Monday

Baseball painting Andre Ethier MLB outfielder for Los Angeles Dodgers art

 The baseball painting is of Los Angeles Dodger outfielder, Andre Ethier sliding into home plate as the catcher tries to protect the plate and tag Either out.   32” x 39”  ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about the MLB and image of LA Dodgers.  Newsprint attached to 1” stretched canvas. 

Andre Ethier is a MLB left-handed outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  He’s a he’s a 2-time All-Star with a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove in his history.   Andre does have an interesting ritual before every game—ever since he was in the minors—he eats a peanut butter and honey sandwich on wheat bread and two spoonfuls of tuna.  One of the interesting things Ethier has said about himself is, “I wasn't an all-American, and I wasn't drafted until the second round. I wasn't that guy everybody said to watch out for the next couple of years because I was going to make a big impact. I guess that lights a little fire under you and makes you want to show what you can do.”

Ethier has played his whole major league baseball with the LA Dodgers.  He did start in the Oakland farm system but he’s never did play in the Major League with Oakland and started with the Dodgers in 2006. 

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

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

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

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

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

Sometimes as a baseball player or just an athlete in general you stick to the things you do well and you keep practicing those things. Those areas where you have issues you try to fix 'em but at the same time you try to limit your exposure to those. But in baseball you gotta go up there and face everyone in every situation. I think it's a thing where now lefties are coming out of the bullpen earlier in the game to face left-handed hitters. There's maybe two lefties in the bullpen that are there every day just to try to get you out when those big at-bats are coming. You gotta learn those guys; it's just how the game's really been evolving.”
  
Although he is not having his best offensive season he does have a good perspective on his play.  Andre said, “I just want to take advantage of every day that I'm in the lineup.”

Thursday

Football painting Steve Young Quarterback San Francisco 49ers art

Steve Young 22” x 28” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about the NFL and San Francisco 49ers.  Image of the 49ers’s great left-handed quarterback Steve Young..  Newsprint attached to ¾” stretched canvas.

Left-handed quarterback Steve Young in the National Football League (NFL) for fourteen seasons during the 1980s and 1990s.  He is 6-2, 205 lbs and played from 1985-1986 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and 1987-1999 San Francisco 49ers.

To me, one of the interesting aspects of Steve Young is that he is a left-handed quarterback - obvious in my painting of Steve Young. I find that interesting because I am also left-handed and aware of other lefties.  It was reported  (just kidding Steve)) that when Steve Young first picked up a football he asked if it was a left-handed one.

What I had not considered is that being a left-handed quarterback puts more of a burden on the right tackle as he has to protect the blind side of the left-handed quarterback (something the right tackle probably didn’t get much practice at in college)   As it is the left tackle for a right-handed quarterback who is protecting the blind side of the normally right-handed quarterback.  This is why (generally) a left tackle makes more money than the right tackle – because he is protecting a right-handed quarterback – protecting that blind spot.

There are only a couple of left-handed quarterbacks playing now. And the question arises, why not more?  The retired quarterback Phil Simms has an interesting theory  "There's no conspiracy against left-handed quarterbacks or anything," he says.. "They're just all playing baseball now. They're all pitchers, making much more money in a different sport. It starts at a young age, too. Once the coaches see a lefty with a big arm, they turn him into a pitcher. Percentage-wise, you see far more left-handed pitchers in baseball than you see left-handed quarterbacks in football."

During his NFL career, Steve Young the left-hander threw for 3,000 or more yards six times and had 20 or more touchdown passes in a season five times, and posted a passer rating of 100 or higher six times.  Aside from his passing ability, Young was a constant threat as a runner.  He ran for 4,239 yards and scored 43 rushing touchdowns. –

 Young was named the MVP (Most Valuable Player) of the NFL twice in 1992 and 1994, and the MVP of Super Bowl XXIX. All-Pro four times and named seven times to the Pro Bowl. Young also won a record six NFL passer rating titles.

Young is also member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. At the time of his retirement, he had the highest passer rating among NFL quarterbacks who have thrown at least 1,500 passing attempts (96.8), and is currently ranked third. He is also still ranked highest amongst retired players.

Funny story Steve Young told at his induction speech to theFootball Hall of Fame.  “Ironically it was my mom who kicked off my football career with a bang as she charged the field when I was 8 years old. She was upset that another kid had neck tackled me and knocked the wind out of me. She knew that neck tackling was illegal and since no penalty was called she felt it imperative to rush the field and help her little boy. I was scared to death as I saw her sprinting across the field, with good speed I might add, assuming she was coming to give me a kiss or something. Imagine the visual: late 1960's—20's aged woman, lady, in a dress, on a football field, purse on her shoulder, big sunglasses, high-heeled shoes aerating the field. In horror, she passed by me and grabbed the kid from the other team. Adrenaline pumping, she picked up the boy by the shoulder pads and told him that the hit was illegal and that he better not do it again! Mom, now you know why we never gave you any field level tickets over the last 17 years. My greatest cheerleader.“

Here is an interesting comment by Steve Young about his seven concussions he suffered before retiring in 1999.  The interview was on PBS FRONTLINE.  Young told FRONTLINE he worries about the toll that routine head hits are taking on linemen and running backs. This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted with FRONTLINE’s Jim Gilmore on March 27, 2013.

Jim Gilmore: “One last thing on the way you played and stuff, and it says something about the intensity of how players play. Your rep was always that you would refuse to be taken out of the game, that you would be basically ready to go back, sort of hide from the coach and whatever and be ready to go back on the field before a replacement or anything else.”

Young: “Sure.”

Gilmore:  “What was that all about?”

Young:  “I think that's the nature of the game, too. It demands all of you. And the culture is that you can play hurt; you can play wounded. And the culture is that you can get through all. Guys did it all the time, so that's the hard part.

