Friday, January 18, 2008

Dad's Treasures

A number of years ago Kelli, our older daughter, created a box that she filled with baseball artifacts and other interesting objects. She gave this to me as a gift. Looking through it the other day, I realized it might make a nice painting. I added to the box an autographed baseball from the 1962 Dodgers and three baseball cards. To the left I included a glove given to me when I was 15 by then minor league player Willie Davis (who was one of the 1962 Dodgers who autographed the ball). The hat is a replica of the hats worn by the 1948 Negro League Harlem Lincoln Giants.

I started by painting the box. The sticker on the front is from Major League Baseball and the silhouette is Harmon Killebrew. Harmon, a Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, is from Payette, Idaho, where my brothers and I played baseball as kids. Next I painted the five baseballs (can you see all five?). I wanted most of them to be used, a bit dirty and scuffed. It is interesting to me that a baseball has the same number of stitches as a Buddhist prayer mala has beads (108). Pasted inside the lid is a photo of a baseball and bat.

The glove in the reference photo I used was facing toward the camera and didn't real read as a baseball glove. So I turned it around to face away from the viewer. Having used that glove for a number of years as a kid, I found it easy to paint as I knew how it looked, felt and smelled.

After completing the glove and hat, I painted the baseball cards trying to make two of them somewhat generic. Baseball cards, as with most kids of the 50s, where a big part of my life. David and I used to go to Mike's Silver Spray Confectionery across the street from Roosevelt Grade School when we had a spare nickel or dime and buy a pack of baseball cards. We often discarded the flat, pink bubble gum then sat down outside with our backs against the store front to see which players were in the pack. The cards for the longest time smelled like bubble gum. More often than not Don Mossi's baseball card showed up. That's why I included his card in this painting (far left card). Mossi was a journeyman pitcher which jug handle ears whose brother-in-law must have worked for Topps, the baseball card manufacturer.

After touching up some details and adding some foreground and background color I was done.


Shannon Goss said...

A painting that any baseball lover would enjoy! The green hat nicely offsets the blues used on the box. The blog was fun to read too to learn some interesting tidbits including who the figure in the MLB logo is and the number of stitches in a baseball. Great job!