Saturday

Muhammad Ali Shines in Nightly Honor

 "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
Archie Moore who fought as a light-heavyweight and had one of the longest professional careers in the history of the sport.   I also liked his nickname, "The Mongoose"

I joined the Navy in 1961 and didn't pay much attention to boxing.  But in November of 1962 Muhammad Ali fought Archie Moore.  At the time I was on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the Pacific and as entertainment the ship 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

Wednesday

Baseball slide rule change image

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

 Keep Baseball Entertaining

 It seems to me, part of the reason to slide into second base, during the possibility of a double play, is to interfere with the play.   Another way to break up the double play is to run the base path so the baseman can't throw straight to first base.  So, instead of taking 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. 

Sports Art Baseball Painting by artist John Robertson is 11" x 14", ink and acrylic on drafting film. Available.  

Sunday

Football Linemen Painting Art NFL

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 Green Bay and had the opportunity to watch the Packers daily
practice. In those days the practices were open and we could actually sit on the player’s bench and talk with them.

 My Favorite Linemen

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


This photo 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)

Monday

Sports Baseball painting of Minnesota Twins Joe Mauer

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.

 Painting Inspiration

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

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

Nephew 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.

Saturday

Hand Jam Rock Climbing Hand Hold painting

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

Wednesday

Fist Jam Rock Climbing Hold Painting

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

Monday

Abstract Basketball Painting with Hoop and Basketball

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 Orlando, Florida - where the NBA Orlando Magic plays basketball. The paintings were to be used on the walls and in spaces for the arena.  I don't recall how many paintings
I did for them but I do remember a couple of them were basketball related and this contemporary basketball hoop painting was among the different paintings.

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


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 Venice.  We always liked seeing the backs of the rundown properties and the deterioration of the neighborhood.  There is something very human seeing old garages and backs of old cottages.  My wife actually owned a small cottage that was held up by the wings of termites.   As we walked in the alleys I kept seeing old, rusted and unused basketball hoops attached to dilapidated garages.  And growing over some of the garages were vines and flowers.  One in particular captured my imagination - a garage with Nasturtiums (yellow orange flowers on long green vines) draped through the hoop and over the garage doors.  Perfect.

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

Sunday

Basketball Painting Layup Art Becoming a Sports Artist

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


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

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

Fox Sports Calls


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

Painting the Basketball Layup


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

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


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

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

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

Tuesday

Sports Baseball Catcher MLB

Baseball Catcher

 It was once said about baseball catchers that they are like a backstop with a good arm.   But it is not always recognized early on in a player's career.  A good example of that is Johnny Bench.  Johnny Bench was one of the great catchers of all time but it is interesting to note that he did not start out in that position.  Here's what he said about playing baseball as a youth. 
"I played American Legion ball starting when I was 14. But I didn't catch until I was 17. I was 75-3 as a high school pitcher, but it was like everybody knew that I was supposed to be a catcher. When the scouts would come around, and I was pitching, they'd make me take infield practice so the scouts could watch me throw."

Catchers are the defensive leader on the field. They position players on the field, call the pitches and can and have a pragmatic view of baseball. One of the best pitcher ever, Bob Feller said, "If you believe your catcher is intelligent and you know that he has considerable experience, it is a good thing to leave the game almost entirely in his hands." A good catcher will have psychological insight and have a list of behaviors for each player approaching the batting box. His eyes are continuing to move across the field of play and his mind running the different offensive scenarios in his head. All of this going on with a baseball bat menacingly inches from his head.

About the Painting



Baseball, painting art Catcher and Base runner painting by sports artist John Robertson.  Baseball art player image is approximately 8" by 10" on a oil on a 11' x 14" piece of drafting film.

Thursday

New York Yankees Derek Jeter

Couple of Derek Jeter Quotes


Some of what Derek Jeter says can be directly applied to being an artist.  .  For example Jeter said, " There may be people who have more talent than you, but there's no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do - and I believe that." 
I am a perfect example of that thought.  Although there are a lot of great artists out there - a lot of them do not make a living as a painter.  I am fortunate - and lucky - and I work very hard at what I do.  I am in my studio every day painting or finding a way to sell a painting. 