And that's what, as we get into concussions, that's the nefarious nature of concussions, because you can have a bad knee and the doctor looks at it and they watch you run and everyone has 100 percent knowledge. You might say, "Oh, I feel this way." If you can run, if they can tape it up and you can go, then you can [play], and the doctor can see stability. We know what we're dealing with, and now we can kind of generally take a pretty good assumption of the risk.

As a player, that's why concussions are so difficult, because even the experts, even the people that you say, "OK, am I OK?" "I don't know. How do you feel?" You know, it's a really tough one.”


In conclusion one of his quotes sums ujp how he felt about playing the game.  Steve Young,   -“It was a lot of fun. I love coming out here to play. I had a couple of tackles.” 

Tuesday

Venice Family Clinic Surf and Skate auction donation


The skateboard deck has an old gas mask and an old Venice hat attached to the surface.

This was my donation to the Venice Surf and Skate auction (Photos of the event at https://plus.google.com/photos/107411629987584991934/albums/6054543005757560881 ) which was held a couple of weeks ago at Bergamot Station Art Complex to raise funds to support the Venice Family Clinic http://www.venicefamilyclinic.org/#1  Venice Family Clinic serves 24,400 men, women, children, teens, and seniors annually. Ninety-seven percent are low-income and nearly three-quarters are uninsured. Most live on the Westside of Los Angeles County.

Venice Family Clinic provides more than 106,000 primary care, specialty care, mental health, dental, and health education visits annually. Services include diagnosis, treatment, medications, follow-up care, and laboratory tests. Particular emphasis is placed on the needs of women, children, the homeless, and those with chronic diseases. Click here for more information about programs and services.

The 4th Annual Surf & Skate Silent art auction was a great success! Couldn’t make it? You still have the chance to purchase a one-of-a-kind skate deck or surfboard here http://www.vfcshop.com/collections/surf-skate

. Check out pictures from the summer celebration here. http://www.vfcshop.com/collections/surf-skate  

Sunday

Football Painting Payton Manning Quarterback Denver Broncos Art

 “Payton Manning  24” x 30” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about the NFL/AFC West.  Image is Denver Broncos Payton Manning.  Newsprint attached to 1 ½”  stretched canvas.  


  1. As five-time league MVP, Payton Manning played quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts for 14 seasons from 1998 to 2011.  He now plays for the Denver Broncos had one of the greatest seasons of his career in 2013.  It will be interesting to see if he can duplicate his success that he had last year - he is thirty-eight years old.  He is a son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and an elder brother of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.


Payton is about the most competitive player to play the game.  As Adam Meadows said, (who played with Manning with the Colts,) "He lives, eats, breathes, smokes, snorts, chews football. ... "He's just a machine. That's all he wants to do."  Meadows was one of Manning's linemen for a few years as a Colt.  They had a close relationship of one that a quarterback would have with his linemen.  But one time Payton wanted to have Meadows around and talk about plays and watch game films.  Meadows ' wife was having their second baby and he needed to leave for the baby's birth.   Manning wanted to know why they couldn't have babies in the offseason. 

What I always like about watching Payton Manning quarterbacking is when he comes to the line and is checking out the defense - the glancing around, the pointing of the finger, etc.  Dan Patrick in an interview with Payton Manning asked about his eye contact with defensive players. 

"Patrick: Do you make eye contact with the defense? Is there a player you look at?

Manning: I check the middle linebacker, kind of come with that eye on him because you can see if he's cheating one way or the other. And then I'll find the two safeties.

D Patrick: But you'll look at them.

Manning: Yeah, I'll look at their eyes as opposed to their jersey numbers and it's like a second of staring. My first year, I didn't really do it quite as much. I was kind of scared they might, like, tell me to quit looking at them. But now I've gotten to the point where I look at them. Especially if they're a young player, I think it might make them a little bit uneasy."

All that review of films is what makes Manning the great quarterback that he is.  This philosophy can be applied to anyone who wants to be successful in their field - constant review and analysis of your previous actions and decisions.   Manning says,   "If you ever feel like that's not important -- like, 'Hey, I don't need to watch last season; I know what we did; I know what I did wrong' -- no, you don't know," Manning said. "You need to watch it. Watch the bad plays. It's not fun to watch bad plays, to sit there and say, 'That's a bad decision' and 'That's a really bad decision' and 'Horrible read.' ... No matter how old you are, you need to go into that prepared to be constructively criticized and learn how to grow out of the mistakes every year."

One of my favorite lines that Payton Manning reportedly said according to writer Michael Silver of Sports Illustrated was prior to a Super Bowl a few years ago.  The Colts had banned hotel-room visits from relatives and friends the week before the game. Manning said during a team meeting, "I don't want any crying kids next to me while I'm trying to study,"

 If you are a football nerd and want some great insightful information and detail (more than any normal fan would want to know) in how Manning has run an offense here is a great article about it by Chris B. Brown ..." a return to the simplicity of Peyton Manning..."

Thursday

Soccer Painting Striker European Football Player World Cup

Soccer Player  Striker “Swift Action” 14” x 20” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about soccer (football)..  Newsprint attached to stretched canvas. 

I did not want to be a footballer when I was a child, and with good reason - I  was born to early for the game in the United States.  As a boy nobody played it.  That was in the late forties.  Yes 1948.  Football was the LA Rams playing in the LA Coliseum.   Not World Cup Soccer.  There was little chance to flourish in soccer, as a sport at that time.

But that changed when my daughters were in grade school – and they started to play soccer.  On weekends their school had parent, teacher, student soccer games.  Everyone played and it was a madhouse.  But fun.  From that experience I found an interest in soccer.  I started following it a little bit and found more games to play in. 

