Jump Shot Basketball Art Painting artist John Robertson

Jump Shot NBA Golden State Warriors

Now, that is certainly not the problem I ever had when I played in pickup games at the gym.  I was not like one of those players on the Warriors that could meet the challenge at either end of the court.  I couldn’t even meet them half way.

The Basketball Jump Shot

ake for example my jump shot. As you can see from my sports art this player has a nice jump shot with a nice hand and arm extension above his head. It is suppose to be an easy shot to make from a distance but I could not do it very well from any distance. Frogs have a better jump shot. A Kangaroo Rat could jump higher than I could.

And, even if I could get off the ground I was easy to block – being short. And being short the only thing I can dunk is cookies into milk - and the only good move I had after that was dribbling – dribbling the milk out of my mouth.

This basketball art  painting of the jump shot made me think of the

Golden State Warriors

in the NBA Western Conference finals and there struggle a couple of times over the season and in the playoffs.  Even though a player might feel great and “in the groove” it can be very frustrating when your shots are not sinking through the net – or you become the bull’s eye for every other player on the other team because you are a great player like Curry. 

So, what are the Golden State Warriors suppose to do?

Back to basics to find a way to get him back in a groove - into different shifts and rotations and working them flawlessly and forgetting the physical discomfort.

Now, how is that for a bunch of platitudes with no real constructive thoughts?

I listen to the sports commentators and that is about all the obvious comments I ever hear.

"The Jump Shot" basketball sports art painting by artist John Robertson is 48" x 60" acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Most of the paintings shown on the blog have been sold. (But there are a few available. What I suggest is that you click on the

Sports ArtFor Sale

or the

Sports Prints For Sale

to see if there is something you like.  If not, please feel free to contact me for your specific need and I can easily paint something for you. Just click on the contact page for information.

LA Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax Baseball Art Painting


LA Dodgers Pitcher

 Wouldn’t it be nice to have some 100 mph fastballs.  Let’s have a cannon up there firing  away.  LA Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax was like having a clipper ship with guns mounted on the side blazing cannonballs at the opposing ships.  When Koufax threw a fastball it lit up the crowd in the stadium.  It was like Pirates of the Caribbean setting a ship on fire.  All hands cheer.

 Sandy Koufax

 Sandy Koufax is considered one of the greatest pitchers ever to play the game.  His nickname was "The Left Arm of God"  or “Cannonball Koufax.”  He played his entire career with the Brooklyn/LA Dodgers retiring in 1966 because of arthritis in his left elbow at age 30.  As it has been said, “the barrel of his cannon got too hot.”    Sandy was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1972 - the youngest ever inducted at the time at 36 years old.

Here is my version of a story about Koufax that I found on Wired "Cruel Curveball Science; Nasty Koufax" BY DAVID DOBBS

 Sandy Koufax verses Mickey Mantle

 Koufax had to face Mickey Mantel of the New York Yankees in the first game of the 1963 World Series, Dodgers verses Yankees — Koufax faces Mantle three times.  Mantles first at-bat Koufax strikes out Mantle firing off the the cannons – ripping him apart with his fastballs.

Second time at bat Mantle has two strikes against him.  The card on Mantle is,…do not throw him a curve ball.  Don’t.   Do not do it.  It’s like throwing gold coins at Captain Jack.  He’s going to get ‘em. No curveball.  The catcher signs Koufax for the fastball.  Koufax shakes him off.  The catcher pulls out his Navy semaphores and starts madly waving signals, again for the fastball.  Twice he signals him.  Sandy shakes them off.  Catcher figures it out and flags for the curveball.  Okay, he gets it.  Sandy wants to throw the no-no pitch to Mantle.  Sandy is going to hook him.

What was Koufax’s curveball like?  Some consider his hooker the best curveball ever thrown. It came in high at the chin and tacked across home plate from top to bottom like a ship running the trade winds into the Antarctic. The pitch dropped like an anchor to Mantle’s knees.  Mantle just stares at it.  Doesn’t even blink.  All he feels is the wind. 

Umpire:  “Strike three.”

