One afternoon I get the call asking if I'd like to help out with the 2008 MLB Masterpiece series of trading cards for the Upper Deck Company. Of course, I'd love to, I say. Over several weeks in the Spring, I am very fortunate to be able to paint many of the game's finest players. Jim Thome of the Chicago White Sox is one of them.
Something that is different about this piece from others on my site is the background -- something beyond the textured aray of non-descript color that occupies the bulk of my other pieces. And, what is particularly interesting about the backgrounds for this series is they are largely comprised of out-of-focus crowds. At the time of their painting, I considered this a new and interesting challenge. I'm always up for a challenge.
I wasn't quite sure what the recipe was for accomplishing the blurred look through painting, but I thought I ought to be able to crack the code. I have all the artistic tools, I said to myself. Once I took my brain out of the equation, I think I did figure out the code. Like nearly every step of my artistic life, once I stop analyzing, things fall into place. I trusted my instincts and started feeling things come together. I say feel, because once I zone out and let things happen, I'm not really thinking. And, that's a preferred state, for me. Once the brain sidles into the equation, the best parts of creativity and emotion (ingredients of a successful illustration, I think) tend to fall apart, at least in my experiences.
Sports assignments suit me in their inherent energy which melds nicely with my propensity for movement. This was a terrific assignment and I'm very appreciative for the opportunity to have participated.