Of course, the problem with that work ethic is that I tend to forget to feed the cat, or water the flowers, or make the bed in the morning.  Now, that was okay when I wasn't married.  I mean, who cares?  Nobody was coming into my studio to check and see if the bed was made.  And the cat could find it's own food - and the flowers?  What flowers?  They were dead long ago.  But now that I am married things have changed.  I will make the bed and sometimes even change the sheets.  As Derek Jeter says, " I have feelings. I'm not emotionally stunted."  But as my wife says,  "Who would know?  You're in the studio all day painting and thinking about yourself."

A little About Derek Jeter


Derek says it again. " I don't really see myself getting a Twitter account..."  You want me out there emoting?  When Derek Jeter was playing do you think he had time for expressing his feelings?  No.  He was busy.  Hw was born on June 26, 1974, in Pequannock, New Jersey and grew up playing baseball.  He enrolled at the University of Michigan, but his time on campus was brief as he rapidly ascended the ranks of the Yankees' farm system. After batting .344 with 50 stolen bases in 1994, he was selected as "Minor League Player of the Year" by several publications, including The Sporting News and Baseball America.

  He was drafted by the Yankees in 1992. During 1996, his first full season in the majors, his performance helped the Yankees win the World Series against the Braves. Since then, he's seen four more Yankees World Series wins in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009. Jeter is the all-time Yankees hit leader and was named team captain in 2003. When he officially retired in 2014, he ranked sixth in MLB history with 3,465 hits."  Thank you for the information from http://www.biography.com/people/derek-jeter-189311


And when it was all over Jeter could start living a normal life, one away from the "bright lights, city lights"   He told NBC that starting a family and raising kids was one of his reasons for retiring from baseball. "I want to have a family," Jeter said. "Who knows when it's gonna' be? But I look forward to it."

Wednesday

Jump Shot Basketball Painting artist John Robertson

Frogs Have A Better Jump Shot


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


The Mindset to Play Basketball

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

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

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

Thursday

Art Show for the Super Bowl Artist John Robertson

The Acme Packers, Green Bay
 Packers, painting is 4 feet by 7 1/2 feet,
 acrylic on unstretched canvas.
  (No stretcher bars or frames).

 ART OF THE NFL

This is another one of my paintings that is in the Celebration of Super Bowl 50, a group Super Bowl Art Show (with three large-scale football paintings)

Early on in their history (in 1919) , the founders of the Green Bay Packers got money for their uniforms from the Indian Packing Company, a business specializing in canned meat. Even after the company was bought by another meat processor the Acme Packing Company they kept the Packers name and called the team the Acme Packers.  Though the original sponsor of the team was the Indian Packing Company, it was under Acme that the team joined the American Professional Football Association (soon to be the NFL) in 1921

The Acme Packers, Green Bay Packers, painting is 4 feet b y 7 1/2 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.  (No stretcher bars or frames.

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

JCO'S Place - Fine Art  Los Gatos
45 North Santa Cruz Ave.
Los Gatos, CA 95030


The show is up from Jan 12 - Feb 7

Sunday

Super Bowl Art Show - Artist John Robertson

Tom Brady, quarterback for the
 New England Patriots




ART OF THE NFL

 In Celebration of Super Bowl 50 will be in a group Super Bowl Art Show (with three large-scale football paintings)

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

Special Guests

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

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

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

JCO'S Place - Fine Art  Los Gatos
45 North Santa Cruz Ave.
Los Gatos, CA 95030

The show is up from Jan 12 - Feb 7

RSVP REQUIRED for reception 

Monday

Basketball Painting LA Lakers Dribbling Basketball

Basketball Painting LA Lakers Dribbling Basketball
John Robertson Sports Art Basketball Painting LA Lakers
 Dribbling Basketball  is 10 inches by 10 inches ink and acrylic on old
 news clippings of LA Lakers.
I am one of those typical Los Angeles fans who like the Lakers when they are winning and do not pay much attention top them when they are losing.  I try and only root for teams that are winning.  I'm a fair weather friend.  You're not feeling well?  Sorry to hear that.  Please pass the salt. 

