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Basketball image of Venice Beach beach basketball players in a defensive mode defending agains another player painted in Black and white Orlando Magic owned painting

Art Basketball Venice Beach Sports Painting

Basketball image of Venice Beach beach basketball players in a defensive mode defending agains another player painted in Black and white Orlando Magic owned painting
Basketball “Defense” sports art painting by John Robertson 60″ x 72″ acrylic on unstretched canvas

Art and Basketball

In watching the NCAA finals between Villanova and Michigan it made me think of what it takes to be a great athlete – because, I think, the same principles apply to almost anything anyone wants to do.  In my case it is or was to be a good artist   I say good and not great as I know what my physical and mental laminations are.  One does have to start out with some sort of talent but it is how they use them.

There are differences.  In basketball it is a team sport and you have to learn early that you try to do what’s best for the team. Trying to make sure everyone’s playing together as one unit.  In painting, it is pretty much up to the individual artist in creating their work.  But to be more than that individual artist you have too participate in a team effort to be part of a larger picture of artists around you – artist that gives you support and guidance and help you develop.

It’s like a fourteen year old kid who practices and learns to be a really good shooter, and learns great ball handling and dribbling skills but until he can play on a team and be part of it, he won’t amount to anything.  He will just be a kid shooting basketballs down at the gym.  What you want to happen is for a new talent to join up with more advanced players, or in my case mid-career artists, who can take a development route towards more advanced play.

The problem arises when players (artists) want to take a shorter route, to get into the marketplace without all the tools that take time to develop.  In the case of a a high school  player, he might think he is ready for the pros, or the college player who wants to leave early out of the program and sign early.  Occasionally it works for that exceptional player but normally they need to stay and mature.  I don’t care what you want to do –  artist, basketball player asparagus farmer, whatever it is.  Whatever it is, there is no easy path except hard work and time.

Amway Sports Arena

Basketball sports art. The new Amway sports arena in Orlando Florida purchased this basketball art. This is where the NBA Orlando Magic plays.  The sports image came from a photograph I took of the basketball players that play on the courts in Venice CA.  The basketball courts were the ones used when filming the  great basketball movie, “White Men Can’t Jump.”

image golfer swinging a golf club in a black and white impressionistic and expressionistic manner.

Are You Playing in the Masters?

No Masters No Golf Not This Year

As a sports artist one would think that I played golf as it is a leisurely sports activity for a guy getting into my age bracket.  There are not many sports I can play at my age, much less in the Masters.   I once managed a golf driving range and took quite a few lessons so you’d think I would want to get out on the links and bang the ball around.  But that is the problem – I would just bang the ball and chase it in to high grass on either side of the fairways.  I lugged my golf bag around with two ball retrievers – just in case I broke one.   Even after all the practice and golf lessons and videos I watched the only way I could lever lower my score was to cheat.  My best method was

using the “close enough to the hole” as if you were tossing grenades.   That grenade method of measurement of success (close enough) could turn a four put into a two.

Time-lapse Video (34 seconds) Speed Painting of Golfer

So for relaxation I took up the “sport” of painting – with a bit of success.  If you visit some of the newest sports stadiums or arenas in this country you may stumble upon a few of my paintings.  (See Bio)  .  The time lapse golf video you see here is a sample of what I do with paint.  It’s short – the demonstration painting in an expressionistic and impressionistic manner is about 34 seconds and the actual sports art is about seven feet.  If you are on my blog you surely know that I am a sports artist, painting professionally for sports stadiums and arenas and other commercial projects.  I take commissions and would be happy to do a sports selfie of you playing your favorite sport.  You can reach me through my contact pages and I will be happy to discuss the possibilities with you.

Baseball art painting of a batter, umpire and catcher at home plate colored in black and white created by sports artist John Robertson

MLB Opening Day 2018 Baseball Painting

Opening Day Major League Baseball (MLB)

The new year is not in January it is the MLB opening day in spring bringing all the cheers of a great baseball year.  It should be a national holiday, this year it is March 29 when  five hundred red, white and blue balloons are released over every baseball stadium in the country.  White doves should be released by the hundreds.  The blue Angels should be flying over the stadiums as fireworks explode in the sky.  For this is to be the first day we get to see the potential fairy tail team that will go on to win the Sports artist John Robertson baseball art painting of a batter at home plate with the catvcher and umpire behind the home plate.World Series – or it will be our first sight of a future Hall of Famer.  Every player is nervous with either butterflies in their stomach or a monkey on their back.  It all depends on how their last season ended.  But it is a special day, a birthday for everyone.  Something, somewhere in some stadium something great will happen.

