There is a handful of NFL Hall of Fame running backs and defensive backs who have worn number 24. The player in the painting wearing number 24 can be anybody. He could be a running back or a cornerback or a free safety after intercepting a pass. I wanted it to be an unidentified player and leave
Lenny Moore is probably the best who wore number 24. He played in
Baltimore from 1956 – 1967 He was inducted into the Hall of Fame Class
of 1975. Lenny was a 7 Time Pro Bowler and 5 Time
First Team All – Pro. There is a big
difference in playing in the NFL now as opposed to playing in the 50's and
60's. Lenny Moore was asked in a interview,
"When you watch the Ravens and other National Football League teams play,
is there something you like more about today’s football game than the game it
was when you played?" Lenny's
answer. "I just enjoy it because of the nature of what it’s all about.
It’s still the same to a degree with other modifications that they added in,
different techniques, different calls, and how they monitor the game is a lot
different. A lot guys wouldn’t have been able to play during our day that are
playing today, with the things they do. There
was no whistle - you’d just be blasting people man, just be beating on people.
Jumping, knocking them down. It wasn’t until you were just about dead man that
the whistle blew, but that’s the way it was – punching, elbowing, slapping."
Willie Brown -
What I like about another player who wore number 24 is that he was overlooked in the draft - number 24, Willie Brown. Brown played college football at
and when he left college in 1963 no professional team drafted him. He did sign with the Houston Oilers of the
old(AFL, (American Football League) but
was cut during training camp. He moved on to the AFL's Denver Broncos and then
it all started for this non-drafted player.
Brown became a starter by the middle of his rookie season. In his second
season Willie Brown won All-AFL and played in the AFL All-Star Game, recording
nine interceptions for 144 yards. In
1967, Brown was traded to the AFL's Oakland Raiders and spent the remainder of
his playing career there. He served as defensive captain for 10 of his 12 years
with the team. He was named to five AFL All Star games and four NFL Pro Bowls.
He was also named All-AFL three times and All-NFL four times. Grambling
Another Willie - Willie Wood had a similar experience that Willie Brown had. Wood was not selected in the 1960 NFL draft, and contacted head coach Vince Lombardi to request a tryout. Tthe Packers signed him as a rookie free agent in 1960. After a few days with the quarterbacks, he requested a switch to defense and was recast as a free safety, and was a starter in the season. He started until his retirement in 1971. Willie Wood won All-NFL honors nine times in a nine-year stretch from 1962 through the 1971 season, participated in the Pro Bowl eight times, and played in six NFL championship games, winning all except the first in 1960. Not bad for another non-drafted player.
The great Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith, said ChampBailey was the best cornerback he had faced in his long career. This is what Smith said about his comment. “But the reason that I really just say Champ is (best) because everybody wants to talk about the success of all these guys who are in their fourth or fifth years. I’m in my 15th year, and I’m 36. Some of these guys, when I was a rookie, were in elementary school. So I’m not going to crown a guy who’s been in the league six years and had three years of success and three years of failure or average. I want to see how he is in three or four more years when his speed goes, and he has to learn how to use his technique. That’s just me, but that’s where I feel like the legacy is built.’’
The 12 Pro Bowl selections are the most-ever by a cornerback, is tied for most ever (with Hall of Famer Ken Houston) for a defensive back and is tied for third all-time among all defensive players. Only Merlin Olsen, with 14 Pro Bowl selections, and Reggie White and Ray Lewis, with 13 each, had more on defense.
It's time to put a running back in with the cornerbacks. Marshawn Lynch. The Hall of Fame flanker and running back was All-NFL five times and the NFL Player of the Year in 1964. He starred for the Colts for 12 seasons (1956-67). As some of you might know Marshawn was never a person who liked to give interviews or answer questions. In one famous interview "I ain’t got nothing to say," the Seahawks running back told NFL Network's Michael Robinson, a former
Seattle fullback, in a 2014 interview.
