Green Bay Packers Jim Taylor running back Sports football art

Green Bay Packers Commission

 I have had the privilege to paint art for another NFL football stadium, Lambeau Field, the stadium for the Green Bay Packers, one of the oldest franchises in the NFL. Eight of my paintings in their permanent art collection adorn different sections of the suites and club levels of Lambeau Field inGreen Bay Wisconsin.  I have also have works or art in the permanent collection of the NFL’s Levi Stadium, home of the San Francisco Forty Niners and the US Bank stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings, among other arena’s and ballparks.  (see bio.)

 About the Green Bay Packers Art

 I feel it is a great honor to be able to create work that celebrates the culture and history of Lambeau Field, one of the great stadiums to watch a football game in.  Using canvas, acrylic and other materials such as maps and old newsprint with the images I painted specific players along with a series of old football posters.   I was given great freedom to paint what I wanted.  As my favorite era of the Green Bay Packers was the sixties I created half of the paintings from that period. 

Why I am a fan of Green Bay Packers 

The reason I am such a fan of the Packers is that during the sixties I had a good friend whose family was from Green Bay, Wisconsin.  We spent a couple of weeks in Green Bay, and went to their practice field every day.  What was so great about those days was that one could sit on the practice field, on the bench, with the players and actually talk with them.  Can you imagine sitting next to your football idols?  My favorite of all times was Ray Nitschke the absolutely best linebacker off all time. Yup. Sat next to him and talked.  Fuzzy Thurston, the great lineman, Jim Taylor, Paul W. Horning, (the golden boy) Jerry Kramer, etc. 


Original paintings are featured in several areas on Lambeau Field's Associated Bank Club Level. It includes rarely seen historical photographs provided by the Press-Gazette and art obtained from nineteen artists through the sports consulting firm, Sports & The Arts.

The sports art by sports artist John Robertson is of JimTaylor, running back is six feet by eight feet, acrylic on canvas.


Running Backs Defensive Backs Sports Art Paintings

Running Backs and Defensive Back


There is a handful of NFL Hall of Fame running backs and defensive backs who have worn number 24. The player in the painting wearing number 24 can be anybody.  He could be a running back or a cornerback or a free safety after intercepting a pass.  I wanted it to be an unidentified player and leave
the interpretation up to the viewer.  This way you can project your own favorite player wearing the number.  Below I have described a few of the possibilities.

Lenny Moore - Baltimore Colts number 24


Lenny Moore is probably the best who wore number 24.  He played in Baltimore from 1956 – 1967  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame Class of 1975.   Lenny was a 7  Time Pro Bowler and  5  Time First Team All – Pro.  There is a big difference in playing in the NFL now as opposed to playing in the 50's and 60's.   Lenny Moore was asked in a interview, "When you watch the Ravens and other National Football League teams play, is there something you like more about today’s football game than the game it was when you played?"  Lenny's answer. "I just enjoy it because of the nature of what it’s all about. It’s still the same to a degree with other modifications that they added in, different techniques, different calls, and how they monitor the game is a lot different. A lot guys wouldn’t have been able to play during our day that are playing today, with the things they do.  There was no whistle - you’d just be blasting people man, just be beating on people. Jumping, knocking them down. It wasn’t until you were just about dead man that the whistle blew, but that’s the way it was – punching, elbowing, slapping."

Willie Brown - Oakland Raiders - Cornerback Number 24


What I like about another player who wore number 24 is that he was overlooked in the draft - number 24, Willie Brown. Brown played college football at Grambling State University and when he left college in 1963 no professional team drafted him.  He did sign with the Houston Oilers of the old(AFL,  (American Football League) but was cut during training camp. He moved on to the AFL's Denver Broncos and then it all started for this non-drafted player.  Brown became a starter by the middle of his rookie season. In his second season Willie Brown won All-AFL and played in the AFL All-Star Game, recording nine interceptions for 144 yards.  In 1967, Brown was traded to the AFL's Oakland Raiders and spent the remainder of his playing career there. He served as defensive captain for 10 of his 12 years with the team. He was named to five AFL All Star games and four NFL Pro Bowls. He was also named All-AFL three times and All-NFL four times.