As far as the Lakers are concerned, at least they have somewhere to go and that is up.  Maybe.  Here is the "no brainer" comment.  "They have to re-build."  What does that mean?  I don't know what that means.  I don't know much about basketball.  I can't even build my own life properly much less tell someone how to rebuild their lousy basketball team.  But I know there are plenty of people out there quite willing to tell anyone how to do anything.

I know. How about picking in the draft or getting a couple top-level free agents to "elevate" the team.  I think they know that too.  All I know is how to "elevate" on the escalator to the third floor level of the Century Mall to find Fatburgers  for a Kobe Bryant XXL Cheeseburger with fries. I find I need to put on more weight with the remote possibility that I can float better in the "Y" pool.


But what I do know is this:  Please, Lakers, no more wins this season.  Don't do anything that may jeopardize your critical draft position.  We want to win - so you need to lose.

Friday

Basketball Image Painting of UCLA Bruins Basketball Player Art

UCLA Bruins Basketball player dribbling the basketball arft
Painting of UCLA Bruins Basketball Player by
 Sports Artist John Robertson is 10 inches by 10 inches,
 acrylic and ink on UCLA newspaper clippings on board
I was hoping to save this painting of the UCLA Bruinsbasketball player and posting it later when they either got further along in the tournament or (miracles of miracles) won the NCAA finals.  But that story is over.  

As a native of Los Angeles and living on the Westside of LA, the UCLA Bruins has always been the college that I followed - even though I had to go to another in the area college (bad GPA) - which shall remain nameless.  In my college years and after, UCLA was dominate in basketball under Coach Wooden.  He is a tough act to follow - but, we fans always have hopes.

Thursday

Painting of girl high school high jumper

The painting by sports artist John Robertson is 
approximately 4 feet by 7 1/2 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.
Seventeen year old Jaimee from a small town a Northern Ontario, Canada high school, high jumps 1.55 meters and holds the record for her school.

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

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


Sunday

Baseball painting Jim Bouton pitcher MLB Atlanta Braves

Sports Artist John Robertson's painting of Jim Bouton Pitcher
for the Atlanta Braves.  Painting is 5 feet by 8 feet,
Acrylic on unstretched canvas.
Jim Bouton was a pitcher in the major leagues for a number of years playing for the New York Yankees, Seattle Pilots, Houston Astros and ended his career with the Atlanta Braves.  The longer he played in the Major Leagues he was able to extend his playing days developing the knuckleball.  As you see in the painting he is demonstrating how the knuckleball is held in the hand for throwing a pitch.

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


The book "Ball Four" broke baseball's code of silence where the athletes did not speak about what went on in the background of baseball.   One of Bouton's important line in the book: "You spend your life gripping a baseball," Jim Bouton wrote, "and it turns out that it was the other way around all along."

Thursday

Boxing art Floyd Mayweather Jr painting

Sports Painting by Artist John Robertson is
 48" x 60" acrylic on unstretched csnvas
Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight is finally going to happen.  I have waited a long time for this.  I am a fan of both fighters although I have not painted Pacquiao.  I have done a drawing of him though. My painting of Mayweather I did a couple of years ago and it has been posted on this blog before.  But with the news conference announcing the fight in a couple of months I thought it might be appropriate to post it again.

As we all know these are probably the best two fighters in the world.  I have been able to see a couple of the greatest fights ever (live on TV): Muhammad Ali against Joe Frazier,  the Sugar Ray Leonard- Robert Duran fights , and Suger Ray Leonard against Marvin Hagler.  And now we get to see another great fight.  Boxing had been lacking interest but this will certainly bring some of that interest back.

How does Pacquiao feel about the fight"  He said at the news conference, ""I don't anticipate this being the hardest fight," he said. "That would be Miguel Cotto, [Oscar] De La Hoya and [Antonio] Margarito. I knew De La Hoya was fast, and I was moving up two weight classes [to fight him]. And Cotto I knew was a very hard puncher. And Margarito hit very hard and was much bigger than me. I don't see that in Floyd Mayweather. I don't see any of that."