"I just want to play football."
After a big win against the Arizona
Cardinals Lynch was on camera with reporters in the hallway outside of Seattle's locker room he
responded to every question by simply stating, "Thanks for
asking." He had stomach problems
during the game and when asked about it, he said, "I appreciate you asking
about my stomach," Lynch said. "Thank you."
Joe Montana the Greatest
As almost everyone knows Joe Montana, "The Comeback Kid" was one of the greatest football players ever to play the game.
started his NFL career in 1979 with San
Francisco 49ers and played there 14 seasons. I can't imagine being on top of my game for 14
years. Up until 1979 I never lasted more
than about six months at the same job. It wasn't even until I was thirty four before I graduated college. That means I am older than Montana and he had a fabulous career long
before I even began to settle down.
Doctor Give Me the News
Would I want to be Joe Montana? Not now, I wouldn't. As
says, " ... the physical stuff tries to catch up with you.’’ Tries to catch up??. it does catch up. The extensive physical problems he suffers is
from more than two decades after he ended his NFL career in 1994. Montana
has spent more time at the doctor's than he ever had on the field. When standing in a swim suit he has more
knife cuts on him than a butcher's side of beef. When he walks, it's like watching a drunk
sailor sway side to side. And
painful. His knee can’t straighten despite
a half-dozen surgeries. And he thinks it
is bad now. Wait until he is my age and
has to go to the bathroom four times a night.
He'll be dragging his leg across the bedroom floor.
And then there is the metal problems - potential mental problems. His path to thinking may be affected. He’s had three neck fusions. There’s nerve damage in one of his eyes. “It acts like a lazy eye to some degree because every time you’re tired, it kind of goes wherever it feels like a little bit,’’ Montana said. I have something like lazy eye only it's in my lazy brain and I kind of wander down to the beach and eat shrimp out of the tide pools. A doctor said
problem resulted from head trauma. And Montana said, “Can’t figure out where that came from.’’ I guess he can't remember the hits.
The moral of the story. You think I need to tell you the moral of the story? That is easy to figure out. Life after football is bleak. There, I told you.
Joe Montana Football painting
Francisco 49er quarterback Joe Montana image . The art
painting is 30 inch by 48 inch, ink and acrylic on gallery wrapped
frame/stretcher bars. The orange you see
is old newsprint articles about Joe Montana and San Francisco 49ers collaged to the canvas
then treated, then inked and painted.
Sports artists by John Robertson paintings
Rams Quarterback Case Keenum
The start of this Los Angeles Rams season looks like will lead off with Case Keenum number 17 at quarterback. Keenum, has made a career as backup but has worked hard to hold off the inevitable future of Jared Goff, the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. Keenum did a good job last year of taking
Back when I was a kid my dad used to take me to the LA Rams games in the Los Angeles Coliseum back in the late forties and early fifties. At the time I remember there were two quarterbacks fighting for starting quarterback position; NormVan Brocklin who signed with the Rams out of the draft and joined the Rams who already had a star quarterback, Bob Waterfield. So beginning in 1950, the Rams coach Joe Stydahar solved his problem by platooning Waterfield and Van Brocklin. Later on, In a few more years they brought in Bill Wade. So I was fortunate to see all of them play in
Los Angeles. Saw other great LA Rams players also - the
great end Tom Fears and the fun running back, "Crazy Legs"
While I mentioned the fabulous nickname of "Crazy Legs" I should also mention my favorite football nickname of all time. Los Angeles Rams defensive back Dick "Night Train" Lane. "Night Train" Lane had gotten the nickname after taking the night trains to away games because of his fear of flying. Lane had the record for most interceptions in an NFL season (14), a record that has stood for over 60 years. He went from an undrafted football player, who worked in a factory but was good enough to be later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Running Back Todd Gurley
The other player in the LA Rams painting art is running back Todd Gurley. As the NFL football season starts The Topps Company announced that Todd Gurley, is the cover athlete for the Topps
Gurley had an absolutely great first season and will try to live up to the great Los Angeles Rams running back Eric Dickerson who in his second season ran for over 2,000 yards. That is almost a "Mission Impossible" but hopefully his offensive line will help him with the goal.