One thing I do the night before I played as game was to sleep with a soccer ball in the bed beside me.  My wife did not find that amusing.  She was very jealous of my football because, well, because she knew the next day I would be gone, sometimes with the girls.  And when I returned in the evening I was worn out from the experience.  But still, the night before the game I look at the football, bounce it around with my feet, even talk to it. This might seem brainless, but it gives me confidence. I talk to the football, I tell it to do it’s job properly by flying in the net for me.  Actually I was mainly concerned about tripping over the football or kicking it into the opponent’s net.

What I eventually figured out was that with the growth of soccer competition in the United Stated and, in particular, World Cup Football, many of us had been glued to the TV cheering our country on. And no matter what country you are rooting for, soccer is a sport that brings the whole world together. In keeping with the spirit of the World Cup, I decided to paint a few soccer inspired images from various photos from around the world.   I am just getting started but look forward to the challenge.  It is the start of something interesting for me and maybe the way soccer is going in the United States a greater interest in the sport.   And what is the most interesting position of a player to paint?   A striker.  

Tuesday

Football painting Gail Sayers running back Chicago Bears

“Gail Sayers”  10” x 14” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old newsprint,) Gail Sayers considered one of the great players with the Chicago Bears.  Newsprint attached to stretched canvas.

Gail Sayers said, “"give me 18 inches of daylight that's all I  need", which meant that all the offensive line had to do was to open up a small hole in the defensive line for him of 18 inches and he could squeeze and zig-zag through for some good yardage.  Mike Ditka, who played for Chicago and later coached the Chicago Bears for 11 years and New Orleans Saints for three years said of Sayers, “if you’re talking about making people miss and cutting back, nobody was ever better than him.”  Dick Butkus, the great linebacker who played with Sayers (and one of my all time favorite players) said of Sayers “He had a great ability to come at you and then…he’s gone.  He was something to play with.  I’m just glad he was on our team.”

Gail also known as "The Kansas Comet" was a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for seven seasons during the 1960s and early 1970s. He played college football for the University of Kansas, and was twice recognized as an All-American. He was a first-round pick in the 1965 NFL Draft, and played his entire pro career for the NFL's Chicago Bears.  Selected to the Pro Bowl four times (1965, 1966, 1967 and 1969) and five times in consecutive All-Pro (1965, 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969), he is part of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame since 1977. His number 40 was retired by the franchise of the Chicago Bears. It is also part of the NFL team of the 1960s and the team's 75th anniversary of the NFL. His friendship with fellow Chicago Bear Brian Piccolo was the basis for the 1971 movie Brian's Song. During his seventh season in Chicago, Sayers suffered a career-ending knee injury. He retired from the sport in 1972

George Halas,was the iconic founder and owner of the National Football League's Chicago Bears.  Halas didn`t believe in starting rookies, but with Gail he felt a little different and Sayers delivered.  In his first heavy pre-season action, he raced 77 yards on a punt return, 93 yards on a kickoff return, and then startled everyone with a 25-yard scoring pass against the Los Angeles Rams. –Sayers' records include most touchdowns in a rookie season,  (22 in 1965).  Also in Sayers record book he had the most touchdowns in a game (6, tied with Nevers and Jones), highest career kickoff return average (30.56), and most return touchdowns in a game. 

Gail Sayers said, “There's no way I would have made the Hall of Fame or set any of the records I did by myself. No matter how many yards I gained, whether it was three or 300, someone had to be there to make the block.

Here is a portion of Gail SayersHall of Fame speech, July 30, 1977, that I like best, “God gave me a great gift and I had a lot of help developing for this occasion. Reaching this point, however, is not as important as striving to get here. This is true in all professions and all of life's activities. There are doctors, lawyers, schoolteachers, plumbers all who strive to do their very best with their abilities. We hear a lot today about how the American people have lost their dedication to excellence. I don't believe that is true. Each  of us excels at different things, sometimes in areas that are only a hobby, more often in our life vocation. The most important thing, however, is to strive to do our very best. Nothing is more of a waste than unrealized potential. Sometimes failure to use one's talents to the fullest is often the fault of the individual. Nothing could be more tragic. I am sure many of you have been to a Special Olympics and if you have, I am sure you have felt the same exhilaration I have felt in watching young people with disabilities strive as hard as they can in various events. The sense of satisfaction they get from striving is to them much more important than where they finish in the competition. As Robert Rawlings said, 'A man's reach should exceed his grasp'. It is describing to reach a goal that is important and if you should reach that goal, set new goals and strive for them.” 

A Friend In Deed.  While at his first training camp, Sayers met fellow running back Brian Piccolo. The two became close friends and were the first racially mixed roommates in the history of the Bears. After cancer brought Piccolo’s life to an untimely end, Sayers’ book documenting their friendship became the basis for the TV movie "Brian's Song" starring James Caan and Billy Dee Williams. The film won the 1972 Golden Globe Award as the Best Film Made for Television and spawned a cult following that has persisted for almost three decades, and even resulted in a remake by Disney and ABC-TV in 2001.

After all is said and done about Gail Sayers, this is my favorite quote of his, ""Football is a very short-term proposition. Football really prepares you for nothing. The only thing I got out of football was the ability to work hard, and that's it."

Friday

Football Painting Dick Butkus Linebacker Chicago Bears

 “Dick Butkus”  20” x 24” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about the NFL National League Conference.  The painting is of the great Chicago Bears linebacker, Dick Butkus.  Newsprint attached to ¾” stretched canvas. 