Mantle glares around at the umpire.  “How the fuck is anybody supposed to hit that shit?” And walks back to the dugout."  (quote attributed to David Dobbs)

 About the Sandy Koufax Painting

 The baseball art of Sandy Koufax painting by sports artist John Robertson is painted with acrylic inks on drafting film.  The overall size is 11" x 14"

To follow my sports art work like my instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/anartistlife/

LA Dodgers painting Sports Art

LA Dodgers

 Well, I guess us LA Dodgers fans can give a sigh or relief as they did finally win a game that puts them into the playoffs.  I know, I know, at this point in writing and showing the Dodgers art they are in a wild card position - and that is better than nothing.  And considering the Dodgers, at one recent point was considered one of the best teams in baseball, there is some satisfaction in knowing there are a lot of teams, 20 of them, would be thrilled get this far.  Let us hope they start playing to their ability.

The Los Angeles Dodgers expect to win their fifth consecutive division championship and a birth in the World Series.  Good luck.  The way they have been playing for more than the last three weeks it will be a challenge for them to get back on track.  They are in the post-season play and in a few days, hopefully in the next few, they win the National League West championship.  And if they can achieve the best record in baseball this year, (that is still a question) they will have the home field advantage if they make it to the World Series.

 About the LA Dodgers painting

 In the meantime here is a piece of art celebrating the Los Angeles Dodgers – a player sliding into home plate with a Yankee catcher tagging him out.  Like the Dodgers the Yankees hold a wild-card position with the Indians up a couple of games.  The LA Dodgers painting by sports artist John Robertson is ink and acrylic on a variety of maps of Los Angeles.  The painting is 5 feet by 6 feet.

America's Game of Basebal - Art

Why Baseball is The Game 

 As the great player and Hall of Fame manager, Earl Weaver said, “You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the damn plate and five the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all. “

 America’s Game

 The Game” Baseball.  America’s great pastime.  The game most boys and some girls have played at some time in their lives.  It’s called America’s game because it was one of the first sports played seriously in the United State starting 1845.  I played in Little League and then in the Pony League.  After that, not much.  High school grades (bad ones) prevented me from playing in high school and there was no college in my future.

As long as I could play the game of baseball I felt I was still a kid, I forgot everything when I was playing.  The assaults of the world started on me early.  A bad day of playing the game was always better than any other day I had.  I didn’t have to worry about school, or my parents or friends.  All I thought about was hitting the ball and at other times catching the ball with waiting in-between.  And the waiting never bothered me.  I was lost in the dream of playing.  Even when there was no organized game to play, we played out in the streets, home plate a hub cap off a car and bases were curbs and lines in the street.  We’d play until dark and only quit because we could not see the baseball anymore.  And only occasionally did one of us get hit by a car – usually a light tap.

Walt Whitman on America's Pastime

 One of the great American poets, Walt Whitman lived at the time of the founding of baseball  1819 - 1892. He saw the beginning and the development of the game.  Horace L. Traubel who wrote about Whitman in ,Walt Whitman in Camden,” vol. 2 (stated by Whitman in September 1888): “Whitman spoke more about in glowing terms: Baseball is the hurrah game of the republic! That's beautiful: the hurrah game! well—it's our game: that's the chief fact in connection with it: America's game: has the snap, go, fling, of the American atmosphere—belongs as much to our institutions, fits into them as significantly, as our constitutions, laws: is just as important in the sum total of our historic life.

Sports Painting. About the Baseball Art

 “The Game” painting by sports artist John Robertson is an image of the batter, catcher and umpire that is almost life-size.  The size of the art piece is 6 feet by 10 feet, ink and acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Baseball Art LA Dodgers Catcher Painting


LA Dodgers Catcher 

Painting of LA Dodgers catcher.  The LA Dodgers have two good catchers with each doing a yeoman job with the pitching teammates.  This painting could be of either  Yasmani Grandal  or Austin Barnes as I used a generic catcher for reference to the painting.  As a Los Angeles Dodgers both are having a good season.  Yasmani Grandal:  led all every-day catchers in the majors with 27 homers last season and at the time of this posting his batting average is batting 316.  Austin Barnes: batting 265 right now is a player the  Dodgers were willing to part with veteran Carlos Ruiz, in part, because of their confidence in Barnes.  