About the Sports Art painting by sports artists John Robertson
The Case Keenum, Todd Gurley NFL football art painting is to honor these two players, one who has had a great beginning and another who has worked hard in his years to become a starting quarterback. I hope they both have a great season. The painting is 4 feet by 6 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.
Now I am really going to date myself (as if the photograph of me with the painting does not already do that) by writing about my first experience with skateboarding. I lived on a hill in a neighborhood of hills and for fun we made coaster wagons or cars and coasted down the hills. Some of us would
Major Problem With Metal Wheels
What's the problem? Well, the first problem was that, idiotically, we were trying to ride a two by four. We were too stupid to put the wheels on a wider piece of wood. You have to also remember, there were no trucks for the wheels so the board was difficult to turn. It was a straight shot down the hills and speed became a factor - too much of it. Things got in the way. Manhole covers, dogs, cars parked, moving cars, other kids, etc. (I had a friend that fell in front of a car and got run over - not literally- as they only ran over his arm. He just stood up and shook it off - not his arm, but the pain). And after not too many trips down the hills the metal wheels flattened out. We were going at a speed that warmed up the metal and the rough asphalt streets squared out the wheels - bumpy rides and sudden stops.
Skateboard Wheels Technology Catches Up
Slowly technology caught up to us with the invention of clay wheels. This was a big improvement. But we were still coasting the hills and if you hit rocks or the manhole covers the clay wheels shattered which led to more scrapes and bruises.
Then came the newest in the evolution of wheels, Polyurethane wheels which were much more tough and resilient, with good traction and better shock absorption than the older metal or ceramic wheels. There were other things that moved the whole skateboard thing forward; skateboard trucks, loose
By the time all the changes came in I felt I was too old toskateboard, although I would skateboard in front of the house sometimes. One of my memories towards the end was when I had been married for a few years and had a couple of small girls. Some of the boys in the neighborhood knew that I skateboarded and had seen me out front. A couple of them knocked at the door and my wife opened it up. One boy said, "Can Mr. Robertson come out to play?"
Sports Artists John Robertson Painting
skateboard Art Painting is four feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.
Dan Marino Miami Dolphins
Although Dan Marino was one of the greatest quarterbacks in the NFL he never one a championship. (But in 1984 he did lead the Miami Dolphins to the Super Bowl, where the club lost to the San Francisco 49ers led Joe Montana win of 38-16). For example Marino was first rookie to start at quarterback in
At the time one of the greatest years any quarterback has had in the NFL was by Dan Marino. In that 1984 Super Bowl season he threw for 5,084 yards and 48 touchdowns, both single season records at the time, while also setting new NFL marks for completions with 362. A quote from Dan Marino and his career says it best, " I just try to be myself, whatever that is. I don't think about how I'll be remembered. I just want to be consistent over a long period of time. That's what the great players do."
It is always interesting to hear what a quarterback has to say about his coach and how he may feel, as a quarterback, about his leadership role. Marino said this about one of his games. "We're not running the ball again until we get ahead. Shula was calling the plays, but I told them, 'I don't care what he calls. We're throwing every pass from now until we get the lead.' To Shula's credit, he always gave
Tim Ruddy Number 61
Also in the painting is Tim Ruddy a six foot three inch center who was drafted in 1994. When listing the all time top one hundred players for the Miami Dolphins Tim Ruddy comes out around number thirty -two. He spent 10 seasons with the Miami Dolphins and started 140 games.
Howie Long Defensive End
The other image in the painting is of Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long who played in the Super Bowl XVIII with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1984. He was an 8-time Pro Bowler and one-time Defensive Player of the Year in his career. He recorded 91.5 career sacks and became an NFL sportscaster after retirement.
