Is the joy, for you, in the finished product or the creation?
The joy for me is to behold the finished piece (though many artists, including me, claim a piece is never finished). But when I reach that stage where I am comfortable in considering a piece “finished”, I am often surprised by good results. For me, the process of creation is filled with uncertainty. As a painter, I lack the discipline of using predictable measured mixtures of paint to do skin tones, the colors of nature, or objects. The only things I work out absolutely are subject matter and composition. Otherwise. I am constantly experimenting. I am delighted when I can create beautiful skin tones by using unlikely combinations of green, red and white.
Although I have an idea of what I want my end result to look like, I am developing the picture as I go along in terms of color, texture, tonal values, treatment of edges, and when it all works it is highly rewarding. Having said all of that, this is not the way it is for my watercolor work. For me watercolor is less forgiving and demands some discipline. I rely on tried and true methods, and predictable color mixtures. This may make painting more tedious, but the end results are still satisfying.
Where can people find your art?
As far as art works to buy from me, there is no place at this time. I am currently out of inventory to sell. A successful gallery showing in New York, sports collectors auctions, and my website provided the channels to sell all of the work I had accumulated for the production of my book, “The Immortals” (over 350 pieces). I have been busy with commissions, Phillies works and paintings for the update of The Immortals that will include Hall of Fame members that have been inducted since 2010 (about 50 pieces) when the book was published. I will be posting them on my website, which I am also updating, along with a variety of other new artworks. Eventually I’ll have an inventory again.
You recently began working with the Conlon Collection. Can you explain what the Conlon Collection is and your artistic relation to the Collection?
With the increase of newspapers and magazines covering what had become the National Pastime in the early 20th century, a burgeoning demand for images of the game and its players created a “photographers” corps to document the sport. Charles M. Conlon was among the elite of those photographers, perhaps foremost. The emergence of hand-held shooting of pictures at the turn of the century made picture taking more portable and candid. The Dead Ball Era had more action photos and less formal portraits than 19th century photography.
No more stiff or fake poses, no more baseballs hanging from strings, or irrelevant backgrounds. I regard myself a visual historian of baseball. I depend entirely on images of baseball’s past for my work, though I oftentimes manipulate the content, piece together from different images and apply the techniques of my craft. I rarely created pieced-together images from Conlon photos.
I just wanted to pay homage to Conlon and make a great painting from a great photograph. During the period, I was auctioning a lot of my work I suggested to the auction house that in addition I would create a Conlon Collection of verbatim paintings from the photographs of this well-known-in-the-hobby and highly collectible photographer. I wound up doing about 10 large paintings that sold very well.