About Catchers

 These two catchers have had some good highlights and being on a winning team that have a good shot at the World Series this year..  I am not sure if these catchers do what so many others do, learning in the minor leagues to watch every game on replay.  A catcher wants to do is look at the sequences, go through the at-bats, and consider what other things they could have done - maybe differently.  It was a way of re-thinking the games and that may give them insights for future games.  And this makes any pitcher respect his catcher, knowing that his catcher has done all the homework possible to make the right pitching calls. 

Baseball Art 


The catcher baseball painting by Sports Artist John Robertson is 48 inches by 48 inches, ink and acrylic on old baseball newsprint attached to canvas.  

Jackie Robinson Baseball Sports Art Painting


Jackie Robinson baseball sports art painting by artist John Robertson is 50" x 70" acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Jackie Robinson quote:

"Baseball is like a poker game. Nobody wants to quit when he's losing; nobody wants you to quit when you're ahead". ~Jackie Robinson

Importance of Jackie Robinson


How good was Jackie Robinson as a major league player.  Well,  MLB has a special day every year when they celebrate his achievements – April 15 (of course that is tax day also but they chose that day because it was April 15, 1947 when he played his first game in the majors at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York. And why do  they celebrate him?  Because he was the first African American Major League Baseball (MLB) player of the modern era.  He broke down the racial segregation barrier which had, in the past, relegated African-Americans to the Negro leagues for six decades.

Other Accomplishments


 He won Rookie of the Year in 1947 with a batting average of .297, 175 hits, 12 home runs, and 48 runs batted in.  In ten seasons he played in six World Series and contributed to the Dodgers' 1955 World Championship. He was selected for six consecutive All-Star Games from 1949 to 1954, was the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949 – the first black player so honored. Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 and he was the first African American inducted at the Cooperstown Hall of Fame and Museum In 1997, Major League Baseball retired his uniform number, 42, across all major league teams.

A few interesting facts


Robinson died of a heart attack on October 24, 1972 in Stamford, Connecticut, at age 53.  He played himself in The Jackie Robinson Story, a biopic about his life released in 1950. When April 15, 2004, became Jackie Robinson Day all uniformed players in Major League Baseball were required to wear number 42 on their jerseys to honor Robinson’s memory and legacy to the sport

Dakar: Marc Coma The Most Dangerous Race on Earth

Dakar Rally Painting

 I did this motorcycle painting of the great Dakar Rally rider Marc Coma for a friend of mine.  The photo I worked from is from the 2110 Dakar Rally and is 30" x 36" acrylic on unsatretched canvas.

 For those of you who don’t know, the Dakar is The Most Dangerous Race on Earth.  In Marc Coma’s Dakar race in 2015  he drew on his experience for his fifth victory.  This was in the overall rankings. “I’m happy and proud,” Coma said at the finish in Barradero, 90 miles north of Buenos Aires. “As usual, it was a grueling rally. We had to overcome a problem on the second day that slowed us down a bit in the rankings. From that point, we had to change strategy a little and push to recover that time. We knew the marathons would be key stages, and they were. This fifth win says a lot about all of us.”  Coma had achieved, 5 wins, and 6 world championships. Coma said on his Facebook page that he believed the time was right to retire. “I have to be honest with myself and with all the people who have been supported me along those years. To my sponsors and specially KTM, where I’ve always felt at home, thank you.”

About the Dakar

Started by French motorcylist Thierry Sabine, the first rally of 182 vehicles left Paris on Dec. 26, 1978 on a 6,000-mile journey to Dakar, Senegal. The race has been in South America since security concerns forced the cancellation of the 2008 rally.  Cars, trucks, quads and motorbikes in the off-road endurance race scramble over rugged terrain in three South American countries.

The Dakar insanity is a one-of-a-kind, approximately 9,000-kilometer rally loop-de-looping through South America and it is not your average ramble in the country. For 30 years in Africa and now in South America it has been considered the toughest motor vehicle race in the world. As proving grounds for the manufacturers, approximately 45 percent do not finish the race – which only proves you can roll them and fold them and light them on fire. Vehicle parts fly and sometimes, so do the drivers.

How dangerous is the race? One year a rider got lost on the route and three days later they brought him out in a bag. Argentine quad driver Marco Patronelli said, "You could be dying at the side of the road and they would pass by at top speed." Although the vehicles do have rear-view mirrors the drivers/riders do not look back.  There is not much financial rewards for the event with the winner receiving a few thousand euros. I guess that is better than a trophy, and a kiss from a Buenos Aires beach bunny but it barely pays for the physical therapy a driver/rider needs after finishing the race.  The sport takes speed, endurance and keeping your bottom-side down. There is no bunching behind the leader, no caution flags, and no parade lap.