I Think I have painted or drawn Dick Butkus of the Chicago Bears five times.  As I have said before, he is one of my all-time favorite players.  A great number of years ago I was in a lumberyard in Malibu (The old Malibu Lumber, on Pacific Coast Highway) and I turned to see who the guy next to me was (in Malibu there is a good chance for celebrity sightings)  Lo and behold it was Dick Butkus.  I slobered all over him, telling him how much I had enjoyed watching him play.  He asked if I had seen him on the silver screen..  I said I did not find watching him act quite as enjoyable but I did like him in those old in Miller Lite commercials. (Probably way before your time)

Dick Butkus graduated from the University of Illinois where he was a two time All- American line backer. A first round draft pick of the Chicago Bears, Dick played for them from 1965-1973, and was named All-Pro linebacker seven times. Mr. Butkus was elected into the NFL "Football Hall of Fame" at Canton, Ohio in 1979. Many football garu's consider Dick Butkus the finest line backer in the history of football.  The Chicago Bears retired his uniform number 51.


He had a group of different nicknames:  “The Robot of Destruction,”  “The Maestro of Mayhem,”  “The Enforcer,” and “The Animal.”   Arthur Kretchmer in his article “Butkus:One Season And One Injury With The Meanest Man Alive” says, when speaking to Butkus,  "Dave Meggyesy, the ex-Cardinal, says that football is so brutal he was taught to use his hands to force a man's cleats into the turf and then drive his shoulder into the man's knee to rip his leg apart. That ever happen to you?" Butkus’ response; …"Hell, no! All you'd have to do is roll with the block and step on the guy's face."


I lke his closing lines to Dick Butkus’sHall of Fame induction speech.  There is something very humble about it.  “I consider being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as the top of my dream. For only on the top can I see the whole view. And I can now see what I have done and what I can do from now on. I have a new vision and a new goal now and that is simply to be a better husband and a better father and a better person. Along with the other enshrinees, I will always try to be a proud representative of this the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Thank you very much.”

Wednesday

Baseball painting Honus Wagner Pittsburgh Pirates Shortstop "The Flying Dutchman"

Painting of MLB Baseball player Honus Wagner Shortstop Pittsburgh Pirates is approximately 54” by 68” acrylic on unstretched canvas.

The Pittsburgh Pirates' Honus Wagner, a dead-ball era baseball player who is widely considered to be one of the best players of all time. One of the Hall of Fame's five original inductees in 1936, Honus Wagner combined rare offensive and defensive excellence throughout a 21-year career from 1897 to 1917.

One of my favorite stories about Honus Wagner was told by Burleigh Grimes in The Quotable Baseball Fanatic (2004)  "One day he was batting against a young pitcher who had just come into the league. The catcher was a kid, too. A rookie battery. The pitcher threw Honus a curveball, and he swung at it and missed and fell down on one knee. Looked helpless as a robin. I was kind of surprised, but the guy sitting next to me on the bench poked me in the ribs and said, 'Watch this next one.' Those kids figured they had the old man's weaknesses, you see, and served him up the same dish-as he knew they would. Well, Honus hit a line drive so hard the fence in left field went back and forth for five minutes."

Honus played shortstop and won eight batting titles, tied for the most in National League history,  led the league in slugging six times.  He said, “I don't make speeches. I let my bat speak for me in the summertime.” He led in stolen bases five times. Wagner was nicknamed "The Flying Dutchman" because he could run the bases so fast – and that he was German.

Most people know that the Honus Wagner baseball card is one of the most valuable sports card around. The reason it is so valuable is because it was recalled in 1909 and all were destroyed except for a few that got into circulation. At the time, the cards were distributed along with tobacco.   Wagner didn’t smoke and he didn’t like to being included in the tobacco promotion because he did not want to set a bad example for children.
.
Honus Wagner’s Hall of Fame Induction Speech June 12, 1939.  Cooperstown, NY.    “Ladies and gentlemen, I was born 1874, and this organization was started was 1876. When I was just a kid I said, “ I hope some day I’ll be up there playing in this league.” And by chance I did. Now Connie Mack the gentleman that preceeded me here at the mike, I remember walking fourteen miles just to see him play ball for Pittsburgh. (crowd laughs) Walking and running, or hitchhiking a ride on a buggy, them days we had no automobile. I certainly am pleased to be here in Cooperstown today, and this is just a wonderful little city, or town, or village or whaever we’d call it. It puts me in mind of Sleepy Hollow. (crowd laughs) However I want to thank you for being able to come here today.”


Monday

Football painting, Deon Sanders Star Cornerback Dallas Cowboys San Francisco 49ers

Deon Sanders painting  12" x 16" ink and acrylic.  The background is newsprint (from old Sporting News, newspaper about baseball) attached to the canvas board.  The paper is then distressed to give it a old and beat-up, used look. 

Deon Sanders was a star cornerback who played 14 NFL seasons from 1989-2005.  Sanders Played for a variety of NFL football teams and used both # 21 and #37.   He was sometimes called "Neon Dion" because of his flashy style on the field and in his personal dress code. Sanders once said, "I never wear the same shoe twice." As a continuation of his thoughts about being flashy he said, "“If you look good, you feel good, If you feel good, you play good, If you play good, they pay good.” 

Sanders played football primarily at cornerback, but also as a kick returner, punt returner and occasionally as a running back or wide receiver.  Emmitt Smith, Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame running back and Sanders' teammate from 1995-99 said about him,  "You don't get to this level by not performing. A lot of guys play the game, but when you start looking at his performance and what he's been able to accomplish in the period of time that he played, you know he shut down one side of the football field. That says a lot about an athlete and a player.

