchdowns (2004 was the first) — a mark reached only one other time in NFL history (Brady in 2007).

Payton Manning Highly Respected

Payton certainly had the respect of all who played the game.  Tom Brady and Payton Manning, longtime rivals, were always being compared to each other.  Brady congratulated Manning for changing the game by writing on his Facebook page last weekend. “Congratulations Peyton, on an incredible career. You changed the game forever and made everyone around you better. It’s been an honor.”

One of my favorite comments that I have read about Manning is the one from Broncos tackle Ryan Harris.  “Peyton Manning is the kind of player, the rare kind of player, where no matter how long you played with him, whether it was a month, a year, 10 years, a week, you’re always going to say, ‘I played with Peyton Manning,'” ….You don’t say Peyton Manning and I played together or that Peyton Manning was on my team. You say, ‘I played with Peyton Manning.’ And people could not know anything about you as a player, or what you did, or if you were any good, and they would immediately know you played with one of the best ever and you were always one of the teams that [had] a real shot at the Super Bowl. He’s forever.”