2016 has started with a bang! The summer was spent finishing off a highly detailed tribute to cricket in the Apple Isle. Over 80 figures and numerous ground scenes were compiled to tell the story of 150 years of cricket in Tasmania. This was a very challenging composition, to get so much information into one scene with out it being becoming congested. It ended up being an around the clock, 6 days a week schedule to meet the deadline. It seemed just grow and grow as it went along.
Every time I start a painting I have an idea of what it will take to complete, but invariably it takes on a life of its own, throwing up challenges (and unexpected pleasures) along the way. The detail and shadowing in white clothing is soooo time consuming.
I'm very pleased with the result and was delighted to be there for the unveiling at Bellerive Oval in February. Prints are available from Cricket Tasmania.
I've also finished off the 2016 AFL Magic Wildcards for Teamzone-TeamCoach which are a lot of fun. These are a great break from my more traditional portraiture work. Above is a preparation sketch of Collingwood's Scott Pendlebury. The range has just been released from Teamzone.
In between this I produced a portrait of James Hopes for QLD Cricket, as the latest edition for the Centurions Room at Allan Border Oval. Each player that plays 100 Shield games for QLD has a portrait done and added to the collection of greats already there. Hopes joins an elite group containing names such as: Hayden, Symonds, Rackerman, Law, Hohns, Trimble, Maher and others.
Next on the easel... well one that has been on the back burner for almost 3 years!! A really interesting commission from a collector in the United States. He has chosen his greatest collection of MLB (Major League Baseball) players from throughout history. His greatest All Star group of 24 are being gathered together at the site of the first ever All Star game at Comiskey Park, Chicago in 1933. The stadium will be meticulously brought back to life as it was in that year, with players from several generations "hangin out" in the dugout waiting to be photographed by famous sports Photographer, Charles Conlan. I can only show a sneak peak at this point.
I will be delivering this personally to the collector in San Francisco, in May. I hope to catch a Giants game while I'm there. I could send the painting off via an international art courier, but instead I will roll it up, take it myself, and have it re-stretched and framed when I get there. There are a few reasons for this. One is... I would get no sleep wondering if it has made it in one piece. The main reason is that I would like to personally deliver this painting. It is a very personal piece for him and it has been a genuine collaboration between us in it's conception and design.
This is where I feel so lucky to be doing what I do. It opens up so many opportunities for adventure and interesting experiences with interesting people.
Lastly... stay tuned for the potential release of my tribute portrait of WEstern Bulldogs 300 game champ, Robert Murphy in May.
I'm excited AND tired already... and it's only April!!