He played for the Atlanta Falcons, the San Francisco 49ers, the Dallas Cowboys, the Washington Redskins and the Baltimore Ravens, winning the Super Bowl with both the 49ers and the Cowboys.  Sanders was a perennial All-Pro and one of the most feared pass defenders to ever play the game.   While at Dallas - Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys owner, president and general manager said of Deon Sanders,  "I think he could be, and you can make a good argument, the best to have played the position. I think it's noteworthy of the impact he made. At one time he had the most touchdowns per touching the ball of anybody in the National Football League. When he got his hands on it, if anybody could, he could take it to the house. I think that's pretty interesting and that's why we made him a receiver when he was here. That's why we started using him on punt returns when he was here as well, just because of his entire career."

Here is what I think is the best part of Deon Sanders'  Hall of Fame enshrinement speech of Aug 7, 2011.   Deon Sanders was a star cornerback who played 14 NFL seasons from 1989-2005:

"This game, this game, this game. And I went at this game and attacked this game because I made a promise that I needed this game to fulfill.

I made a promise when I was seven years old to this young woman at the age of 27. She was working two jobs just to see if ends could see one another because they never met. And she was slaving over pots and pans on that precise day. I can remember, it was a little high chair right by the kitchen. In the kitchen there was a high chair right by the stove that she was cooking.

And I said, mama, because I was tired of seeing her go to work and come home all tired. I said I'm going to be rich one day. Mama, “I'm going to make a lot of money, and you will never have to work another day of your life.” My mama said “that's fine, but until then you get that lawnmower and go out there and cut that grass.”

14 years later, that's why you can't give up on your dream, your promise, because 14 years later, this dream, this promise came. That I was able to allow my mama to go into a job and say I'm not doing it anymore. My son has blessed me.

But there is something inside of me, mama, that I never told you. That I never could admit, and I'm going to share it with all of you, because now we're family. I played for a youth team called the Fort Myers Rebels and they blessed me. They took me all over the country to expose me to things, to expose you to things.

Everybody on their team, their parents owned something. Their parents were doctors or lawyers or the chief of police. It was that type of organization. Me and one of my friends were the only African American kids on that team. It was a very affluent team, and I was ashamed of my mama because my mama worked in the hospital. She cleaned up the hospital, and I was ashamed of my mama who sacrificed, who loved me, who protected me, who gave me everything. I want to make sure I was best dressed in school and I had everything that was laid that came out. I had it first.

I was ashamed of my mama because one of my friends in high school, he saw her in a hospital one night pushing a cart, and he came back and he clowned me, he ridiculed me and he mocked me because of my mama.

So I made a pledge to myself that I don't care what it takes, I don't care what it may take, I'm not going to do anything illegal, but my mama would never have to work another day of her life." 

Friday

Baseball painting Babe Ruth New York Yankees King of Swat

Here is Babe Ruth's "The King of Swat" Hall of Fame speech of June 12, 1939

“Thank you ladies and gentlemen. I hope some day that some of the young fellows coming into the game will know how it feels to be picked in the Hall of Fame. I know the old boys back in there were just talking it over, some have been here long before my time. They got on it, I worked hard, and I got on it. And I hope that the coming generation, the young boys today, that they’ll work hard and also be on it.

And as my old friend Cy Young says, “I hope it goes another hundred years and the next hundred years will be the greatest. You know to me this is just like an anniversary myself, because twenty-five years ago yesterday I pitched my first baseball game in Boston, for the Boston Red Sox. (applause)

So it seems like an anniversary for me too, and I’m surely glad and it’s a pleasure for me to come up here and be picked also in the Hall of Fame. Thank you.”

“The Babe “  Babe Ruth painting.  12” x 16” canvas on board.  Ink and acrylic.  The background is newsprint (from old Sporting News, newspaper about baseball) attached to the canvas board.  The paper is then distressed to give it a old and beat-up, used look.  The painting will fit into a standard 12” x 16” frame.

I think Babe Ruth was one of the first of the truly national baseball celebrities who was a great crowd pleaser.  Branch Rickey (ex-Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers) said of Babe,  “He has created an expectation of hero worship on the part of the youth of this country, and it was a most fortunate thing that Ruth kept faith with the boyhood of America because they loved him.”  I am sure there are comparisons to some of the current baseball players - but so many of today's athletes seem to have a team of publicists promoting them.  And they may not have anywhere near the character "The Babe" had.  He said, "The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime." 

Wednesday

Baseball Painting of Boston Red Sox Pitcher Curt Schilling Portrait


The painting of Curt Schilling is 50” x 70” acrylic on unstretched canvas.

The great pitcher Curtis Montague Schilling who finished his Major League Baseball career at the Boston Red Sox was aright-handed pitcher who helped lead the Philadelphia Phillies to the World Series in 1993 and won World Series championships in 2001 with the Arizona Diamondbacks and in 2004 and 2007 with the Boston Red Sox. Schilling retired with a career postseason record of 11–2. His .846 postseason winning percentage is a major-league record among pitchers with at least 10 decisions.

In the current news Curt that announced he had been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma -- cancer in the mouth. Schilling blames his use of chewing tobacco as a player.

According to Steve Silva of the Boston Globe, Curt Schilling said, "I did (chewing tobacco) for about 30 years. It was an addictive habit. I can think of so many times in my life when it was so relaxing to just sit back and have a dip and do whatever, and I lost my sense of smell, my taste buds for the most part. I had gum issues, they bled, all this other stuff. None of it was enough to ever make me quit. The pain that I was in going through this treatment, the second or third day it was the only thing in my life that had that I wish I could go back and never have dipped. Not once. It was so painful."


The painting of Curt Schilling is 50” x 70” acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Friday

Football Painting Joe Montana "Too Tall" Jones famous "The Catch" play of the SF 49ers

This San Francisco 49er's painting of mine hangs in Levi's Stadium depicts one of the most memorable events in NFL history - the January 10, 1982, NFC Championship Game between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers.  