Sports Art Painting by Sports Artists John Robertson
Vintage Football Story
I don't know much about this vintage football player that I painted from the past. I ran across the image and thought it would be fun to paint. I did some search on Google put could find out anything about him - so I thought I might make up a bit of his history.
About Alberte Mortensen - Quarterback
Alberte Mortensen was born in
New York in 1894 to immigrants from . The family moved to Denmark shortly after he was born. As a baby he had medical complications with
his digestive track which led to difficulties in eating anything that was not
white. He only ate white bread, white
noodles, white rice, drank milk and, of course liked ice cream (vanilla). Because he was unhealthy and the family lived
in poverty the Mortenen's asked for help from their Norse church which worshiped the old Norse gods of the Viking age - Thor, Odin and Frigg. The Norse oracle, Völva or “priestess”
recommended that they give up Alberte for foster care New Jersey
The Mortensen family gave up the four-year-old Alberte to an Irish Catholic family, the Hughes. The Hughes had immigrated to the
during the potato famine. Once in his
new home he adapted quite nicely to a diet of white potatoes. His favorite dish was colcannon which became
a staple at most of his meals. It is a
mash of potatoes, cabbage or kale and butter or cream, flavored with scallions.
Alberte grew heartily on the diet, eventually played on his high school football team, and because of his athletic ability was recruited to play with the a local football "club". Even though he was only sixteen his skills as a quarterback made him locally famous. He played for a "pay for play" football
The Hughes gave a negative response. As there is no actual word for "no" in Irish Gaelic, they actually said, "Ní hea," which literally means, "It is not." The Hughes won in a short court battle and Alberte went on to play college football. He disguised himself as an Indian and went to
where he played with Jim Thorpe, the great all-american. Carlisle Indian
Alberte, was now known as, Abukcheech, which means mouse. Hid first season as quarterback at the Indian school he dedicated to his foster Irish mother, Chloe Hughes. When Alberte turned twenty-one he requested Irish citizenship to play soccer in
Ireland. At twenty-two he left for Ireland
Upon boarding the boat back to his adopted homeland he said, "I am
Irish, I feel Irish, I will play forever in Ireland."
Sports Artists John Robertson Vintage Football painting is 4 feet by 7 1/2 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.
As I live only a couple of blocks from the beach and my studio is even closer, it is only natural I would paint a surfer. This surfer is standing on the rocks at
Surfer's Point. This surfing break is
only a few hundred yards up the beach from the Ventura Pier and the
"C" Street Ventura, California
break. "C" Street is more of an inside break as apposed to the "Point" break.
I first started surfing many, many years ago. How Long? Well I do not want to give away my age but when I started surfing there were some guys using redwood planks and wore knit swim suits. Women still wore bonnets to the beach. The boards were ten to twelve feet of solid redwood and weighed a hundred pounds. To get one of those things off the beach was like dragging a dead seal back into the water. It was like paddling a canoe with a chance of splinters. I actually started out on the old balsa boards - no splinters and slippery when wet. We used candle wax for the surface. By the way - no wet-suits either and we surfed year-round. Living about 6 miles from
Malibu it was the natural
place to surf. We sometimes went up to Leo
Carrillo and and never went
south. Few surfed the County
Monica and Venice
breaks because - well, just because.
was close and just about the best break anywhere - and few surfers then. A crowded day was about a dozen guys out.
Body Boarding Now
Even though I live close to a couple of great breaks I do not surf anymore. I do get into the ocean regularly, body-boarding, but surfing has lost it's appeal. Main reason? The same as many. Too many people. But just north of us is a nice shore break. A few boards come out but not enough to interfere with the body-boarders. It is more about just being in the water and not on top of it. I feel more part of the environment. And most of the year without a wet suit. When the water drops below 60 degrees then that is about the time the wet suit comes out. But that is what so great about living in sunny
Southern California - living outdoors and you can be in the water all year long without wearing a big rubber .... suit.