The Dakar January 14, 2017

The 12-stage Dakar Rally traveled through Paraguay, Bolivia, and Argentina.   Sam Sunderland became Britain's first Dakar Rally winner on as his lead of over 30 minutes in the bike category never came under threat during the final stage.

Spitball Pitch Baseball sports art painting

Spitball pitch definition (thank you Wikipedia)

A spitball pitch is an illegal pitch in which the ball has been altered by the application of saliva, petroleum jelly, or some other foreign substance. The pitch causes the ball to move atypically due to the altered wind-resistance and weight on one side of the ball. Alternative names for the spitball are
spitter, mud ball, shine ball and emery ball, although technically, an emery ball is one where the ball has been abraded in much the same way that the original cut ball had been physically cut. The altering of the ball's state by the use of artificial substances such as sun block, dirt or degradation by fingernails or other hard substances is illegal tampering.

Spitball Questions

So, there is a question to be asked:  Anybody throwing spitball pitchesanymore?  Not many as there are so many cameras on the pitcher it is hard for the pitcher to disguise putting some sort of crap on the baseball. Another question to be asked:  How does a normal “spitballer” get the “spit” or the doctoring onto the ball.  Some players would put some sort of odd substance on their uniform or body between innings then wipe it onto the ball.  For example, some put petroleum jelly or sunscreen or hair cream on their head then wipe it onto the ball (Try doing this unseen by cameras and zoom lenses).  Umpires would come out and check the uniforms and body of players.  One player put Vaseline on his pants zipper knowing that the umpire was not going to check there. If the pitcher has a great friend on the infield the friend can always put some “spit” on the ball and throw it to the pitcher.  But that can be a bit messy when the pitcher catches the ball. 

Like any good thief a good spitball throwing pitcher hardly ever caught so we don’t know how often the pitch is thrown.  Most pitchers overestimate their ability to throw a spitball pitch and when questioned by the umpire stutter nervously, and breathe irregularly.  They start looking around as if searching for an easy exit.  So, to be a good spitballer you have to have the dexterity hide your handling of the ball to manipulate it to get the “spit” onto it.  To see if you are dexterous enough, using india ink, write the Lord's Prayer thrice on a piece of paper the size of apostage stamp. This is going to test your honesty to the lord and dexterity, and, of course, if you can do both, then you don’t need or want to throw a spitball.

About the painting

"The Spitter" spitball sports art painting by artist John Robertson is 50" x 70" acrylic on unstretched canvas.


Basketball lay-up player shooting

Basketball Lay-up Painting


I photographed this basketball lay-up move being done by a Venice beach, California player.  My wife used to have her art studio close to the Venicebeach basketball courts.  You may remember seeing these basketball courts in the movie, “White Men Can’t

Jump”.   As you can see the basketball lay-up is just what it sounds like: a shot where a player lays the ball up on the backboard or over the rim and into the basket. It can be done forwards, backwards, or sideways. It is a lay-up just the same.  And I can’t do any of the moves except for the one facing the basketball hoop – no twists or turns for me.




Amway Center


The basketball art was originally created for a commission for the Amway Center sports and entertainment venue in Orlando, Florida.  This is the home sports arena for the NBA Orlando Magic basketball team.  I was commissioned to create five pieces for the Amway arena a few years back, when it first opened.  I have never been to the arena or have photographs of the paintings hung on display – so if you are in that area and go to the stadium I would love to have someone take photos with their phone and send them to me.  I could probably send you a nice print of one of my sports paintings as a thank you for your efforts.

About the Lay-up Painting


Sports Painting by artist John Robertson
60" x 40" (5 feet by 3 ½ feet)
acrylic on unstretched canvas

Tom Brady New England Patriots Painting

Tom Brady Painting 

This painting of Tom Brady I did a couple of years ago but it seems current given the fact that he will be in another Super Bowl this year – In fact this will be his eighth trip to the Super Bowl - the most for any quarterback in history, winning four titles.  Brady has started fifteen seasons with the Patriots  and drafted by the in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft.  Now, that late pick in the draft certainly has paid off. 

