I began doing sports art when my son asked me to paint a New Orleans Saints play. Steve Gleason’s blocked punt against Atlanta. As we all know, this play has become known the greatest play in Saints history. I was intrigued, but also a bit intimidated. He said I needed to bring on my “A” game. Well the challenge was on…I so love a challenge. I feel I did capture the moment very well. For so many reasons this play is significant and forgive my rambling… I am honored and humbled to have painted such a heroic and inspirational person, on and off the field. The play occurred in the Superdome in the opening game after Hurricane Katrina. We will always remember the days after Hurricane Katrina, and in that moment, that play signified so much more than a blocked punt…It meant you won’t keep us down, and we will come back! Steve Gleason blocked the punt in the opening drive and what a “Glorious Moment” that was! For Saints fans there isn’t another play in Saints history, that will ever compare. There aren’t words to describe the levels of excitement and joy that rocked the dome in that moment. I read an article which states Steve Gleason described that moment as “Infinite Joy”. I think he describes it best. Since Steve was diagnosed with ALS, this painting has taken on a new meaning to me.
Steve was never known for great speed or tremendous size or power…he was best known for playing with great heart and sheer guts. Now for Steve, ALS has become the greatest challenge of his life. We should all keep Steve, his wife Michel and their new baby, Rivers in our prayers. He set up a foundation, TEAM GLEASON, to raise awareness about ALS and to help those stricken with the debilitating disease. http://team-gleason.com/ Please support this foundation.
My next sports painting was the LSU stadium, “Death Valley”, as it is nick named. Phil Galatas, a friend and also an artist, encouraged me to paint the stadium when he saw a picture of a wall mural of the stadium I did for one of my clients. He thought it would look great painted on canvas. Since I love a challenge, I started the project and 6 mos. later, with 3mos of accumulated time invested, I was finally finished. Having never painted a crowd, I chose to paint the people in the stands and on the field, one by one-from hair and faces to the clothes on their backs. The outcome is an exceptionally good rendering of the stadium. I hope to get licensed with LSU to sell reproductions. I have already submitted it to LSU and the head of marketing and licensing gave the painting an enthusiastic approval. Now I will need to go through the application process with the CLC.
The next painting I did was a birthday gift for my extremely generous son, a huge Saints fan. If not for my son, I would not be painting beautiful pictures that tell great stories and pay tribute to great athletes. Since I owe a debt of gratitude to my son, I painted a picture of Drew Brees, who is not just a great athlete, but an exceptional person and his generosity to the great city of New Orléans and state of LA, has been immeasurable.
I followed the Drew Brees portrait with two very significant game turning plays-Tracy Porter’s Super Bowl interception and Malcolm Jenkins’ 96 yard interception TD against the Rams in 2010. I completed a portrait of Robert Meachem, one of the Saints amazing wide receivers. I absolutely love my next portrait of Jimmy Graham which captures his amazing spirit and zest for life. I chose a picture of Marques Colston to paint which depicts him looking up and pointing, which is what he does after every touchdown. I think it is very touching. Next came Lance Moore which depicts him doing what he does after every touchdown…dance. The last portrait I completed was of Jonathan Vilma. I did this one in the midst of the “Bounty Scandal” when he was suspended for the year…to show my support of his efforts to clear his name. I call it Justice for Vilma.
I feel that all the Saints players are exceptional people, not just great players. Their contribution to our state is immeasurable. We are fortunate to have such amazing players and we can thank Sean Payton and Joe Vitt for selecting players who have heart first and foremost. I am a true Who Dat fan and hope to paint many many more Saints players!!!
Have any suggestions on who you would like to see in a portrait or a significant play you would like to see captured in art? Send me a message and I will research the play or player and consider painting it. I hope you enjoy my sports artwork and support me in my efforts to continue painting amazing sports artwork by contacting me about purchasing any of the pieces of art as a Giclee (canvas reproduction), a fine art print (on fine art paper), or a poster print.
TRACY PORTER’S AMAZING INTERCEPTION IN SUPER BOWL XLIV February 7, 2010 Saints 31 Colts 17
MALCOLM JENKINS SIGNED PORTRAIT
96YD INTERCEPTION TD November 2010-Saints 31 Rams 13
Robert Meachems inspirational quote…