About Sports Artists John Robertson Surfer PaintingThe painting is four feet by eight feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas. It hangs like a tapestry or banner.
NFL Offensive Linemen The "Big Boys" of Football
The offensive linemen plays one of three positions, center, guard or tackle, and usually the biggest players on the team. I can't think of anything more intimidating in football, or in most sports, than to have an offensive lineman out in front of a running back. His job is to make space for the runner.snow plow train barreling down deep, snow covered railroad tracks. And with speed and power this huge wedge plow on the front of the iron, diesel engine throws the snow hundreds of feet off the tracks.
Most offensive linemen are just anonymous monsters, part of this wall of other brutes. But there are some that have stood out in the NFL. Some had great nicknames like, " Smash-Mouth" or "Night-Train" or "The Jordon Spreader".
Gene Upshaw Oakland Raiders
There was Gene Upshaw, Oakland Raiders and a Hall of Famer. He played 15 seasons at guard between 1967 and 1981. Upshaw started 207 out of 217 career games and was named to seven Pro Bowls. Upshaw was also a two-time Super Bowl champion with rings in 1977 and 1981.
Another great Raider offensive linemen was Art Shell. At his playing size of 6’5″ and 265 pounds, Shell would drop his hips and use pounding leverage to clear space for running backs or put up a shield and protect his quarterbacks.
One of my favorites is Forrest Gregg of the old Vince Lombardi, Green Bay Packers. Lombardi said Gregg was greatest player that he ever coached. As a Packer, Gregg brought back five championships to the
Bay “Frozen Tundra.” In the twilight of his career, he
won Super Bowl VI with the Dallas Cowboys.
Gregg played in a then-record 188 straight games between 1956 and 1971.
Gregg made nine trips to the Pro Bowl and seven appearances on the First-Team
Anthony Muñoz Cincinnati Bengals
And who some considered the best offensive lineman of all time is Anthony Muñoz - left tackle, Cincinnati Bengals. He was the "real deal" with size, strength, athleticism, and technique. He played at six feet six inches and weighted two-hundred and seventy-eight pounds. He could create an alleyway that a truck could drive through - or "wall off " a blitzing linebacker. Munoz played in nine Pro Bowls between 1976 and 1985 and named lead guard on the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.
About Sports Artists John Robertson Painting
The Lineman painting is approximately 48 inches by 70 inches, acrylic on unstretched canvas. (That means no stretcher bars or frame) It hangs like a tapestry or banner.
Minnesota Vikings Receiver Making Catch Painting
Over the years the Minnesota Vikings have had some of the great receivers in the NFL - players like Cris Carter, Randy Moss, Steve Jordan, Anthony Carter, Jake Reed, Ahmad Rashad, etc. etc. etc. So when I went to paint this receiver for the new
Vikings, US Bank Stadium Art Collection
What I wanted to represent was the flying aspect of a hero or warrior of the Vikings. The Vikings had the best of the best warriors, and for so many years the Minnesota Vikings have had some great receiver players. Like the gathering of the very best Viking warriors, the Minnesota Vikings, over the years, have gathered great receivers to play along-side each other. And this painting is a tribute to them.
Valhalla Suites Receiver
The Minnesota Vikings have hung the painting in the Valhalla Suites area of the US Bank Stadium. The painting is hung to the lobby area and the stairway entrance as you descend to the Valhalla Suites. Here is a description of the suites from the Vikings website: Located 17 rows from the field
Only 17 rows off the field
Private Medtronic Club Access
All-inclusive Food and Beverages
Situated between the 30 yard lines
Highest End Suite furniture and finishes in the building
12-24 tickets per Suite
Only 12 Suites at this level
About the Vikings Painting by Sports Artist John Robertson
The receiver painting is four feet by eight feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.