Food for NFL Football 

It was great watching the Championship game between the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Stealers.    My wife was very kind and fixed me some very special treats while watching the NFL’s AFC Championship Game.  Yes, the photo shows Roasted Brussels sprouts and Delicata squash.
 She spiced it up with some Parmesan cheese. Yummy, yummy.  As you can imagine I just wolfed that delicious plate of vegetables right on down.  I can’t wait to see what super special treat she rustles up for me on Super Bowl Sunday - maybe a nice big bowl of barbequed broccoli or cauliflower.  Isn’t your mouth just watering?  - perfect tailgating food for those special winter afternoons.  I’m surprised she didn’t offer me a glass of vinegar water to wash it down with.  I shouldn’t tease her about the treats.  It was very thoughtful – well she could have thought about it and have come up with something better – like steak and potatoes. 

About the Painting 


The Tom Brady painting is 4 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas

Baseball umpire sports art

Bad Umpire Painting


Now, I know that this is a really bad drawing in ink of an umpire - but what do you expect - me to draw or paint the perfect painting each time.  Do you r really expect a baseball player to hit one thousand?  Do you expect an umpire to make the correct call every time he has to make one?  Well, I
can't paint or draw the great art piece each time I go to the studio - and this is proof of that position.  Think of the great baseball player who hits 300.  That means he fails seven out of ten times.  How is that great?  He fails three out of ten times.

Umpire Heckles  


 How many bad calls does an ump make?  It depends if you are on the winning side of the calls or the losing side. These are some of the comments players and manager had said when getting a bad call:  "You're killing me, blue. Can I pet your seeing eye dog after the game?  It sure sounded like a strike!  How'd you get a square head in that round mask?  Did they stopped printing the rulebook in Braille?  Don't donate your eyes to science, they don't want em'.   Does your wife let you make decisions at home? Pull the good eye out of your pocket. I thought only horses slept standing up! Flip over the plate and read the directions."

Artist heckles


What if you're an artist and the client starts heckling you.  "  That's not green.  Lenscrafter called...your glasses will be ready in 30 minutes.  Flip the canvas over and start again on the other side.  Are you painting in Braille?  Is this going to get any better or is this it?"

All sports need an umpire or referee. And what is important is that they have integrity , and just as import is good eyesight. And even if they do have good judgment it seems that another part of baseball is for the fans and players booing and abusing the umpires – It is part of the game.  So don't think that a machine can replace them.  Because the same thing would happen if you used a machine.  When a call is ruled against the player, instead of using words he is going to take his bat to the machine and blast it down third.

Artist John Robertson Baseball painting of an Umpire
5 feet by 2 ½ feet acrylic on unstretched canvas

(painting is a detail from larger painting 5 feet by 8 feet)

Chicago Cubs Baseball painting art

Vintage Chicago Cubs player wearing a uniform from the last time the Cubs played in the World Series. 4 ft by 8 ft. Acrylic on unstretched canvas.


Some favorite Tweets During Chicago Cubs World Series game

World Series Game 7: Will the Cubs or Indians break their curse?   1908. 1948. A drought will end If you're not watching baseball tonight .... something is wrong with you!! Just feels like this is going to be an epic ending.  Nobody has a good reason to not watch this game!!!  Things to remember: The pitcher throws the ball to the catcher. The catcher is the one without the bat.

I have not yet decided whether I will accept the result of tonight's game. I want to keep you in suspense.

.@DexterFowler launches the first leadoff homer in a winner-take-all

Tremendous sportsmanship being shown tonight. Really refreshing with all of the craziness going on in this world.

Not even a baseball fan, but @Cubs vs @Indians Game 7 is the stuff of HISTORY! Eyes glued to the TV!!!

The announcer described Anthony Rizzo as "the most polite man in major league baseball" this is utterly delightful

@RaeBeta I don't believe politeness is an official statistic.

@RaeBeta Baseball is lots more fun the players are humanized as characters.

THIS is why baseball can be great!

Can I just say: Regardless of the result of the play, I love Lindor helping Rizzo up after the hard slide. @c_albertdeitch and the "nice play" tap, after the play on top of it @c_albertdeitch yeah the play was clean too

Kluber Clobbered.

