“You’ve never been to Fenway Park?!!” - I moved to the Boston area in 2004 - to Sudbury - the town where Babe Ruth lived - and allegedly pitched a piano into a pond across from his house. (Just how do you pitch a piano, anyway?). (More on that one: here)....
Unable to acquire four tickets to bring the family, I did succeed in getting one ticket....
So finally in July, I made it to Fenway Park and saw my first Red Sox game - with only a sketchbook and camera and a desire to strike right out and create a painting of the place. This was a working game!...
I arrived the mandatory few hours prior to game time to wander around outside the park. Yawkey Way gets closed to traffic. Vendors, fans and an occasional illustrator take it all in. Sausages, hot dogs, pastrami sandwiches, beer, and souvenirs. What else is there in life? ...
The crowds and characters provide a rich visual resource. Much of the excitement and interest in events such as this come from the life and action and happenings surrounding the main event (as Paul Rogers succinctly pointed out in a recent Drawger post). ...
I drew from my seat as a way to study details and nuances. Some details might not be clear by working from photos alone. I took about 100 photos, and 5 pages of sketchbook notes and drawings....
Here are some photos I took for reference. I enjoy approaching interesting people, telling them I am creating a painting and wish to (possibly) include them. I show a sample or two of my work to provide some context as to why this artist wants to ask questions and take pictures. With only a single exception, all readily agreed. So many nice folks.... I also take phone numbers or email addresses so I can contact them and send them a copy of the final piece....
The personal, human interaction is a tangible source of energy that feeds the creative spirit like nothing else. After gathering reference and working on ideas, I cannot wait to get back into the studio to start the final piece....
The stadium scene is painted in acrylic, and the figures were drawn separately with ink and brush on anything from sketchbook paper to cardboard.
I hope to travel the U.S.A to create a series of ballpark paintings such as this one, with an eye on a book project or calendar. Going... going... GONE!....(painting).
WishawnaSeptember 1, 2009
Nice. I think you've captured the vibrant feel of a baseball game very well.
Joseph FiedlerSeptember 1, 2009
Paul RogersSeptember 1, 2009
Wow! Wonderful painting John, the colors relay the night lighting of a ballpark perfectly, and your approach to painting the crowd is brilliant.
How big is the painting?
John DykesSeptember 1, 2009
Thanks W, J & P... The original is 1 X 3' (plus..). I needed to keep the crowd basic enough in order to let the details show up. The larger crowd dots are fingerprints... not sure if thats clear here.
Hal MayforthSeptember 1, 2009
Nice job, John. You've certainly capatured the flavor of the scene. El and I made it to a game earlier in the summer. (vs. St Louis, Penny lost) I hadn't been to Fenway in about 20 years. Wotta trip.
Stephen KroningerSeptember 1, 2009
This is great. Smart.
Dale StephanosSeptember 1, 2009
Friggin' fantastic John. Man, what I wouldn't give for a copy of this....
Cathleen ToelkeSeptember 1, 2009
Funny and interesting, John! I love the way you handled such a complicated piece. Great look.
Poster, poster, poster.
GregMSeptember 1, 2009
Very nice! Great seeing your process.
Jim PaillotSeptember 1, 2009
Incredibly cool. You caught the whole vibe. Love how the players are the backdrop to the real action. Funny.
Jason CrosbySeptember 1, 2009
Love the colors! I'd like to see the original hanging on my wall!
HarrySeptember 1, 2009
Love those black and white ink drawings, that's all I need. If you ever get to Baltimore I'd be happy to accompany you to the "yard"
We'll pick a day when the Sox aren't in town because when they are there are more Red Sox fans than O's fans. Same when Yankees are in town, oh gotta get back to that game, it was a good one.
Nice work man. I gotta get out more.
John DykesSeptember 1, 2009
Thanks much... Harry - Deal! (This was the first summer in about the last 3 years that I did not make it down to the Inner Harbor area... Next year.
Need to get some larger paper to print this on... I usually print on 11 X 17", but because of the proportions, it needs to be at least 20" wide in order to read the small bits...
Robert SaundersSeptember 2, 2009
John, the way you organized such a complex subject so clearly is amazing. Bright colors, great contrast, no cluttered feeling, wonderful vignettes.
Victor JuhaszOctober 29, 2009
What a lot of fun. Great project and terrific results.