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

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 McGuire on his knees with head bent down charcoal drawing by artist John Robertson

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.

Artist John Robertson

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

Painting of Payton Manning Denver Broncos quarterback handing off football to running back C J Anderson

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.”

Golf Painting Art Bubba Watson

Golf Painting of  Bubba Watson

Golf Art Golfer Bubba Watson paintingThe golf painting of PGA player Bubba Watson with hid perfect swing by sports art is John Robertson is 4 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

When I was in college I managed a golf driving range for about a year.  It could be boring standing at the counter asking, “premium or regular”  which referred to the quality of the practice golf balls and not the quality of gasoline that was served at the  “service” stations where I also worked.  Among the other jobs at the golf driving range I had to do was to drive the “golf picker” which was an old Willies Jeep towing a raker that scraped up the golf  balls from from the brown dirt.  There were targets on the driving range at 50 yards and 100 yards and 150 yards and 200 yrds and 250 yards.  But the main target was me driving the  golf picker.

 Golf Hustler

The fun part of the golf job was watching a golf hustler, who hung out at the driving range, hustling customers with his trick shots.  He was about 5 feet 4 inches tall, and had to be over two hundred pounds.  He wore crazy colored golf shorts and was as hairy as a fat, brown bear.  I found a mentor.

I saw him out drive people with a shovel and a rake.  I saw him make a bet with a guy that he could stand on one picnic bench, tee up a golf ball on another picnic bench (he put the tee between the crack between the two strip of wood on the bench) and with his favorite garden rake, drive the ball off the bench over 175 yards and hit the target out on the range.  I saw him stand on one side of the golf shack and with a garden hoe, pitch the ball blindly over the shack and come within ten feet of the 75 yard target. I saw him pocket a lot of money.  The owner said when he came around, chase him off.  But the owner was seldom there and I was mentored and entertained.  Also, as the saying goes, “don’t poke the bear.”

Woman Soccer player Stephanie Sabaliauskas Painting

Soccer Player Painting

 

This is a painting of woman’s soccer player Stephanie Sabliauskas commissioned by Monclair State as a tribute to Stephanie.

Stephanie Sabliauskas

One of the top players in the history of the Monclair State soccer program, Stephanie Sabaliauskas begins her third season as an assistant coach. The third all-time leading scorer in program history,  Stephanie Sabliauskas soccer player for Monclair State in New Jersey Sabaliauskas, an MSU Hall of Fame inductee in 2010, played from 2001-2004 with Montclair State. She helped the Red Hawks to three straight NJAC Championship Games, winning the final one in 2004 as Montclair topped The College of New Jersey in penalty kicks for its first league title and berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament. The 2003 NJAC Player of the Year, Sabaliauskas was a three-time All-NJAC selection and finished her career with 95 points. She was also third in goals scored with 41.  In her four seasons in an MSU uniform, the Red Hawks posted a 50-24-11 mark. Off the field, Sabaliauskas’ resume is just as impressive. A five-time Dean’s List Student, she was one of 15 students selected by President of the University as a Presidential Leader on Campus and was the recipient of the Dean of Students Leadership Award as well as a member of the National Student-Athlete Honor Society and was a very active member of Montclair State’s Student-Athlete Advisory Club – T.A.L.O.N. (Teaching Athletes Leadership Opportunities Now) serving as the organization’s secretary. In 2005, she was named the Outstanding Female Student-Athlete by the College Athletic Administrators of New Jersey (CAANJ). Sabaliauskas, serves as the Assistant Director of Sports Publicity and Athletic Promotions at MSU, received both her undergraduate degree in Commerical Recreation and Tourism in 2005 and masters degree in Sports Administration and Coaching in 2011 from Montclair State.

About the painting

The soccer painting is 16′ by 20″ ink and acrylic on canvas.  It is painted on old clippings and information about Stephanie from her career at Monclair State

Painting of tattoo artist Luis standing net to his large-scale painting on canvas

Artist John Robertson Painting Demonstration Santa Paula Museum

Painting Demonstration by Sports Artist John Robertson

The Santa Paula Art Museum has invited artist John Robertson to speak and and give a painting demonstration of large-scale figurative painting. 3:00 PM, Thursday, March 10. Please join me

Painting of tattoo artist Luis standing net to his large-scale painting on canvas

Life size figurative painting on brown paper of Luis the tattoo artist who has body covered in tattoos

at:

Santa Paula Art Museum,117 North 10th Street, Santa Paula, Ca.