 Willie Wood - Green Bay Packer - Free Safety


Another Willie - Willie Wood  had a similar experience that Willie Brown had.  Wood was not selected in the 1960 NFL draft, and contacted head coach Vince Lombardi to request a tryout.  Tthe Packers signed him as a rookie free agent in 1960. After a few days with the quarterbacks, he requested a switch to defense and was recast as a free safety, and was a starter in the season. He started until his retirement in 1971.  Willie Wood won All-NFL honors nine times in a nine-year stretch from 1962 through the 1971 season, participated in the Pro Bowl eight times, and played in six NFL championship games, winning all except the first in 1960.  Not bad for another non-drafted player.

Champ Bailey - Denver Broncos - cornerback- number 24


The great Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith, said ChampBailey was the best cornerback he had faced in his long career.  This is what Smith said about his comment. “But the reason that I really just say Champ is (best) because everybody wants to talk about the success of all these guys who are in their fourth or fifth years. I’m in my 15th year, and I’m 36. Some of these guys, when I was a rookie, were in elementary school. So I’m not going to crown a guy who’s been in the league six years and had three years of success and three years of failure or average. I want to see how he is in three or four more years when his speed goes, and he has to learn how to use his technique. That’s just me, but that’s where I feel like the legacy is built.’’
   The 12 Pro Bowl selections are the most-ever by a cornerback, is tied for most ever (with Hall of Famer Ken Houston) for a defensive back and is tied for third all-time among all defensive players. Only Merlin Olsen, with 14 Pro Bowl selections, and Reggie White and Ray Lewis, with 13 each, had more on defense.

Marshawn Lynch - Seattle Seahawks - running back number 24


It's time to put a running back in with the cornerbacks.  Marshawn Lynch.  The Hall of Fame flanker and running back was All-NFL five times and the NFL Player of the Year in 1964. He starred for the Colts for 12 seasons (1956-67).  As some of you might know Marshawn was never a person who liked to give interviews or answer questions.   In one famous interview "I ain’t got nothing to say," the Seahawks running back told NFL Network's Michael Robinson, a former Seattle fullback, in a 2014 interview. "I just want to play football."   After a big win against the Arizona Cardinals Lynch was on camera with reporters in the hallway outside of Seattle's locker room he responded to every question by simply stating, "Thanks for asking."   He had stomach problems during the game and when asked about it, he said, "I appreciate you asking about my stomach," Lynch said. "Thank you."


Art Information about John Robertson Sports Artists painting.


Sports Art by John Robertson.  Football player image of a running back is 30" x 40" acrylic and ink on a gallery wrapped frame.

Minnesota Vikings Carl Eller

Vikings Carl Eller Autograph


The photograph is of me, sports artist John Robertson with Carl Eller, autographing a page from a book that has one of my paintings of the famous "Purple People Eaters" .  They were the great front four linemen for the Vikings. "The Purple People Eaters" included; Carl Eller, Allen Page, Gary Larson and Jim Marshall.  The painting commission hangs in the new Minnesota Vikings US Bank stadium in Minnesota 


It was really exciting for me to meet Carl Eller as I was, and still am a big fan of the Vikings.  My wife is from Minnesota and I have been going back with her at least once or twice a year since we have been together.  Eller is only a year older than me so we are contemporaries.  He is a big, big man standing six foot six and thick as a big tree.  What is interesting about him is that he makes ceramic art.  His bowls are beautiful and he created some pieces for the US Bank, Minnesota  Vikings art collection.  Here is a link to his facebook page that shows some of his work.  https://www.facebook.com/Carl-Eller-Studios-140010289424137/ 

 About Carl Eller

 Carl Eller was one of the defensive ends who played with the Minnesota Vikings from 1968 through 1979.  Starting in 1968, Eller's fifth campaign, Minnesota won 10 Central Division titles in the next 11 seasons. The Vikings won the 1969 NFL championship and NFC crowns in 1973, 1974, and 1976 and Eller was one of 11 Vikings to play in all four of their Super Bowls, all losses.