US Bank Stadium Art Collection
Like myself Jim Marshall created work for the Minnesota Vikings US Bank Art Collection. The photograph is of me, sports artist John Robertson, with Jim Marshall, defensive lineman, for the
. I met Jim at the art opening for the US Bank
stadium a week ago. Minneapolis,
Jim Marshall Art
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,
and he began to fashion his own version of the symbol. His creation was a
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
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.
John Robertson "Purple People Eaters"About the painting
Vikings Carl Eller Autograph
The photograph is of me, sports artist John Robertson with Carl Eller, autographing 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 Minnesota
It was really exciting for me to meet Carl Eller as I was, and still am a big fan of the Vikings. My wife is from
and I have been going back with her at least once or twice a year since we have
been together. Eller is only a year
older than me so we are contemporaries. He is a big, big man standing six foot six and
thick as a big tree. What is interesting
about him is that he makes ceramic art.
His bowls are beautiful and he created some pieces for the US Bank, Minnesota Vikings art collection. Here is a link to his facebook page that
shows some of his work. https://www.facebook.com/Carl-Eller-Studios-140010289424137/
About Carl Eller
Carl Eller was one of the defensive ends who played with the Minnesota Vikings from 1968 through 1979. Starting in 1968, Eller's fifth campaign,
He was selected to play in six Pro Bowls (1968–1971, 1973, and 1974). After being traded with an eighth round pick to Seattle Seahawks for defensive tackle Steve Niehaus, Eller played his final season in 1979 with the Seattle Seahawks, where he ran his career total to 225 games. In his career, "Moose" only missed three games and started 209 out of the 225 he played.
About the painting
The painting 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 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.
Purple People Eaters 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 painting you see in the photograph is eight feet by twelve feet, acrylic on canvas. The "Purple People Eaters' painting
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.
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 and I have pieces of art in this collection.
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
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.
About the US Bank
Vikings Stadium Art Collection
One of my large scale football paintings on the jumbotron at the new Minnesota Vikings' US Bank Stadium where several pieces of my work are installed
Fate of Yasiel Puig
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 artist andnot 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:
Yasiel Puig Journey 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 risky journey 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 Information about Yasiel Puig
He grew up in
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 PaintingThe painting by sports artist John Robertson is approximately 4 feet by 6 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas
Why Paint Ryne Sandberg
Ryne Sandberg nicknamed "Ryno" played in Major League Baseball as a second baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies and 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 I 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 Interesting Stats
Sandberg 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. Sandberg was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in January 2005; he was formally inducted in ceremonies on July 31, 2005.
Ryne Sandberg Quotes
In his July 31, 2005,
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.
Prior to summer the California State Parks have tryouts for State Parks lifeguards. They hold the tryouts up and down the
coast. This gives potential lifeguards
an opportunity to see if they are physically fit for the job.
Lifeguard Tryout qualifications
I photographed this woman lifeguard at the tryouts that were held at the Sycamore Canyon StateBeach just outside of
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.
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 painting is approximately 8 1/2 feet by 4 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.
"The Greatest" Muhammad Ali
Although I had followed boxing when I was a kid, I did not become conscious of Muhammad Ali until I was in the Navy. Before then, growing up I watched the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night fights on a black and white television with my step-dad. At that time my favorite fighter was
I joined the Navy in 1961 and didn't pay much attention to boxing. But in November of 1962 Muhammad Ali fought Archie Moore. At the time I was on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the Pacific and as entertainment the ship broadcasted the fight over the ship's radio system. Hundreds of sailors gathered in different recreation rooms around the ship and listened the fight. Of course, I was for "The Mongoose" and was sorely disappointed when he lost. But that is when I became aware of Ali. After that the ship continued to broadcast the fights. By the time Ali fought Henry Cooper in 1963, I was a die-hard fan. And that continued all through his career.