And Mayweather, this is what he said, ""One thing I do know about any sport -- when you lose, it's in your mind," Mayweather said. "If you lost once, it's in your mind. If you lost twice, it's in your mind. From day one, I was always taught to be a winner no matter what, push yourself to the limit, stay focused and be the best that you can be.


"We've faced all the top guys. I believe in my skills, I believe in myself and I believe I'm going to be victorious."

Tuesday

Painting San Francisco 49ers Linebacker Patrick Willis Art

This is my painting of linebacker Patrick Willis who has retired from the San Francisco 49ers.  Some of you who follow my blog know that I created five large-scale pieces of art for the San Francisco Forty Niners, Levi Stadium. You can see some of the pieces on this blog,

Patrick Willis came into the NFL in 2007 and was defensive player of the year.  A great start.  But not the best way to go out - as he had a toe injury in the 2014 season and surgery that left him with feet that were painful and tender.   A seven time Pro-Bowler he never got his Super Bowl ring - a big disappointment to him.

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

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

  Painting is 4 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas

Sunday

Painting Tae Kwon Do fighter in Stance Art

This is my sports painting of Kayla age 9. She is a purple belt in Tae Kwon Do."

Kayla takes her sport and the study of the sport very seriously.  Her mother was telling me that she was raising money so she could go to a Taekwondo tournament and was selling candy bars.  So Kayla, with her mother, went down to the supermarket and stood in front of the store selling candy bars. 

A man walked up to her at her table she had set up and asked to buy three bars.  The total came to nine dollars.   The man gave her a ten dollar bill.  Kayla put the money into a box and closed the lid.

After a minute the man asked for his change. 

Kayla looked at the man, straight-faced, and said, "Change must come from within."




For those of you who don't know Taekwondo combines combat and self-defense techniques with sport and exercise.  It is a Korean martial art and is also known as Taekwon-Do.  As you can see there is a variety of spellings.

Golf painting of boy golfer Bear Huff swinging a golf club art


Sports Artist John Robertson with painting of a boy swinging
 golf club for a long drive.
Sonia posted a photograph of her son Bear Huff , This is what she said  "This is my son playing in the World Jr Masters Golf Tournament in Las Vegas, NV last year at 9 years old boy. Bear has been playing golf since he was 1 1/2 and in tournaments since he was 4."  He began his love of the game from watching his biggest fan and coach...his Daddy!"  This boy swinging the golf club has great form and follow through. As a sports artist it id s really good photograph to work from.  You can picture the golf ball leaving the club and flying down the fairway, knowing it is a nice drive.  You can follow Bear Huff on his facebook page

What I like about the game of golf is some of the interesting words used, like: "Birdies, Bogeys, and Riders" which to the to the uninitiated has little meaning.  A lot of people don't know what a "Rider" is - so here is a little story to explain the term.

Four old men went into the pro shop after playing 18 holes of golf.

The pro asked, "Did you guys have a good game today?"

The first old guy said, "Yes, I had three riders today."

The second old guy said, "I had the most riders ever. I had five."

The third old guy said, "I had seven riders, the same as last time."

The last old man said, "I beat my old record. I had 12 riders today."

After they went into the locker room, another golfer who had heard the old guys talking about their game went to the pro and said, "I've been playing golf for a long time and thought I knew all the terminology of the game, but what's a rider?"

The pro said, "A rider is when you hit the ball far enough to actually get in the golf cart and ride to it."


Thursday

Baseball Painting of Boy Swinging a Bat Baseball Art

When Claudia posted this shot on my Facebook pagethis is what she said about it. "This is my youngest child this past summer (6 years old) playing in one of his All Star baseball games. Lucas hit an over the fence grand slam home run to help his team make it to the World Series. The boys had an amazing time playing their little hearts out."

As you can see from the photos Lucus really has practiced his swing and follow through.  It looks like he has great ability to hit the ball.  I can just imagine him copying the way his favorite baseball player may approach the plate.  He adjusts his helmet.  Maybe he kicks the dirt out of his cleats and digs a little ditch for his rear foot to get some leverage.  I'd say Lucus knows what he is doing.