It is a new day with a game opening in a fifty degree refrigerator of a stadium or another stadium opening in a sunny surfing climate of 80 degrees .  Will you be there to see it?  Will you see the first pitch, the first throwing of the hotdog or bag of peanuts?  Are we going to see an opening day shutout?  A no-hitter?  Only happened once. A walk-off home run?  Why not?  It is the ceremonial beginning of spring.

Me?  What will I do?  I will probably create a new baseball painting – something that will remind me of that opening day in late March.  That is what painting is for me – a way of recalling a day or experiencing it again through the act of painting.  It is a part of life that    I can’t let go but need to remind myself of the joys of spring.  Opening day does that for me.  The new year is not in January it is the opening day of spring bringing all the hopes of a great year.

The baseball painting by sports artist John Robertson is 60 inches by 72 inches, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

sports artist John Robertson standing with his 8 foot high painting of Stephon Diggs making the famous catch to win the game for the NFC Championship between Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleand saints.

Minnesota Vikings Miracle Sports Artist Vikings Football

sports artist John Robertson standing with his 8 foot high painting of Stephon Diggs making the famous catch to win the game for the NFC Championship between Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleand saints.

Minnesota Vikings Sports Art

If you are here on my blog you should already know that I am a sports artist who has created  sports paintings for the Minnesota Vikings US Bank stadium. A great moment in Vikings football history was made last weekend in a playoff game with the New Orleans Saints when Vikings quarterback, Cade Keenum throws a forth-quarter walk-off pass to wide receiver Stefon Diggs. For me, a Vikings fan this was an exciting moment and one that I wanted to capture in paint.  Sometimes a sports play comes along that needs to be painted just for the joy of recreating a scene or action.

Seven Heaven Play

Some of you football fans already know that this play is called, seven heaven.   For a sports artist this is a perfect opportunity to paint a great play.  The play is a deep corner route and if the quarterback, in this case, Case Keenum hits the wide receiver, in this case it’s Stefon Diggs, then something heavenly happens.   And in this particular case, the play saved the Minnesota Vikings season and crushed the New Orleans Saints and moved the Vikings into the NFC Championship Game.

 Narrative of the Play

Here’s a quick rundown of how the play went down.  There was 10 seconds showing on the clock and it was 3rd and 10 .  The Vikings were at their own 39 yard line.  Stefon Diggs runs the seven heaven route, catches the pass, the cornerback misses the tackle (I’m not giving his name as he has had enough hassle about his missed play) and Diggs scores.  It was the first time a walk-off touchdown has been made in NFL playoff history.  And what does Keenum say about this?  With a dazed and goofy look there is not too much can one day accept, “Dude, I can’t believe this!” Who can.  It was a spectacular finish to an exciting game.

Sports Artist John Robertson with Minnesota Vikings lineman defensive end Jim Marshall at US Bank Stadium

Minnesota Vikings

US Bank Stadium Minnesota Vikings Art Collection

Like myself Jim Marshall created work for the Minnesota Vikings US Bank Art Collection. The Sports Artist John Robertson with Minnesota Vikings lineman defensive end Jim Marshall at US Bank Stadiumphotograph 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 photo
he 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 “Silver Eagle”

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 toMinnesota Vikings defensive lineman Jim Marshall with sports artist John Robertson at the Minnesota Vikings US Bank stadium opening art show. 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.  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.

“Purple People Eaters” painting by Sports Artist John Robertson

The painting you see in the photograph is eight feet by twelve feet, acrylic on canvas.  TheArtist 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 Stadium “Purple People Eaters’ painting is in the Gold Suites 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.

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 jumbotron

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 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 jersey

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

Painting by Sports Artist John Robertson of Chicago Cubs Second Baseman Ryne Sandberg throwing a baseball

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.

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

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.

 

 

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 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.

