Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween !!!
Don't know if I have any really scary images for the holiday, the most appropriate would probably be " Gargoyle" . This was one of the "painting a day" drill that I go through in between the large canvases. A ballpark can be draining, I want to paint but the detailed work that is involved with a ballpark can be boring. So I have found that it is always good to paint a few small fun pieces between the big ones. These paintings are 8" x 24" and sell at shows for 200.00 . It gives the freedom to experiment with varied subjects that I would not normally paint.
At a recent show I took one of these paintings of an elderly gent, sitting on a bench. I did not know the name of the man so I titled the painting "Chilli Man " after the town Chillicothe that the photo was taken. I put a note on the description that if he came by I would let him have it for a special price. Somehow at the gallery opening one of his son's had been notified of the painting, and was there to see me. He told me that the painting was of his father who had since been moved to nursing facility outside town, he wanted to know if the painting was for sale. So since his father could not be there in person I gave it to him at the special price, free. After the show was finished we met at the nursing home and presented it his dad, the next week I received a call from him that his father had passed away. Mr Dell was 96 almost 97, now his son has something to immortalize his father, sometimes it is really cool to be an artist.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Upon arriving home at the studio and getting my photos back from developing ( another thing that I don't have to worry about with the whole digital process) I pieced the images together and decided how to attack the painting. To give Wrigley the scale that I was looking for, I knew that I wanted it 24" tall but the width was going to exceed ten feet. That was way too large for transport and was maxing out my studio. The solution was to paint it as a diptych, the two pieces would be easier to transport and would fit nicely on my easel. Although this also creates other problems, colors must match along with perspective lines ( a problem that I have already had with a previous diptych ) . The finished piece was stunning and the flexibility that it offers with hanging is also interesting, it can be hung flat or in a corner with the same effect.
Still working on the new painting of Yankee Stadium, I am slowly moving across the lower seating area, bull pen areas, and the Yankee legends area in left center field. If I can get back on it tonight should be working on the black out seats in center, and maybe onto the right field seating areas ( yea more seats ) The detail that is in the paintings is really improving along with the digital images, I have photo shop on the computer in my studio and rarely look at the printed photos as it is easier to call up individual photos and zoom in to see details for the area that I'm working on.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Off to the Major

The very first stop for almost every baseball fan in Illinois would have to be the haloed ivy covered walls of Wrigley Field. I secured tickets early in the season of 2005, April 13th, a day game of course. My youngest son, Kaleb, was just happy to get a day out of school. Because of a rainout the day before we going to be treated to a double header, Woods and Prior, on our way to the game we were thinking how lucky we were. That was until we arrived at the "Friendly Confines" , for those not familiar with Wrigley it sits in the north side of Chicago in an area called Wrigleyville. Lake Michigan is visible from the upper deck, and when the wind is coming in off that lake in early spring, wow it gets cold fast, the kind of cold wind that just cuts right through you. We were dressed for cool weather but were not prepared for the arctic conditions at the park. After taking my photos and having a couple of hotdogs ( which Kaleb said were the best he had ever had ) and seeing that Kaleb was turning an ashy shade of blue we decided to leave and get some shots of the neighborhood and cruise slowly homeward. All in all it was a good day, Kaleb had his first Major League experience, I got my photos, and neither one of were too severely frostbite. "Gate F" is one of the paintings from that day, the painting is 24" x 60" it is currently on loan to the Health Clubs at Rivercity and prints are available in various sizes.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

In the Beginning
The whole ballpark experience began while trying to get some photos for an idea that I had to paint the city behind the outfield scoreboard at the Peoria Chiefs O'Brien Field. After taking the photos and returning to my seat, I burned the rest of the film in the camera ( thank goodness I didn't use digital then ) and took some of the whole outfield wall. When I got the film back and put the images together, I thought that the whole stadium as opposed to just the scoreboard was the way to go. The finished painting 18" x 72" was impressive , but then I thought why am I in the Minors? ( the Peoria Chiefs are a Single A farm team of the Chicago Cubs ) so I was online buying my tickets for Wrigley Field.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Baseball Is King
Although I have been preoccupied with shows this summer I still found time to attend some new ballparks. Thanks for the respite but it's time to get busy for the next year. In the coming weeks and months I will be reliving the trip to Yankee and Shae Stadiums and soon will be unveiling the Yankee Stadium painting here for the first time. I will also throw in some of the paintings that I have finished this summer.
Hopefully I can still finish some of the small "painting a day" pieces along the way. During the upcoming painting season ( like most artist when the weather turns cold and rainy it's time to hit the studio) I will be working on a Coney Island series also other views of New York City. The canvases that are already sketched out and waiting in the corner of my studio include the Boston Red Sox home - Fenway Park.
The demand on the ballpark prints have been solid since bringing them out at the first show this August. ( I could kick myself for not learning how tho use the new Epson 1800 printer sooner) The prints are smaller than the commercial done ones 5" x 18.5" as opposed to 12"x30" but at $35.00 matted and in clear sleeves the are a steal at local shows.
As I have stated in an earlier post it is still my goal to paint every Major League ballpark foul pole to foul pole. The market for the east coast teams is huge even in the mid-west, so I am working feverishly to complete these next two. The problem is always in the details. In one seating section at Yankee Stadium alone there is at least 2500 seats, that's lots of tedious work and I must say not the most exciting.

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