What I have been doing is painting from photos of those who post images of their children, friends, and family on my Facebook page.  It has been a challenge to paint the images because they are not always the clearest of shots.  As I always say, "If I can't see it I can't paint it.

Tuesday

Soccer painting Boy Kicking Soccer Ball

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A couple of months ago just for the fun of it I started doing paintings of photos that people posted on my Facebook page,  The painting you see of the boy kicking a soccer ball is one of those paintings.  It is very interesting to see all the different photos that people post.  There is no hidden agenda, no trick, no spam - just me painting from images people have posted.   What really surprises me is that so few people have submitted a photograph.  I'm not saying these are the best paintings in the world but they are interesting and challenging for me - which is one of the reasons I have been doing it. - A painting a week.

So, if you have an interesting photo of yourself, a family member or friend in a sports action and would like to see what kind of painting I can do of it check below for info.

Monday

Golf Art Golfer Bubba Watson painting

Bubba Watson is currently ranked 3rd in the World Golf Rankings.  The painting is approximately 4 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

My current interest in golf is limited to watching a few holes of golf on TV on a Sunday afternoon.  I shouldn't really say I watch the golf - I use it as a way of relaxing after working hard in the yard.  My wife thinks that I like golf - that I watch it to keep current on a category of sports for my work.  As you probably already know, I'm a sports artist and have been making a living at it for quite a number of years.  It is important to know what is going on with different sports - but golf?  It is hard for me to keep track of the players.  It doesn't help that I usually fall asleep on the couch when I should be paying more attention to the game.

My history with golf is somewhat short.  I managed  a golf driving range when I was in college,  I never played the game,  and my ex- father-in-law was a scratch golf player who played (at the time) the longest golf game in history.  Now, what does that mean, "the longest golf game in history."

 When he was in college and on the USC golf team an opportunity became available for him to do a publicity stunt - of sorts.  I never knew why or for what reason but somehow he got connected with "Riply's Believe it Or Not"  to play the longest golf game.  My understanding is that he went out to the LA Country Club, (a bit prestigious)  and where his dad was a member and played the first hole.  He then was driven to the LA airport (LAX) and flew to Phoenix, Arizona to another country club and played the second hole.  From there on he took flights to different parts of the US working his way across the country playing proceeding holes until he had played eighteen and reached New York.
Ripley's Believe it or Not.  Here is a link to Bubba's facebpook page https://www.facebook.com/BubbaWatsonGolf 

Tuesday

Football Painting of Emmitt Smith Running Back Dallas Cowboys Art

This is a painting of the All Pro Dallas Cowboys Emmitt Smith.  The football art of Emmitt Smith running back for the Dallas Cowboys is by artist John Robertson is 50" x 70" acrylic on unstretched canvas.

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

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

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

Monday

Painting Woman Soccer Player Stephanie Sabaliauskas image

Woman soccer player Stephanie Sabaliauskas played for Montclair State University 2001-2004. Four year starter, 41 goals and 13 assists playing Forward.  The painting was commissioned to honor Stephanie at Monclair State.   The painting is 12" x 16" ink and acrylic on canvas.  The background newsprint are articles about Stephanie's career as an outstanding woman's soccer player

Thursday

Basketball Painting Brooklyn Nets NBA Art

The Brooklyn Nets painting is 36" x 48" acrylic and ink on a gallery wrapped frame. 

A number of years ago when the NBA Brooklyn Nets were playing under the name of the New Jersey Nets I had painted a group of basketball and hockey paintings for the Prudential Sports Arena in New Jersey.  I did three basketball paintings for them.  Someone recently saw the NHL Red Devils  paintings at the arena but I have no idea if the basketball paintings were moved to the new Barclays Stadium in Brooklyn where the Brooklyn Nets now play.  If anyone has seen the paintings I would appreciate any information about them.

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

Most of the paintings shown on the blog have been sold, including this one.  (They sell fast)  But there are a few available.  If you click on the link for Paintings for Sale you can see what is available.  What I suggest is that you contact me for your specific need and I can easily paint something specific for you.  Just clink on the contact page for information.