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”

 

image of NBA players from the Brooklyn Nets basketball team making a move towards the basketball hoop painted by Artist John Robertson on newsprint

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.

Image painting of two basketball players, one dribbling and driving the basketball towards the basketball hoop and the other trying to guard the basketball player

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.

image of baseball slide rule a base runner being tagged out by the shortstop as he leaps into the air to catch the ball

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.

Jump Shot Basketball Painting art of two hands holding a basketball above the head preparing for a jump shot.

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.

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

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

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 

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.

 

San Francisco Giants Baseball paintings Willie Mays Art Book

San Francisco Giants Willie Mays

Baseball images of San Francisco Giants Hall of Fame baseball player Willie Mays in a short book. There is a short narrative about Willie Mays that accompanies the 10 images in the book.  As most of you probably know Willie Mays is one of the greatest baseball players in history,

The “Say Hey Kid”

Willie Mays dad played semi-pro baseball and had the nickname of “Cat” and his mother was an athlete in high school running track as a sprinter.  The way Willie Mays got the nickname “Say Hey Kid” was that he played stickball with the local kids in Harlem and his his enthusiastic exuberance earning him the nickname, the “Say Hey Kid.”

Great Baseball Play

Willie May made one of the most famous defensive plays in baseball history – and it is among the paintings I did for a short Fox Sports interview.  I painted an image of Willie for an interview conducted by Derick Jeter and Ken Griffy Jr. during an all star game televised on Fox Sports.  The play was Willie running down a mammoth drive to deep center field in Game 1 of the World Series to help the Giants beat the favored Cleveland Indians for the championship.  The painting is also in this short booklet.  If you would like to see the 4 1/2 minute interview it is located on youtube here


Baseball painting Pitcher Sandy Koufax LA Dodgers Sports Art

Sandy Koufax “the Left Arm of God”

Painting image of Los Angeles Dodgers Sandy Koufax on the pitcher's mound showing his great follow through after he has thrown the pitch.
A client had seen an earlier version of this Sandy Koufax painting that is on this blog and wanted one for his father. This one is painted with acrylic inks on drafting film. The other Sandy Koufax painting was painted in oil. The overall size is 11″ x 14″

Sandy Koufax is considered one of the greatest pitchers ever to play the game.  His nickname was “The Left Arm of God”  He played his entire career with the Brooklyn and LA Dodgers retiring in 1966  because of arthritis in his left elbow at age 30.

One of the things Sandy Koufax is remembered for was his decision not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur.  It was a conflict between professional pressures and personal beliefs.  Koufax was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1972 – the youngest ever inducted at the time at 36 years old.

Story about Sandy Koufax

Here is one of the great stories about Koufax that I found on Wired “Cruel Curveball Science; Nasty Koufax” BY DAVID DOBBS

“Koufax had to face the terrifying Mickey Mantle. The book on Mantle, Leavy explains, was never ever ever EVER throw him the curve. For he was so strong in his upper body and arms that even if you fooled him badly and got him to commit his hips too early, he could still crush the ball as long as his hands were still back. So don’t throw him the hook. Just don’t. And if you can throw 100 mph, like Koufax could, why throw the curve?

Because you’re Koufax.

So in the first game in which they meet — Game 1 of the 1963 World Series, Dodgers v Yankees — Koufax faces Mantle three times. On the first at-bat he strikes out Mantle throwing nothing but fastballs.

Mantle’s second time up, Koufax gets two strikes on him. Everyone in the park is thinking heat. But Koufax shakes off the fastball sign once, twice. Catcher catches on, puts down two fingers to call for the curve. And Koufax’s curve was a horrid thing to a batter, possibly the best curveball ever, a nose-to-toes diver that just killed batters, flummoxed them utterly, destroyed their minds.  Yet still, he’d been told NOT to throw this thing to Mantle. So he decdies he’s going to. And he does.

Ball comes in eye-high, just buzzing … and just before reaching the plate it dives, crossing the plate at Mantle’s knees. Mantle flinches, just the tiniest bit,  but never moves the bat. Ump calls strike three. Mantle stands there an extra beat, then turns to the catcher and says, “How the fuck is anybody supposed to hit that shit?” And walks back to the dugout.”

Most of the paintings shown on the blog have been sold.  (They sell fast)  But there are a few available.  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.