The story behind the painting.   The Cowboys defensive end Ed "Too Tall" chases a backpedaling Joe Montana toward the sideline, and seems certain to either send him out of bounds or sack him. But at the last moment, and after pump-faking to get 6-foot 9-inch "Too Tall" Jones to jump, Montana throw a high pass to the back of the end of the end zone to Dwight Clark for the wining touchdown.  Montana said that "Too Tall" Jones knocked him to the ground so he didn't see Dwight Clark make the catch.  "Too Tall" Jones reacted to the play by saying to Montana "You just beat America's Team".  Montana said to Jones, "Well, you can sit at home with the rest of America and watch the Super Bowl."

The 5 foot by 6 foot painting, acrylic on canvas  hangs in one of the hallways of the new e49er's Levi's stadium in Santa Clara, Ca.  One an earlier post you can see it photographed on the stadium's large video screen.  

Wednesday

San Francisco 49ers Levi's Stadium Painting of Football Players


We walked into a small conference room at the San Francisco 49er's Levi's Stadium.  We were there for a tour of the art collection in which the 49er's had purchased five paintings from me for their collection and all three of the monitors in the room had one of my images on the screen.   The original is 6 feet by 8 feet acrylic on canvas.  We did not have access to where the original had been hung as that part of the stadium had not been totally finished.

“You can do high-end art, and it can depict sports and the environment and still be fine art,” said Tracie Speca-Ventura, founder of Sports & the Arts, which has handled art at venues such as Yankee Stadium and Marlins Park and has drawn interest from the Kings about their new arena.  “Everyone looks down on sports art,” she said. “So that’s what my fight was, and it’s something the 49ers really got behind. The (York family) became invested and so did management. It became very intimate with this building.”...  “It goes back to, art’s not for the elitist,” she said. “Art can really be for the people. We are all impacted by it...  It captures a moment and an era.”


San Francisco 49ers Levi's Stadium Owner's Suite with John Roberston Painting



These photos show one of my paintings in the owner's suite of the San Francisco 49er's in their new Levi's Stadium,  http://www.levisstadium.com/   I have 5 paintings in the new San Francisco 49er's Art Collection at Levi’s Stadium,  It is part of over 200 original paintings.  If you go to a previous post you will see one of my paintings shown on the large LED video display screen that are in the end zones of the stadium.    

My wife, http://www.lynnhanson.com/LynnHanson.com/home.html has 14 drawings also in the San Francisco 49er's art collection.

We traveled to the stadium a few days ago for the opening of the stadium with the 23 other artists that are in the 49er's collection.  We toured the stadium, met some really nice 49er people and had a great reception for the artists and the press.  

Monday

San Francisco 49er's Levi's Stadium

One of my paintings at the new SF 49ers stadium. It was fun to see my work on the 48 foot by 200 foot LED video display screen at Levi's Stadium art collection  opening on August 1st.

Her is some information about the art from the Levi's Stadium website: http://www.levisstadium.com/art/

"The Art Collection at Levi’s® Stadium celebrates the 49ers legendary history, the organization’s current success and the vibrant culture of the greater San Francisco Bay Area. No other multi-use stadium contains the quantity and scope of original artwork that this collection has procured. The galleries highlight diverse, local artists and include pieces that have personal ties to the 49ers organization. The 49ers are thrilled to present a collection that enhances the building by creating a fully integrated visual experience.
Guests will encounter larger than life portraits of 49ers greats, alongside charcoal sketches that celebrate notable regional figures such as Steinbeck and Kerourac. Visitors may marvel over pieces from the Ranchos of the Santa Clara Valley and the timeless psychedelics of the storied Fillmore Music Hall. The collection has been crafted to engage and provoke everyone from the casual fan to the art aficionado."

"The Art Collection at Levi’s® Stadium is home to over 200 original pieces and more than 500 photographs. The museum-quality artwork featured is comprised of mixed mediums such as acrylic, charcoal, enamel, oil, pastel, pen and ink, stencil, metals and sculptures. Of the 23 original artists showcased, 20 hail locally from California. The photographs in the collection are from the archives of the 49ers and their esteemed group of team photographers, as well as from the San Francisco Chronicle and many local libraries and historic centers.

Wednesday

Baseball painting LA Dodgers Catcher A. J. Ellis

Painting of LA Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis.  A.J. Ellis has had a good season catching and a couple of his big highlights is catching for two La Dodgers no hitters thrown - one thrown by Josh Beckett and the other by Clayton Kershaw.  These two events has added a great deal of confidence to a baseball player who wants to and is performing at a high level.  I am not sure if he still does this but when he was in the minor leagues he would watch every game on replay.  What he was doing was looking at the sequences, go through the at-bats, and consider what other things he could have done - maybe differently.  It was a way of re-thinking the games and that may give him insights for future games.  And this makes any pitcher respect his catcher, knowing that his catcher has done all the homework possible to make the right pitching calls.

A J Ellis baseball painting is 48 inches by 48 inches, ink and acrylic on old baseball newsprint attached to canvas.

Friday

Clayton Kershaw LA Dodgers Throws No-Hitter



Clayton Kershaw left-handed pitcher for the LA Dodgers.
 Painting image is approximately 8" x 10" on a 11" x 14" drafting film painted in oil.

"I guess I really haven't thought of the ramifications of throwing one of these things," Clayton Kershaw said. "It's definitely special company. I don't take for granted the history of this or what it means. I definitely understand all that. But as far as individually, though, it's right up there with winning playoff games and World Series games and all that stuff. It's pretty cool."

Apparently Clayton Kershaw through one of the greatest games in history  .According to Game Score, a metric created by baseball statistic guru Bill James to rank how effective a pitcher was in a game, Kershaw's 102 was the best ranking a no-hitter has produced and the second-best pitching performance of any kind, trailing only Kerry Wood's 20-strikeout, one-hit, no-walk game in 1998, which earned a Game Score of 105.