Monday

Baseball painting LA Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax Sports Art

A client had seen an earlier version of this Sandy Koufax
 painting that is on this blog and wanted one for
 his father.  This one is painted with acrylic inks
 on drafting film.  The other Sandy Koufax painting was
painted in oil.   The overall size is 11" x 14" 
Sandy Koufax is considered one of the greatest pitchers ever to play the game.  His nickname was "The Left Arm of God"  He played his entire career with the Brooklyn/LA Dodgers retiring in 1966  because of arthritis in his left elbow at age 30. 

One of the things Sandy Koufax is remembered for was his decision not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur.  It was a conflict between professional pressures and personal beliefs. 

Koufax was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1972 - the youngest ever inducted at the time at 36 years old.

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

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

Because you’re Koufax.

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

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

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


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

Tuesday

Football Painting Players Running Back and Tackle Art


The football art painting is 6 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

 Why didn't I play football in high school?  Pain.  Suffering. Didn't make sense to me.  Didn't have the time either because I wanted to go surfing after school.  If I was going to hit anything it was never going to be the school books or another guy on a football field.  All I wanted to do was to hit the beach.  Actually I would climb over the chain-link gym fence at lunchtime and ditch school early to go surfing.  I had a Fifty-Five Ford business coup (great link to photo of a 55 Ford Business Coup similar to what I had) that had no back seat so the surfboard could slide in the trunk and go through where the back seat should have been.  In those early days of surfing there was no surf rack.  The boards either rode inside the car or rested on a towel and tied to the roof with straps wound through the windows.   We did take a football to the beach with us to pass around as we rested between times in the water.  After getting tossed into the ocean and soaked in saltwater a number of times the ball dried out and become hard as a rock.  After a period of time the leather got salt stains on it's surface - and the dogs used it as a salt lick.

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

Monday

Football art USC Trojans UCLA Bruins running back image art

Big win for Jim Mora this last Saturday as head coach of the  UCLA Bruins is 3 and 0 verses the USC Trojans.  UCLA wins big 38 to 20. Credit to both teams who, wanting to get at each other, fought hard with a high scoring game.  These teams are a classic cross town rivalry.   It was a fun game to watch, particularly if you are a UCLA fan.  Which I am.

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.

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. 

These paintings are already sold but if you would like something similar please email me through the contact page.  

Thursday

Drawing Art Tango Dancers Charcoal on Wood drawing


I think these Tango dancers qualify as sports images as they show action and movement.Tango Dancing seems like a sport to me. t. I prefer this kind of contact sport.   They are charcoal on wood panel 18" x 24" and was drawn for a solo exhibition of Tango drawing at Gallery 381 in San Pedro CA.  There were approximately 20 tango dancers charcoal drawings in the show.

When I was in high school I certainly had the ability to play a sport for the school. There were two reasons why I did not play an organized sport.  One of the main reasons I did not play sports was that I did not like the body contact with other guys.  Although a very good athlete I was not into that whole male bonding, jock, locker room kind of thing that  athletes had going.  I certainly had more interest in body contact with girls and preferred to be up in the stands next to my girlfriend.  I had no interest in being down on the football field piling onto the top of other guys or on a basketball court banging into other guys.  If I was going to be in the gym I preferred dancing with a girl in my arms. If I was going to be on top of someone it certainly was not going to be a group of guys. My interest was more towards being on top of my girlfriend, That just seemed to make more sense to me. 

And the second reason I didn't play high school sports was that my grades didn't allow for it.  One had to have a C average.  I din't even have a D average.  To give you an idea of how bad a student I was - our high school class had eight-hundred-and-thirty-seven students in it.  I was ranked eight-hundred-and-thirty-five. There were eight-hundred-and-thirty-four students that had better grades than me.   There were only two students that had worse grades than me - and those two were by friends.   Good friends.  I didn't make the cut.  I didn't graduate. 