$4 Adults, $3 Seniors, Students and museum members free

The painting you see in the photograph is of Luis, a tattoo artist who works in a tattoo shop in the same complex where my studio is located. As you can see, he is covered in tattoos including his face. He has plenty of piercings also. Luis has been tattooing for about twenty years and is quite an accomplished artist. He paints in oils and not surprisingly his subject matter tends towards the dark side. This painting is 40″ by 84″ ink and acrylic on unstretched canvas.

The Santa Paula Art Museum has gallery talks every second Thursday of the month at 3:00 pm for talk and tour through the Museum’s galleries led by guest curators, artists, and experts.

Boxing paintings Floyd Mayweather Jr boxing art

Boxing Great: Floyd Mayweather

I had painted this image of Floyd Mayweather Jr. A couple of years ago and it probably is posted on this blog – but I thought  I would post it again because of his unanimous decision over Marcos Maidana in their WBC welterweight championship  fight a few nights ago.  At thirty

The boxing painting image of Floyd Mayweather Jr. is 4 feet by 5 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

The boxing painting image of Floyd Mayweather Jr. is 4 feet by 5 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

-seven Mayweather is still going strong.  He remains unbeaten in 47 fights.  Tough to argue that he is not one of the great fighters.  .

I’m not sure why I never really understood what boxing means.  The loneliness of the fighter in the ring, the sweat and smell of the fighters, the grunting and groaning, the grappling and the punching just inches away from each other.  It is about as basic as it can get.  Primitive.

 Gillette Friday Night Fights Pabst Blue Ribbon bouts

When I was a boy with my little baby face, I watched The Pabst Blue Ribbon bouts on Wednesday, Gillette Friday Night Fights and Saturday night fights with my father on a black and white TV.  We watched a lot of fights – some of the great ones.   There was the legendary Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky Marciano, Jersey Joe Walcott, Archie Moore (my favorite but hated his fight with Ali), Ezzard Charles, Joe Louis and Floyd Patterson.  Some of these guys lasted into the 60’s.

At the time, all I could see was that two men trying to hurt each other for no reason that I knew of.   I didn’t know about the money, the power over someone else, or that the pure love of fighting were reasons to fight.  I didn’t see the discipline and control.   I didn’t understand what it meant to a fighter who was blasted into the ropes, knocked there by a combination of devastating jabs and cross hooks. And as he crumbles to the canvas how his great goal was coming to an end.   As Mike Tyson said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

And what else I learned is what is so contrary to our basic, primitive instincts – that to be successful as a fighter you have to step into it.  Maybe that is why I found it so captivating – the ability of a fighter who may be under a barrage of punches to the face, to lean in, to step in, instead of backing away from the assault.  Because that is the life lesson I take from watching all those fights with my father.  You have to stick your face out there.

Floyd Maywheather Jr. quote which should apply to everything we do: “I approach every fight like it’s my last fight.”

Floyd Mayweather Jr.  is currently undefeated as a professional and is a five-division world champion.  Super featherweight, Lightweight, Light welterweight, Welterweight, and Light middleweight.  He has won ten world titles in the four different weight classes. EPSY has awarded Mayweather Best Fighter ESPY Award in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Mayweather is a two-time Ring magazine Fighter of the Year (winning the award in 1998 and 2007); he also won the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) Fighter of the Year award in 2007.  Nicknames: Pretty Boy Money, TBE (The Best Ever).  Height 5 ft. 8 in.  Reach 72 inches.  47 wins – no losses.  Olympic Games in Atlanta (1996) received a Bronze Medal as a featherweight.   Information from From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

Art of the NFL: In Celebration of Super Bowl 50

Art of the NFL

Painting of Quarterbsk Tom Brady of the New England Patriots Standing with his hands on his hips in a snowstorm

Painting of Quarterbsk Tom Brady of the New England Patriots Standing with his hands on his hips in a snowstorm