(This is the kind of stunning Internet content only twitter writer's can provide.)

LA Dodgers Yasiel Puig right fielder

Fate of Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig - mega-talented right fielder of the Los Angeles Dodgers - and as of this writing and finishing of this painting may be destined to leave the Dodgers in s trade.   Here are a couple of links to other sites that write about the rumors more clearly than I ever could - as I am a sports artist and
not a writer.  I only try to provide a little background to the paintings I paint.  So if you are interested in what may happen or want to see what people were guessing before whatever happen, did happen, then check out these two links:



Yasiel Puig Journey to US

As most of you who are reading this know that Yasiel Puig left the island of Cuba and was smuggled into the United States with the help of people with special interests in Miami and Cancun.  Even with outside help, by anyone's imagination, it must have been a risky journey that few would be willing to take.  People make the trip for a variety of reasons - but most do so for economic or political motives.  And, apparently there is a lot of crazy stories surrounding Yasiel Puig's migration to the United States.   If you are at all interested in what Yasiel Puig faced in his travels to the United States, you might wish to read the article attached to the following link.  http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/10781144/no-one-walks-island-los-angeles-dodgers-yasiel-puig-journey-cuba

 Short Information about Yasiel Puig

He grew up in Cienfuegos, and played for the Cuban national team in the 2008 World Junior Championship, where they won a bronze medal. He then played in the Cuban National Series, but a failed attempt at defecting to the United States had him out for a season as punishment. He then tried several more times to defect to Mexico (so as to get to the U.S. by land), finally succeeding in 2012. Puig signed with the Dodgers in 2012.

About the Painting

The painting by sports artist John Robertson is approximately  4 feet by 6 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas

Ryne Sandberg Chicago Cubs Second Baseman

Why Paint Ryne Sandberg


Ryne Sandberg nicknamed "Ryno" played in Major League Baseball as a second baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs.

I painted this sports art for my niece as a wedding present.  My sister lived in Chicago for a number of years and, as I remember, she went to graduate school there also.  She is a big fan of the Chicago Cubs and when her first daughter was born she named her Ryne after Ryne Sandberg.  Although they eventually moved away from the Chicago area they continued to be fans of Chicago.  Knowing that I am a sports artist, my niece asked for a Chicago Cubs painting.  So I have surprised her with this baseball painting.

Ryne Sandberg Interesting Stats

Sandberg was a perennial All-Star and Gold Glove candidate, making 10 consecutive All-Star appearances and winning nine consecutive Gold Gloves from 1983 to 1991. His career .989 fielding percentage is a major-league record at second base. Sandberg was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in January 2005; he was formally inducted in ceremonies on July 31, 2005. 

Ryne Sandberg Quotes

 In his  July 31, 2005, Cooperstown, NY Baseball Hall of Fame speech he said, "The reason I am here, they tell me, is that I played the game a certain way, that I played the game the way it was supposed to be played. I don’t know about that, but I do know this: I had too much respect for the game to play it any other way, and if there was there is a single reason I am here today, it is because of one word, "respect."¹ I love to play baseball. I’m a baseball player. I’ve always been a baseball player. I’m still a baseball player. That’s who I am."

One of my favorite quotes from Ryne Sandberg is because it has more meaning in to life and not just baseball.  He said, "In baseball, there's always the next day."  There  is always the next day to move on with your life.  Don't let the past haunt and weigh you down.  I like that thought.


The John Robertson Sports Art painting is 48" by 63" acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Football Linemen Painting Art NFL

Football Linemen Painting

 In football linemen get little glory but the real football battles are fought there, as they say, "in the trenches" My favorite linesmen’s were from the "old school" Green Bay Packers. During late summer of 1963 I spent a couple of weeks in Green Bay and had the opportunity to watch the Packers daily
practice. In those days the practices were open and we could actually sit on the player’s bench and talk with them.