Kershaw" no-hit" the Rockies while striking out 15 and not walking a single batter.   It was not a perfect game because of a throwing error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez in the seventh. But it was one of a kind: the first time in major league history that a pitcher struck out at least 15 without allowing a hit or a walk.  

Monday

Jackie Robinson # 42 Brooklyn Dodgers

Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play in Major League 
Baseball MLB in the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when the 
Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base. 

One of my favorite quotes of Jackie Robinson: "Life is not a spectator sport. If 
you're going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes 
on, in my opinion you're wasting your life."   - Jackie Robinson

The painting is 12" x 16" ink and acrylic on old Sporting News magazines from 
the 1980's attached to canvas boards.  Two coats of  a finish protects the 
surface.  In the background is N.L Box scores, where they play, pitching 
leaders, and a variety of other information. 

Wednesday

Football art painting for Venice Family Clinic Artwalk



My contribution to the Venice Family Clinic Artwalk silent auction in Venice, Ca.  You can view and bid online and see other artwork donated for the clinic at: http://theveniceartwalk.org/500_silentartauction.htm. #VeniceFamilyClinic. #Venice Artwalk 

Monday

Dustin Brown image LA Kings art painting

NHL playoffs painting LA kings Dustin Brown art is 12" by 16" ink and acrylic on 1980's Sporting News hockey pages (newsprint) mounted on canvas board.

One of my favorite Dustin Brown quotes is from when he first came to the Los Angeles Kings.  Quote: ““The first thought I had coming in on the plane was that there were palm trees and I couldn’t believe they played hockey here.”  #DustinBrown #NHLhockey #LAKings

Wednesday

World Cup art image of football player

The 2014 World Cup begins on June 12, "You have to show up in the World Cup, and in the World Cup anything can happen."  quote from Lionel Messi.

  Here is a football (USA soccer) image painted of a player running down the field.  I am looking forward to getting some good photograph to use as reference for some upcoming paintings this summer.  The painting is 14" by 20" on cardboard covered in vintage newsprint of soccer information.  The soccer art with the frame makes the overall dimensions 16" x 20"   acrylic and ink on the newsprint.

Monday

Hockey art painting of Hockey players crashing into the boards

My son-in-law plays in a hockey league so for his birthday I painted this hockey art for him. 18" x 24" ink and acrylic on newsprint mounted on board.  He loves hockey and in particular the LA Kings. 

 L.A. Kings coach, Darryl Sutter has had some great one-liners during his tenure with the L.A. Kings.  one of my favorites, “They can wear wigs and sunglasses. I don’t care, as long as they’re ready.” (January of 2012 on the L.A. Kings players and whether they should wear helmets in warmups

Friday

Football art USC Trojans running back image art


Sports image of football running back from USC Trojans carrying the football.  The football art is painted on a 10" x 10" archival board covered with newsprint about the Trojans football team from 1990.  Painted with ink and acrylic.  The painting was in the recent Santa Monica Museum "Incognito" show in Santa Monica, Ca.  

Wednesday

Football art painting UCLA Bruins player running back image


Sports image of football running back from UCLA Bruins carrying the football.  The football art is painted on a 10" x 10" archival board covered with newsprint about the Bruins football team from 1990.  Painted with ink and acrylic.  The painting was on the recent Santa Monica Museum "Incognito" show in Santa Monica, Ca.  

Monday

Chicago Bears art painting of Gail Sayers

The great Chicago Bears running back, number 40 Gail Sayers  Known as "the Kansas Comet".  (NFL) for seven seasons during the 1960s and early 1970s,,  Sayers is a member of both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. His friendship with fellow Chicago Bear Brian Piccolo was the basis for the 1971 movie Brian's Song.

The painting is 10 1/2' by 14 1/2' acrylic and ink on paper mounted on a backing cardboard. Over the backing is newsprint articles ind information about the Chicago Bears  The size does not include the frame.

Favorite Gail Sayers quote, ""There's no way I would have made the Hall of Fame or set any of the records I did by myself. No matter how many yards I gained, whether it was three or 300, someone had to be there to make the block. Well, I played football, but you guys are out here giving a lot to make lives and to save lives. You need each other as much as we need you. Please continue to do what you're doing." Speaking to soldiers.

Saturday

Footbal Art (US Soccer) Image Painting of Lionel Messi FC Barcelona


The great Argentine football player Lionel Messi. Commonly ranked as the best player in the world   Messi is an Argentine footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team. World Cup Football Art.  Painting of Messi kicking a football.  Painting is 24 1/2" by 23 1/4" acrylic and ink on football (soccer) pages and photographs mounted on wood.  (US Soccer painting) 

 One of my favorite quotes from Messi, " In football as in watch making, talent and elegance mean nothing without rigour and precision."

Tuesday

Basketball art painting boy doing a lay-up


A friend of mine, Jo, took a photo of a boy playing basketball.  I thought the boy doing a layup was a great shot and got her permission to do a painting of the boy.  The basketball painting is 4 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.
I like this quote about basketball by James Naismith. 'The invention of basketball was not an accident. It was developed to meet a need. Those boys simply would not play "Drop the Handkerchief."

Sunday

Baseball Art Painting of Pittsburgh Pirates Dave Parker


Baseball painting of Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Dave Parker(The Cobra) throwing a baseball painted by sports artist John Robertson. He was the 1979 National League MVP and two-time batting champion.  Parker was the first professional athlete to earn an average of one million dollars per year.  One of his great quotes is, "When the leaves turn brown, I'll be wearing the batting crown" - Dave Parker in mid-season 1978.