I will be in a group Super Bowl Art Show (with three large-scale football paintings)

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, January 14th | 7:00 – 9:00 PM

Special Guests

Dwight Clark (#87, Former 49er) was the receiver in the famous “Catch” which  refers to the winning touchdown reception by Dwight Clark off a Joe Montana pass in the January 10, 1982, NFC Championship Game between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers. The Catch is widely regarded as one of the most memorable events in NFL history. The game represented the end of the Cowboys’ domination in the NFC since the conference’s inception in 1970, and the beginning of the 49ers’ rise as an NFL dynasty in the 1980s. (source: Wikipedia)

Also on hand will be Kyle Nelson (#86, Current 49er, Tight End & Long Snapper)

The Super Bowl is being held in the San Francisco 49er’s Levi Stadium this year which is right down the road from the gallery.

JCO’S Place – Fine Art  Los Gatos

45 North Santa Cruz Ave.

Los Gatos, CA 95030

The show is up from Jan 12 – Feb 7

RSVP REQUIRED for reception

Girl high school high jumper, jumping and clearing the high bar

high school high jumper painting

Girl high school high jumper, jumping and clearing the high bar

A high school high jumper painting by sports artist John Robertson is approximately 4 feet by 7 1/2 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Seventeen year old high school High jumper, Jaimee, from a small town a Northern Ontario, Canada high school, high jumps 1.55 meters and holds the record for her school.

I remember being in Junior high and then high school long before there was the high jumping technique the “Fosbury Flop” which I painted here.  In junior high school we started out using the scissors jump because it was safe and easy.  Couldn’t get much height using that technique which was basically you run towards the high bar and take-off on one leg kicking it upward near the bar and try and swing it over the bar.  On the other side you land on two feet.  Kind of scissoring in the air.  Then we graduated tpo the western roll (running up to the bar , throwing the outside leg up and rounding over the bar)  The Fosbury Flop came into use in about 1965.  That is what you see here in my high jump painting.  Here is a good article about The Fosbury Flop and its beginnings

A high school girl hjigh jumper clearing the high bar

Jaimee, High School high Jumper

All I know is that I was not successful in any technique no matter what I tried.  As I said to my gym coach,  “I think I am allergic to the high jump.”  He answered, “You will get over it.”

Baseball Paintings Jim Bouton Knuckleball Atalanta Braves

Sports artist John Robertson'sBaseball Paintings. Jim Bouton is 5 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Baseball paintings. Jim Bouton pitcher for Atlanta Braved by Sports artist John Robertson is 5 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Baseball painting of Jim Bouton was a pitcher in the major leagues for a number of years playing for the New York Yankees, Seattle Pilots, Houston Astros and ended his career with the Atlanta Braves.  The longer he played in the Major Leagues he was able to extend his playing days developing the knuckleball.  As you see in the painting he is demonstrating how the knuckleball is held in the hand for throwing a pitch.

Jim Bouton who became a really good knucklball pitcher for the Atlanta Braves  wrote the classic baseball book, BALL FOUR.  The painting is  5 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

One of things he is best known for is his memoir of his playing years with the New York Yankees, Seattle Pilots and the Houston Astros.  He had played in the 1962 World Series and was in the 1963 MLB All-Star game.

In Jim Bouton’s book “Ball Four” broke baseball’s code of silence where the athletes did not speak about what went on in the background of baseball.  The book is a memoir that described the petty jealousies on the team, as well as camaraderie, raucous tomcatting, game-winning heroics, routine drug use and the pain professional athletes endure.  One of Bouton’s important line in the book: “You spend your life gripping a baseball,” Jim Bouton wrote, “and it turns out that it was the other way around all along.”

Here is one of the the interesting stories from the book “Ball Four”

“I think the big deal was, I said Mickey Mantle had a home run with a hangover. And, you know, it was more of a story about what a great hitter he was, what a great player he was.

“We have been out the night before, having a few drinks, and Mickey came to the clubhouse the next day, and he was a little hung over. So, you know, Ralph Houk said, ‘Don’t worry about it. Sleep it off in the trainer’s room. We’ll put somebody else in center field.’ Anyway, the game goes extra innings. We need a pinch-hitter in the 10th. Somebody went to wake up the Mick. He comes out, put a bat in his hands. He walks up to home plate, takes one practice swing and hits the first pitch into the left field bleachers, a tremendous blast.