 My Favorite Linemen

 My two favorite players were Frederick "Fuzzy" Thurston and Jerry Kramer. They were key member of the Packers' offensive line during the team's glory years from 1959 through 1967, when they won five NFL Championships and the first two Super Bowls. Kramer was an All-Pro five times, and a member of the NFL's 50th anniversary team in 1969. Thurston was named to the 1961 and 1962 All-Pro teams. Kramer , 6'3", 250 lb. right guard, (and "Fuzzy" (Fuzzy was at left guard) were an integral part of the famous "Packer Sweep", a signature play in which both guards rapidly pull out from their positions on the line and lead-block for the running back going around the end.
"Fuzzy" is famous for his quote in response to a sportswriter's question asked of him how he prepared for the famous Ice Bowl game (where the game-time temperature was 15 degrees below zero). Thurston's response was "about 10 vodkas."


This photo gives you a sense of the actual size of the painting.  Painting of football linemen by sports artist John Robertson is approximately  88" x 60" (approx. 7 1/2 feet by 5 feet)

Baseball Painting of Boy Swinging a Bat Baseball Art

When Claudia posted this shot on my Facebook pagethis is what she said about it. "This is my youngest child this past summer (6 years old) playing in one of his All Star baseball games. Lucas hit an over the fence grand slam home run to help his team make it to the World Series. The boys had an amazing time playing their little hearts out."

As you can see from the photos Lucus really has practiced his swing and follow through.  It looks like he has great ability to hit the ball.  I can just imagine him copying the way his favorite baseball player may approach the plate.  He adjusts his helmet.  Maybe he kicks the dirt out of his cleats and digs a little ditch for his rear foot to get some leverage.  I'd say Lucus knows what he is doing.


What I have been doing is painting from photos of those who post images of their children, friends, and family on my Facebook page.  It has been a challenge to paint the images because they are not always the clearest of shots.  As I always say, "If I can't see it I can't paint it.

Baseball painting of Pittsburgh Pirates Shortstop Honus Wagner's Hands photo

Painting of MLB Baseball player Honus Wagner's hands who was a Shortstop Pittsburgh Pirates.  Art is approximately 54” by 68” acrylic on unstretched canvas.
The Pittsburgh Pirates' Honus Wagner, a dead-ball era baseball player who is widely considered to be one of the best players of all time.  Most people know him as having the most valuable baseball card.  The reason it is so valuable is because it was recalled in 1909 and all were destroyed except for a few that got into circulation.

Here is an interesting story about the baseball card from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.  The most famous T206 Honus Wagner is the "Gretzky T206 Honus Wagner" card. The card's odd texture and shape led to speculation that it was altered. The Gretzky T206 Wagner was first sold by Alan Ray to a baseball memorabilia collector named Bill Mastro, who sold the card two years later to Jim Copeland for nearly four times the price he had originally paid. Copeland's sizable transaction revitalized interest in the sports memorabilia collection market. In 1991, Copeland sold the card to ice hockey figures Wayne Gretzky and Bruce McNall for $451,000. Gretzky resold the card four years later to Wal-Mart and Treat Entertainment for $500,000, for use as the top prize in a promotional contest.

The next year, a Florida postal worker won the card and auctioned it at Christie's for $640,000 to collector Michael Gidwitz. In 2000, the card was sold via Robert Edward Auctions to card collector Brian Seigel for $1.27 million. In February 2007, Seigel sold the card privately to an anonymous collector for $2.35 million. Less than six months later, the card was sold to another anonymous collector for $2.8 million. In April 2011, that anonymous purchaser was revealed to be Ken Kendrick, owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks.[3] These transactions have made the Wagner card the most valuable baseball card in history.

In October 2013, Bill Mastro pleaded guilty to mail fraud in U.S District Court — and admitted in the process that he had trimmed the Wagner card to sharply increase its value.

close-up photo of Horus Wagner's hand on the bat
Honus Wagner was an eight time National League batting champion, with a lifetime batting average of .328. He also led the league five times in stolen bases, five times in RBIs, eight times in doubles and three times in triples. He played nearly 2,800 games during his career, with 3,430 hits, 651 doubles, 252 triples and 722 stolen bases. Along with Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson. If you want all his stats here is the link to MLB site on Honus Wagner

 Honus Wagner’s Hall of Fame Induction Speech June 12, 1939.  Cooperstown, NY.    “Ladies and gentlemen, I was born 1874, and this organization was started was 1876. When I was just a kid I said, “ I hope some day I’ll be up there playing in this league.” And by chance I did. Now Connie Mack the gentleman that preceeded me here at the mike, I remember walking fourteen miles just to see him play ball for Pittsburgh. (crowd laughs) Walking and running, or hitchhiking a ride on a buggy, them days we had no automobile. I certainly am pleased to be here in Cooperstown today, and this is just a wonderful little city, or town, or village or whaever we’d call it. It puts me in mind of Sleepy Hollow. (crowd laughs) However I want to thank you for being able to come here today.”  Honus Wagner was one of the first five inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936.