Muhammad Ali Inspiration
Individual fans have their favorite quotes of Ali. My favorite is, ""The fight is won or lost far away from the witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights." Why this quote so inspirational to me is that, as an artist (painter) their are years of time spent at a canvas trying to paint a good painting. I've painted hundreds of large-scale portraits. The first fifty portraits were terrible and I would not show them to anyone. But I knew I had to put in the time and the hard work would pay off. And soon I could paint a descent portrait - now, I get three good ones for every ten I paint. I understand what it takes for an artist to have created a body of work for an art or museum show.
Another quote that is just as inspirational to me is: "Impossible is just a word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing." My experience with this quote is certainly not one of overcoming a huge impossibility - but - I didn't start painting until I was forty-seven years old. And before that had shown no interest in art, museums or galleries. But someone suggested I paint to help relax me. I was a businessman and had been an English major in college. Pretty far away from art. But I fell in love with painting. and by the time I was in my fifties I started selling paintings and now am a professional artist. Anybody who knew me before I was an artist would say "impossible"
About the painting
The Muhammad Ali painting by sports artist John Robertson is approximately 50" x 70' acrylic on unstretched canvas
New 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. If the baseball player can't go into second base
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 the danger of the play out 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 that 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, but 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.
Football Linemen Painting
In football 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
My Favorite Linemen
My two favorite players were
"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 gives you a sense of the actual size of the painting. Painting of football linemen by sports artist John Robertson is approximately 88" x 60" (approx. 7 1/2 feet by 5 feet)
Joe Mauer Old Catcher Now First Baseman
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.
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.
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
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 likes 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.
Rock climbing Hold Hand Jam Painting
There is two types of hand jams in rock climbing - Thumb-up hand jam - jamming the hand in a small crack with the thumb in an upward position, enabling greater reach between holds. And the thumb-down hand jam - as with the thumb-up hand jam, but with the thumb placed downwards, a less maneuverable but more secure hold.
You re not a rock climber if:
You think trails need to be wider so people can walk while holding hands
You think reflectors need to be placed on rocks every 5 feet so people can climb at night with flashlights
You think rocks should be stacked in a more orderly fashion.
You think it is kinky to wear a harness
You think it is okay to use your dog on belay.
You think that you think you don't need a helmet.
You have to unwind your climbing rope from your SUV's winch.
You think escalators would help while rock climbing.
Why paint a rock climbing hold?
My daughter and son-in-law are rock climbers and own an outdoor recreation store in
A Fist jam in rock climbing is jamming the hand into a crack with a clenched fist position, the expanded muscles securing the hand.
Give Up Rock Climbing? Here's Why
If you are a rock climber and wonder if you should continue the sport these are the things you do that suggests you should give up the sport.
1. You've chopped the rope with your axe while ice climbing.
2. Your climbing partner uses you to "test" for rock stability.
3. You fell off the tailgate of your pick-up truck.
4. People ask if you're a park ranger.
5. You buy shoes a size too big.
6. You aerate your lawn with your crampon.
7. If you wear baggy shorts and no underwear
8. If you say "I think it might be this way"
Why Paint a Hand Hold in Rock Climbing?
My daughter and son-in-law are rock climbers and own an outdoor recreation store in
- Real Cheap Sports, Ventura’s Outdoor Store is
located in the city of Ventura on the Southern California coast. The store was originally
founded by Jeff and Yvon Chouinard and opened in 1981 as Patagonia’s original
outlet store, just one block from Patagonia’s corporate headquarters just west
of downtown Ventura.
Today, Real Cheap Sports resides in its original location, but has an expanded
store space. Operating independently since 1998 as an "Outlet
Dealer," Real Cheap Sports is Southern California’s largest outlet store
for Patagonia closeout merchandise and features discounts on clothing and
equipment from a variety of reputable outdoor manufacturers for backpacking,
climbing, hiking, sea kayaking, and international travel. Come and visit them
sometime. They are always be happy to see you. Or visit their web site http://www.realcheapsports.com/
Basketball Painting In Abstract Style
A few years ago I was approached by a sports art agent to do some paintings for the (at the time) a new Amway sports arena in
- where the NBA Orlando Magic plays basketball. The paintings were to be used
on the walls and in spaces for the arena.