He was selected to play in six Pro Bowls (1968–1971, 1973, and 1974). After being traded with an eighth round pick to Seattle Seahawks for defensive tackle Steve Niehaus, Eller played his final season in 1979 with the Seattle Seahawks, where he ran his career total to 225 games. In his career, "Moose" only missed three games and started 209 out of the 225 he played.

About the painting

The painting you see in the photograph is eight feet by twelve feet, acrylic on canvas.  The "Purple People Eaters' painting is in the Gold Suites lobby to Norsemen's suites in the US Bank stadium where the Minnesota Vikings play. This is a private area for the suite owners but the doors are sometimes left opened so one can see them from the public area.  

Football painting Steve Young Quarterback San Francisco 49ers art

Steve Young 22” x 28” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about the NFL and San Francisco 49ers.  Image of the 49ers’s great left-handed quarterback Steve Young..  Newsprint attached to ¾” stretched canvas.  To view paintings for sale please visit: John Robertson Sports Paintings for sale

Left-handed quarterback Steve Young in the National Football League (NFL) for fourteen seasons during the 1980s and 1990s.  He is 6-2, 205 lbs and played from 1985-1986 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and 1987-1999 San Francisco 49ers.

To me, one of the interesting aspects of Steve Young is that he is a left-handed quarterback - obvious in my painting of Steve Young. I find that interesting because I am also left-handed and aware of other lefties.  It was reported  (just kidding Steve)) that when Steve Young first picked up a football he asked if it was a left-handed one.

What I had not considered is that being a left-handed quarterback puts more of a burden on the right tackle as he has to protect the blind side of the left-handed quarterback (something the right tackle probably didn’t get much practice at in college)   As it is the left tackle for a right-handed quarterback who is protecting the blind side of the normally right-handed quarterback.  This is why (generally) a left tackle makes more money than the right tackle – because he is protecting a right-handed quarterback – protecting that blind spot.

There are only a couple of left-handed quarterbacks playing now. And the question arises, why not more?  The retired quarterback Phil Simms has an interesting theory  "There's no conspiracy against left-handed quarterbacks or anything," he says.. "They're just all playing baseball now. They're all pitchers, making much more money in a different sport. It starts at a young age, too. Once the coaches see a lefty with a big arm, they turn him into a pitcher. Percentage-wise, you see far more left-handed pitchers in baseball than you see left-handed quarterbacks in football."

During his NFL career, Steve Young the left-hander threw for 3,000 or more yards six times and had 20 or more touchdown passes in a season five times, and posted a passer rating of 100 or higher six times.  Aside from his passing ability, Young was a constant threat as a runner.  He ran for 4,239 yards and scored 43 rushing touchdowns. –

 Young was named the MVP (Most Valuable Player) of the NFL twice in 1992 and 1994, and the MVP of Super Bowl XXIX. All-Pro four times and named seven times to the Pro Bowl. Young also won a record six NFL passer rating titles.

Young is also member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. At the time of his retirement, he had the highest passer rating among NFL quarterbacks who have thrown at least 1,500 passing attempts (96.8), and is currently ranked third. He is also still ranked highest amongst retired players.

Funny story Steve Young told at his induction speech to theFootball Hall of Fame.  “Ironically it was my mom who kicked off my football career with a bang as she charged the field when I was 8 years old. She was upset that another kid had neck tackled me and knocked the wind out of me. She knew that neck tackling was illegal and since no penalty was called she felt it imperative to rush the field and help her little boy. I was scared to death as I saw her sprinting across the field, with good speed I might add, assuming she was coming to give me a kiss or something. Imagine the visual: late 1960's—20's aged woman, lady, in a dress, on a football field, purse on her shoulder, big sunglasses, high-heeled shoes aerating the field. In horror, she passed by me and grabbed the kid from the other team. Adrenaline pumping, she picked up the boy by the shoulder pads and told him that the hit was illegal and that he better not do it again! Mom, now you know why we never gave you any field level tickets over the last 17 years. My greatest cheerleader.“

Here is an interesting comment by Steve Young about his seven concussions he suffered before retiring in 1999.  The interview was on PBS FRONTLINE.  Young told FRONTLINE he worries about the toll that routine head hits are taking on linemen and running backs. This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted with FRONTLINE’s Jim Gilmore on March 27, 2013.

