WHY I PAINT SPORTS FIGURES
“Shooting Guard” 24” x 36” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about the NBA and Shooting Guards. Newsprint attached to ¾” stretched canvas. To view paintings for sale please visit: John Robertson sports Paintings for sale.
There are these perfect little moments in any sport where, for the player, time stops. And there nothing is their mind except the feeling of making that perfect play. What I tried to do is capture that moment in this painting of a shooting guard. His concentration is focused on the hoop. There is nothing in his mind except for that feeling of making the shot. He is not thinking, … “Did I jump high enough? Are my hands extended high enough? Am I holding the ball correctly?” Those thoughts are all gone. He left them on the practice court with the thousands and thousands of shots he has taken before. There is no thought – only letting his instincts take over.
Something is very lyrical about a basketball player going up for a jump shot and the release and the follow-through, that is quite beautiful in it’s action. It is like watching a baseball batter taking a swing at the perfect pitch and making a connection and watching a home-run hit ball, fly off the bat and see the follow-through of the batter’s swing.
Any athlete has had those moments. Even the most inept person playing a sport has those moments, when, for some odd reason one make the perfect shot or hit the perfect ball or makes the perfect catch. It can be anything.
For me it was in volleyball. I played at a competitive level – well enough to have been asked to “try-outs” for the Olympics. But I was not good enough to make it any farther than the try-outs. I like to think that I lasted the whole day. But, unfortunately after a few hours I was kindly asked to leave. As the Paul Simon songs says about leaving your lover (In this case me leaving my serious love for the game of volleyball), “Slip out the back Jack. Make a new Plan Stan.” So I went back to playing on the beach and even without great success as a volleyball player I had a lot of those moments where an athlete is “lost in action” – the perfect “dig”, the perfect “spike”, etc.
When the weekend athlete makes a really good play I don’t believe his feeling of success is any less greater than a professional making a great play. I know it is nice to make the play in front of thousands of people and be paid highly for it but the real reason any athlete plays a sport (professional or amateur) is for those moments of success. That feeling you get when you make the perfect move. It is like a drug that you want to take over and over – repeat that great action.
Actually it is exactly why I paint. I love the feeling I get when I make a mark on the canvas that I feel is just the right mark, just the right brush stroke. And when I do, like an athlete making a good play, I am lost in time.