Monday

Basketball Art, Painting of Dunk Shot

Sports Art Painting of basketball player dunking a basketball shot. I used a photo of Kobe Bryant of the LA Lakers dunking a basketball as reference material for the painting.  I did change it from the original by changing to position of the arms and also the coloring.   The basketball player painting art is 4 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Good quote from Kobe Bryant: “I can't relate to lazy people. We don't speak the same language. I don't understand you. I don't want to understand you.”  Why I like the quote is because I paint five days a week and there are a lot of artists that do not understand that it is important to show up into their studio regularly to produce work.  It is not about inspiration but about hard work.  I work on the theory that if you paint a lot of paintings some are bound to be good.  As they say about baseball, if you can hit three for ten you are a great player.   I probably paint one good painting out of ten painted.  But if I don’t paint the ten paintings I am not going to get the good one.

Saturday

HOckey player LA Kings DREW DOUGHTY



Sports Art Painting of LA Kings defensemen Drew Doughty.
Painting is 5 feet by 6 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas. quote from Drew:  What you can expect to do is go to the net hard.  The goalies are so good these days if you'er not getting screens in front, if you're not getting rebounds or tips, goals aren't going to go in. 

Thursday

Football Art Walter Payton Chicago Bears

Running back Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears image.  Payton has a couple of quotes that represents what kind of guy he was.   The first one lives up to his nickname of “Sweetness”.  The quote is, “Most important thought, if you love someone, tell him or her, for you never know what tomorrow may have in store.”  And the second quote speaks of his about the way in which he played the game. “Running alone is the toughest. You get to the point where you have to keep pushing yourself.”  Payton is one of my grandson’s favorite player so I painted this as a gift to him for his 21st birthday.


The sports art image painting is 24’ x 36” acrylic and ink on canvas.

Monday

Football art Payton Manning Denver Broncos image


Payton Manning Denver Broncos quarterback broke Tom Brady's season touchdown record throwing 51 touchdown passes. He regained the NFL record for touchdown passes in a  Denver's 37-13 win over the Houston Texans that gave the Broncos their third straight AFC West title. Sports Art Painting is 48" x 60" ink and acrylic on paper. 

Friday

Football Art image Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson running back image



Sports Art football painting of Minnesota Vikings  Running back Adrian Peterson who is one of my favorite running backs.  I think I have painted him four times.  He has a strong work ethic and plays with an abandon that calls out for injuries.  As one of his teammates Toby Gerhart said, “It's not just his work ethic, it's his positivity. He's always at 100 miles per hour, pushing himself. But he never complains. You'll never hear him say, 'I'm sore. I'm tired. My legs feel heavy today.”  Adrian Peterson said, “I’ve been running like this since I was seven.”

Painting is 40” x 96 “ ink and acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Wednesday

Football art Cincinnati Bengals Giovani Bernard running back image

Football image, sports art of Cincinnati Bengals Giovani Bernard running back ,  One of the early statements about Bernard was,  “Bernard is the future at running back in Cincinnati”  Obviously the future is now with Bernard who is in contention as a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate. I watched him on TV in a game a couple of weeks ago and was inspired to do this painting of him.  The painting is 40” by 96” ink and acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Tuesday

Image LA Kings Painting Jonathan Quick


Hockey Art Image of Jonathan Quick, goalie for the LA Kings painting is 48" x 60" acrylic and ink on unstretched canvas.  One of my favorite quotes from Jonathan Quick is  " You play 60 minutes and you try to stop the puck for your teamates, that's the thought process.  Everyone gives up the goal and it's part of the game"  That is something a lot of the fans fail to appreciate. As he has said that sometimes there is going to be a blog post or commentary calling him and idiot.  He has the hardest job on the ice- protecting the goal. And he is one of the best.  Sports Artist John Robertson

Thursday

Football art Dick Butkus Chicago Bears

One of my favorite players, Dick Butkus, Chicago Bears. I had asked for suggestions on Facebook who to paint nest. My friend Greg suggested Butkus.  Favorite quote from Butkus "I'm not so mean. I wouldn't ever go out to hurt anybody deliberately - unless it was, you know, important, like a league game or something."  The image is about 6 1/2 feet on a 4 feet by 8 feet piece of paper using ink and acrylic.




Art for San Francisco 49er's new stadium


Lynn Hanson (my wife) and I will have our art included in the new San Francisco 49er's stadium opening in 2014. The 49er's pregame show, Total Access ran a short, featuring Sports and the Arts which showed our work and that of other artists. See 49ers tight end Vernon Davis talk about art and what it has meant to him. Video is above and here is a link to the piece.
www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151868471230699&set=vb.62766710698&type=2&theater

Monday

Car Art Painting 1949 Mercury streedt rod


Car image.  Some people may not call building a hot rod and showing it as a sport.  But I think it fits the category. I had gone to a hot rod car show a couple of weeks ago and photographed a number of the street cars.  As I was from this era of cars it seems appropriate for me to paint this Merc. when I was a teenager this seemed to be an appropriate car to paint.  The painting  is of the same kind of car James Dean drove in the classic film, "A Rebel Without A Cause"  The painting is approximately 6 feet by 10 feet, (life size)  ink and acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Saturday

Car painting 1931 Model "A"Ford Roadster Hotrod


Car image.  Some people may not call building a hot rod and showing it as a sport.  But I think it fits the category. I had gone to a hot rod car show a couple of weeks ago and photographed a number of the street cars.  As I had a couple of 1931 five window coupe model "A" Fords when I was a teenager this seemed to be an appropriate car to paint.  The painting  is approximately 6 feet by 8 feet, ink and acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Monday

Sports image Joe Montana San Francisco 49ers


The great San 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 paintings by John Robertson