Jim Gilmore: “One last thing on the way you played and stuff, and it says something about the intensity of how players play. Your rep was always that you would refuse to be taken out of the game, that you would be basically ready to go back, sort of hide from the coach and whatever and be ready to go back on the field before a replacement or anything else.”

Young: “Sure.”

Gilmore:  “What was that all about?”

Young:  “I think that's the nature of the game, too. It demands all of you. And the culture is that you can play hurt; you can play wounded. And the culture is that you can get through all. Guys did it all the time, so that's the hard part.

And that's what, as we get into concussions, that's the nefarious nature of concussions, because you can have a bad knee and the doctor looks at it and they watch you run and everyone has 100 percent knowledge. You might say, "Oh, I feel this way." If you can run, if they can tape it up and you can go, then you can [play], and the doctor can see stability. We know what we're dealing with, and now we can kind of generally take a pretty good assumption of the risk.

As a player, that's why concussions are so difficult, because even the experts, even the people that you say, "OK, am I OK?" "I don't know. How do you feel?" You know, it's a really tough one.”


In conclusion one of his quotes sums ujp how he felt about playing the game.  Steve Young,   -“It was a lot of fun. I love coming out here to play. I had a couple of tackles.” 

Chicago Bears art painting of Gail Sayers

The great Chicago Bears running back, number 40 Gail Sayers  Known as "the Kansas Comet".  (NFL) for seven seasons during the 1960s and early 1970s,,  Sayers is a member of both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. His friendship with fellow Chicago Bear Brian Piccolo was the basis for the 1971 movie Brian's Song.

The painting is 10 1/2' by 14 1/2' acrylic and ink on paper mounted on a backing cardboard. Over the backing is newsprint articles ind information about the Chicago Bears  The size does not include the frame.

Favorite Gail Sayers quote, ""There's no way I would have made the Hall of Fame or set any of the records I did by myself. No matter how many yards I gained, whether it was three or 300, someone had to be there to make the block. Well, I played football, but you guys are out here giving a lot to make lives and to save lives. You need each other as much as we need you. Please continue to do what you're doing." Speaking to soldiers.

Football Art Walter Payton Chicago Bears

Running back Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears image.  Payton has a couple of quotes that represents what kind of guy he was.   The first one lives up to his nickname of “Sweetness”.  The quote is, “Most important thought, if you love someone, tell him or her, for you never know what tomorrow may have in store.”  And the second quote speaks of his about the way in which he played the game. “Running alone is the toughest. You get to the point where you have to keep pushing yourself.”  Payton is one of my grandson’s favorite player so I painted this as a gift to him for his 21st birthday.


The sports art image painting is 24’ x 36” acrylic and ink on canvas.

Football art Cincinnati Bengals Giovani Bernard running back image

Football image, sports art of Cincinnati Bengals Giovani Bernard running back ,  One of the early statements about Bernard was,  “Bernard is the future at running back in Cincinnati”  Obviously the future is now with Bernard who is in contention as a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate. I watched him on TV in a game a couple of weeks ago and was inspired to do this painting of him.  The painting is 40” by 96” ink and acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Football art Dick Butkus Chicago Bears

One of my favorite players, Dick Butkus, Chicago Bears. I had asked for suggestions on Facebook who to paint nest. My friend Greg suggested Butkus.  Favorite quote from Butkus "I'm not so mean. I wouldn't ever go out to hurt anybody deliberately - unless it was, you know, important, like a league game or something."  The image is about 6 1/2 feet on a 4 feet by 8 feet piece of paper using ink and acrylic.




Art for San Francisco 49er's new stadium


Lynn Hanson (my wife) and I will have our art included in the new San Francisco 49er's stadium opening in 2014. The 49er's pregame show, Total Access ran a short, featuring Sports and the Arts which showed our work and that of other artists. See 49ers tight end Vernon Davis talk about art and what it has meant to him. Video is above and here is a link to the piece.
www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151868471230699&set=vb.62766710698&type=2&theater