“Guys are going nuts. He comes over, crosses home plate. Actually, he missed home plate. We have to send him back for that. He comes over to the dugout, and he looks up in the stands, and he says, those people don’t know how tough that really was. Then after the game, the sportswriter said, ‘Mick, how did you that?’ … And he said, ‘Well, it was very simple. I hit the middle ball.’ ”

 

Painting Linebacker Patrick Willis SF 49ers Art

Painted Patrick Willis for my Cardiologist

My first painting of Patrick Willis was a small piece that I did for my cardiologist after my heart surgery.  I knew he was a 49ers fan so I asked the head nurse in his office to find out who was his favorite player on the 49ers without tipping him off about me painting something for him.  She said, all the other cardiologists in the office talked football every Monday morning so she would ask them without letting him find out.  Patrick Willis was his favorite.

My next appointment after the surgery I gave him the painting.  He was shocked and excited.  He immediately took a photograph of the painting and started texting it to all his friends.  He even sent it to his mother.  Obviously he liked it.

About Patrick Willis

Sports Artist John Robertson's painting of San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis (retired) is 4 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas

Sports Artist John Robertson’s painting of San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis (retired) is 4 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas

Patrick Willis came into the NFL in 2007 and was defensive player of the year.  A great start.  But not the best way to go out – as he had a toe injury in the 2014 season and surgery that left him with feet that were painful and tender.   A seven time Pro-Bowler he never got his Super Bowl ring – a big disappointment to him.  He went into retirement because of the toe and all were disappointed as he was a favorite and backbone of the defense.  There were rumors that he might return for next season but he will be thirty-one years old – still not too old but in his physical condition it may pose s problem.

Some of you who follow my blog know that I created five large-scale pieces of art for the San Francisco Forty Niners, Levi Stadium. You can see some of the pieces on this blog.

Painting taekwondo martial arts Fighting stance art

Painting Tae Kwon Do fighter in Stance ArtSports Paintings Taekwondo

Kayla is age 9 and a purple belt in TaeKwonDo.” Kayla is very interested in training in taekwondo which boosts self confidence and self esteem.  This makes her become more sure of herself and gains confidence in her approach to life. Here is a little story about Kayla that demonstrates what she has learned in her training.

About Kayla

Kayla takes pride in her sport and is goal orientated.  She had to personally raise money to travel to a tournament and chose to sell candy bars.  So Kayla set up a table in front of a local store and waited patiently for someone to come and buy something.   Tae Kwon Do teaches patience.  Finally a man approached her table and wanted 3 candy bars.  Three cost nine dollars.  The man handed her a ten dollar bill.

Painting Taekwondo fighter in Stance ArtBeing polite (another skill learned in Taekwondo) she smiled and put the money in a small box.

The man waited a minute then asked, ” May I have my change?”

With great respect and courtesy (taught in Tae Kwon Do) she responded, “Change must come from within.”

For those of you who didn’t know Taekwondo you can see that Taekwondo is a great learning tool for children. It does this by  combining combat and self-defense techniques with sport and exercise.

About The sport:

A good definition of tae kwon do comes from a book titled Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts written by Donn F. Draeger and Robert W. Smith. “Taekwondo is an empty-hand combat form that entails the use of the whole body. Tae means “to Kick” or “Smash with the feet,” Kwon implies “punching” or “destroying with the hand or fist,” and Do means “way” or “method.” Taekwondo thus, is the technique of unarmed combat for self defense that involves the skillful application of techniques that include punching, jumping kicks, blocks, dodges, parrying actions with hands and feet. It is more than a mere physical fighting skill, representing as it does a way of thinking and a pattern of life requiring strict discipline. It is a system of training both the mind and the body in which great emphasis is placed on the development of the trainee’s moral character.”

