20 x 30
I love all kind of sporting events like bicycle racing, volleyball games, marathon running, golf matches, pick up football and professional and amateur baseball games. I’ve taken trips to Cleveland to watch the Indians and to Akron to watch the Akron Aeros now known as the RubberDucks and other such events. Like always, I have my camera just in case I find something of interest to add to my library of reference materials.
One of the Akron baseball games is of particular interest in the painting “Split Second”. I collected a number of shots during trips to Akron. I thought sporting/athletic paintings would be of interest. I chose one of the reference photos from an Akron baseball game for such an endeavor. Like many of my works, I have a lot of “starts”. In other words, I start the painting and lose interest or find something more interesting to work on.
The “start” in this case turned into a commission. A client was looking for a baseball theme for her husband, an amateur ball player with impressive statistics. I showed the “start” to the client and, the game, so to speak, was on. The client came up with the idea to suggest the batter in the “start” was her husband. I made a thumbnail sketch that she liked and we signed the contract.
The batter in the reference shot was right handed. Her husband is a lefty. The reference batter wore dark shirt and white pants. I had some work to do because her husband wore a green and gold top and pinstripe pants.
The painting involved one scene of the batter, catcher and umpire at play while the dugout watched and a whole grandstand looking on. That version did not turnout as I had hoped. The second version, the final version, involved the three major players and the dugout. The grandstand was excluded.
The project was slated to be a Christmas present for the client’s husband. Version one took a lot of time that was wasted. Version two did not take as long but was up against the Christmas holiday deadline. To say the least, I know what elves go through each year. Nevertheless, the painting turned out to be happily accepted by the client and proudly gifted to her husband.
Even though I have received requests for reproductions of the painting by others, I have decided to make this a one of a kind artwork.