I do not have many paintings in my studio available for sale,  If you are interested in a painting of a specific subject matter please do not hesitate to contact me for consultation.  I do many commissions for individual clients.  Please contact me through the aboutme/contact page for any questions or thoughts that you may have,

Hockey Painting of LA Kings Defenseman Drew Doughty #8 art

Hockey Painting of LA Kings Defenseman DrewDoughty is 11” x 14” ink on drafting film, I had a great opportunity last season to go to the first game of the Stanley Cup  in Los Angeles.  As my son-in-law says  "Drew Doughty is a superstar defenseman."    He is an integral part of the well-oiled machine that is the LA Kings.  One of the nicest things a teammate can say about another is what teammate Justin Williams says,  "Doughty gets better as the season progresses.  The great thing about him is he doesn't know how great he really is."

Drew tells an interesting story about how he started playing as a defenseman.  "Back when I was a kid in London I was a forward all the way until major bantam hockey.  Then one day we were short some defenseman at camp so they asked if I would play back on defense for a couple games.  I had been on the team for a while and I had kind of established myself so I tried it out and it and I played well.  So my coach asked if I minded switching to defense and I was happy to and it worked out."

When anyone asks about his ability to play his supporters tell you all Doughty needs to do is go out and play his game. “Drew is a very simple kid – what you see is what you get,” veteran Sean O’Donnell says. “He doesn’t over think things. Whether he makes a good play or a bad play, he moves on. He’s got a short memory.”

Once again, it all goes back to his mindset. “On the ice I’m not worried about making a mistake,” Doughty says. “I’m never thinking, ‘If I make this play, what can go wrong?’ I’m thinking, ‘When I make this play, it’s going to happen the proper way and I’m going to make it.’ That helps me. I don’t get down on myself. Of course I’m angry for a little bit, but I get over it pretty quickly. I go back out there and I’ll make that same play again.”

Monday

Baseball paintings Willie Mays New York and San Francisco Giants image

Painting of Willie Mays is 5 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.  To see what is available for sale please click on link in the navigation bar at the top of the page.

This is about the sixth time I have painted a large scale painting of the great center fielder, Willie Mays, nicknamed The Say Hey Kid"  who played for the old New York Giants and the San Francisco Giants.  He finished his baseball career with the NY Mets.  The first I painted Willie was for Fox Sports, a number of years ago.  Willie Mays was interviewed by Derek Jeter and  Ken Griffey Jr. during the 2007 Major League Baseball All Star Game for Fox Sports.  If you watch the Willie Mays video on YouTube  or see it below,  you will see three large-scale paintings behind the three great baseball players  in the interview.  The two portraits in the interview are 5 feet by 6 feet and the famous Willie Mays "Catch"  was approximately 3 1/2 feet by 8 feet.   Like the paintings you see above, they were all painted with acrylic and on unstretched canvas.


The famous catch Willie Mays made refers to a great catch he made during game 1 of the 1954 World Series between the New York Giants and the Cleveland Indians at the Polo Grounds in New York.  It was September 29, 1954.  score was tied 2–2 in the top of the 8th inning. Vic Wertz was at bat.  The count to two balls and one strike,  Wertz hits a ball approximately 420 feet to deep center field. Willie Mays, who was playing in shallow center field, made an on-the-run, over-the-shoulder catch on the warning track to make the out. Having caught the ball, he immediately spun and threw the ball to hold a runner, who was at second, from scoring.  If Willie had not made "The Catch"  the two base runners would have been able to score and the game would have been at 4 to 2 in favor of the Indians.  The play saved the game and the New York Giants went on to win the game and eventually the World Series in four straight games.   

Willie said of the catch, "People talk about that catch and, I've said this many times, that I've made better catches than that many times in regular season. But of course in my time, you didn't have a lot of television during the regular season. A lot of people didn't see me do a lot of things."

Some of the more interesting facts about Willie is Mays is that he won two MVP awards and shares the record of most All-Star Games played (24) with Hank Aaron & Stan Musial.   Ted Williams said, "They invented the All-Star Game for Willie Mays." Mays ended his career with 660 home runs, third at the time of his retirement, and currently fourth all-time. He was a center fielder and won a record-tying 12 Gold Gloves starting the year the award was introduced six seasons into his career.  In 1979 Willie Mays was inducted into MLB Hall of Fame on the first vote