About the painting

The painting by Sports Artist John Robertson is approximately 4 feet by 7 1/2 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas

Golf Art of A Boy Swinging a Golf Club Painting

Golf Art of Bear Huff

Golf Art painting with sports artist John Robertson standing with the painting

Sports Artist John Robertson’s painting of Bear Huff, 9 year old golfer

This golf art came about when  Sonia posted a photograph of her son Bear Huff on my Facebook page .  This is what she said  “This is my son playing in the World Jr Masters Golf Tournament in Las Vegas, NV last year at 9 years old. Bear has been playing golf since he was 1 1/2 and in tournaments since he was 4.”  He began his love of the game from watching his biggest fan and coach…his Daddy!

You can follow Bear Huff on his facebook page.

A very little about golf

What I like about the game of golf is some of the interesting words used, like: “Birdies, Bogeys, and Bump and ” which to the to the uninitiated has little meaning.  I always think of it in terms of football when a defensive back lines up in front of a wide receiver and bumps the receiver as he leaves the line of scrimmage (in the old days of football that was a slap to the helmet)  to disrupt his route.  In Nascar racing a “bump and run” iGolf Art photograph of Bear Huff swinging a golf clubs when a car from behind bumps intentionally the car in front of him (like a police pit maneuver) and then passes him by.  Back to golf.  The “bump and run” is,  unlike a standard chip shot, where you want to carry the fringe of the green (that’s the hairy stuff around the green’s edge,), the goal with the bump-and-run is to get the ball to bounce a few times short of the green and roll to the hole.

Stupid Golf Joke

Which leads me to a stupid golf joke.  Two golfers were trying to figure out which ball belonged to who as both were using a Titleist number three.  Unable to decide they went to the clubhouse and asked the golf pro for a ruling  After hearing their story and congratulating them both on their fine golf shot asked, “Now who was playing with the yellow ball?

 

Soccer painting Art boy playing Soccer

Soccer painting of Boy

I thought I might share a soccer painting I did for someone who has followed my paintings.  They took the photograph of their eight year old son playing soccer in his after school sports program.   The painting is 5 feet by 6 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Soccer Painting Boy Kicking Soccer Ball Art

As you can see by the way this boy approaches the ball that he knows how to kick a soccer ball. You can tell that he has a high soccer IQ.   Even being so young he looks quite impressive the way he is running down the field.  I’d say, a natural athlete.  I really don’t know anything about him other than receiving the photo.  But it is fun to make up stories about the boy in the painting.  So, the questions are:

  1.  How old is he?

  2. How long has he been playing soccer?

  3.  What position does he play?

4.Soccer Boy Kicking soccer Ball  Does he play other sports?

5,  Was one of his parents an athlete?

  1.  How is he doing in school?

7;  What does he want to be when he grows up?

The questions could be endless.

 

Dallas Cowboys Painting of Emmitt Smith Running Back Football Art

Painting of Dallas Cowboys Emmitt Smith

This is a painting of the All Pro, Dallas Cowboys, Emmitt Smith. It is 50" x 70" acrylic on unstretched canvas.

This is a painting of the All Pro, Dallas Cowboys, Emmitt Smith. It is 50″ x 70″ acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Here is a link to a great bio of the great running back for the Dallas Cowboys, Emmitt Smith on his official web site.  This is a short bit about him from the site.  “Smith first rose to prominence via an illustrious football career, which included three Super Bowl championships as a member of the Dallas Cowboys and the honor of being the only player to have won a Super Bowl MVP, NFL MVP and NFL Rushing Crown in the same season. Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2010, Smith is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, having amassed 18,355 yards during his 15 seasons.

Emmitt Smith was inducted into the  Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.  Here is a link to his Hall of Fame speech. Very inspiring

To get an idea of what  gracious guy Emmitt Smith is one only needs to read what he had to say when DeMarco Murray became the all-time leading ball carrier for the Dallas Cowboys.   Smith’s single season record was 1,773 yards set in 1995. Murray also wrapped up the rushing title as the league’s top running back.  “I couldn’t be happier for him,” Emmitt Smith said. “He is very deserving of this recognition. This is something that I know DeMarco will share with the whole team, because he knows that they all had a hand in his success.” …. “I am proud of him because I know how hard it is to do what he did this year,” Smith said. “I am also proud because I’ve watched him bounce back from some injury setbacks in his first few years. He’s a worked through all that, and he deserves to have this record. I want him and the whole team to keep up this level of play and carry it into the playoffs.”