I don't recall how many paintings Orlando, Florida
This abstract painting of the basketball hoop is good size: sixty inches by seventy-two inches (five feet by six feet) acrylic on unstretched canvas. What I was asked to paint was something bright and colorful and represented basketball in an abstract way. A couple of the other paintings I did for them were basketball paintings of
Beach street players I had photograph at Venice, Ca. This is where the great basketball movie "White Men Can't Jump" was
filmed and in our neighborhood. (These
paintings are posted somewhere on this blog)
Basketball Idea from Alley
At the time I had not done many non-figurative paintings so it was a bit of a challenge for me. I wasn't really sure where to start. But one evening my wife and I were walking the alleys of
We always liked seeing the backs of the rundown properties and the
deterioration of the neighborhood. There
is something very human seeing old garages and backs of old cottages. My wife actually owned a small cottage that
was held up by the wings of termites.
As we walked in the alleys I kept seeing old, rusted and unused basketball
hoops attached to dilapidated garages.
And growing over some of the garages were vines and flowers. One in particular captured my imagination - a
garage with Nasturtiums (yellow orange flowers on long green vines) draped
through the hoop and over the garage doors.
I took a bunch of photographs from a variety of angles for reference material. Back in my studio I painted the scene in a realistic manner, recreating the alley and garages and trash cans and the hoop and the flowers. And then I took a big brush and slashed paint all over the canvas. And what you see is the result of my effort - a contemporary, modern sort of basketball hoop abstract painting.
How I became a Sports Artist by Painting a Basketball Layup Painting
I have been asked a number of times how I became a sports artist - which started with basketball layup paintings. Most people assume that I was an avid sports fan and painted what was of most interest to me. Actually, it was strictly by accident I became a sports artist.A painting of a left hand holding a basketball layup getting ready to dunk the ball through a hoop
A number of years ago I was painting large-scale portraits of the musicians in a night club in
Monica, Ca. named The Temple Bar. The completed portrait paintings hung in the
windows that faced Wilshire Blvd,
a well traveled street. I frequented the
club, one or two nights a week for about five years.
Fox Sports Calls
One afternoon I got a call in my studio from a person claiming to be a director for Fox Sports Net and he had seen my paintings in the window of the Temple Bar. He said they had been looking for an artist for a NBA basketball commercial and wondered if I was capable of doing some large-scale
Painting the Basketball Layup
Once there (he was serious) we discussed a few concepts he had. I told him I could do any of them he wanted. The one that was selected was of five feet by seven feet basketball layup paintings of a hand in different stages of doing the layup and dunk into a basketball hoop.Photograph of mypaintings on the set for shooting a basketball layup commercial for Fox Sports showing hands in different position dunking a basketball
As you can see by the photograph the paintings were put in a circle and the camera spun around to animate the look of the basketball layup being made. They also showed an artist painting the basketball paintings in a very expressive, impressionistic way. I was not in the commercial as they hired a young kid to play my roll as the artist. The director said, as an older person, I was not the demographic they wanted as the artist.
The commercial ran nationally in spot markets for the season and the basketball layup paintings were used as the front and back bumpers for the commercial and the middle part announcing what game was to be televised. Photograph of set of Fox Sports Commercial for the NBA basketball season showing the back side of my basketball layup paintings
Fox Sports then hired me to paint portraits of Willie Mays for an MLB All-Star game in which KenGriffey Jr. and Derek Jeter interviewed Willie for 4 1/2 minutes. Again, my sports paintings were featured in the interview.
I was now identified as a sports artist. An artist sports agent contacted me and started representing me for big commercial jobs - stadiums and arenas, restaurants, corporate offices, etc. And I have been doing that ever since. The bottom line of it all is that I was very lucky to have been "discovered" by someone at Fox Sports and then by the agent who promoted me.