Soccer Painting Striker European Football Player World Cup

Soccer Player  Striker “Swift Action” 14” x 20” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about soccer (football)..  Newsprint attached to stretched canvas. To view paintings for sale please visit:
John Robertson Sports Paintings for sale.

I did not want to be a footballer when I was a child, and with good reason - I  was born to early for the game in the United States.  As a boy nobody played it.  That was in the late forties.  Yes 1948.  Football was the LA Rams playing in the LA Coliseum.   Not World Cup Soccer.  There was little chance to flourish in soccer, as a sport at that time.

But that changed when my daughters were in grade school – and they started to play soccer.  On weekends their school had parent, teacher, student soccer games.  Everyone played and it was a madhouse.  But fun.  From that experience I found an interest in soccer.  I started following it a little bit and found more games to play in. 

One thing I do the night before I played as game was to sleep with a soccer ball in the bed beside me.  My wife did not find that amusing.  She was very jealous of my football because, well, because she knew the next day I would be gone, sometimes with the girls.  And when I returned in the evening I was worn out from the experience.  But still, the night before the game I look at the football, bounce it around with my feet, even talk to it. This might seem brainless, but it gives me confidence. I talk to the football, I tell it to do it’s job properly by flying in the net for me.  Actually I was mainly concerned about tripping over the football or kicking it into the opponent’s net.

What I eventually figured out was that with the growth of soccer competition in the United Stated and, in particular, World Cup Football, many of us had been glued to the TV cheering our country on. And no matter what country you are rooting for, soccer is a sport that brings the whole world together. In keeping with the spirit of the World Cup, I decided to paint a few soccer inspired images from various photos from around the world.   I am just getting started but look forward to the challenge.  It is the start of something interesting for me and maybe the way soccer is going in the United States a greater interest in the sport.   And what is the most interesting position of a player to paint?   A striker.  

Baseball painting Honus Wagner Pittsburgh Pirates Shortstop "The Flying Dutchman"

Painting of MLB Baseball player Honus Wagner Shortstop Pittsburgh Pirates is approximately 54” by 68” acrylic on unstretched canvas. To view paintings for sale please visit:
John Robertson Sports Paintings for sale.

The Pittsburgh Pirates' Honus Wagner, a dead-ball era baseball player who is widely considered to be one of the best players of all time. One of the Hall of Fame's five original inductees in 1936, Honus Wagner combined rare offensive and defensive excellence throughout a 21-year career from 1897 to 1917.

One of my favorite stories about Honus Wagner was told by Burleigh Grimes in The Quotable Baseball Fanatic (2004)  "One day he was batting against a young pitcher who had just come into the league. The catcher was a kid, too. A rookie battery. The pitcher threw Honus a curveball, and he swung at it and missed and fell down on one knee. Looked helpless as a robin. I was kind of surprised, but the guy sitting next to me on the bench poked me in the ribs and said, 'Watch this next one.' Those kids figured they had the old man's weaknesses, you see, and served him up the same dish-as he knew they would. Well, Honus hit a line drive so hard the fence in left field went back and forth for five minutes."

Honus played shortstop and won eight batting titles, tied for the most in National League history,  led the league in slugging six times.  He said, “I don't make speeches. I let my bat speak for me in the summertime.” He led in stolen bases five times. Wagner was nicknamed "The Flying Dutchman" because he could run the bases so fast – and that he was German.

Most people know that the Honus Wagner baseball card is one of the most valuable sports card around. The reason it is so valuable is because it was recalled in 1909 and all were destroyed except for a few that got into circulation. At the time, the cards were distributed along with tobacco.   Wagner didn’t smoke and he didn’t like to being included in the tobacco promotion because he did not want to set a bad example for children.
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Honus Wagner’s Hall of Fame Induction Speech June 12, 1939.  Cooperstown, NY.    “Ladies and gentlemen, I was born 1874, and this organization was started was 1876. When I was just a kid I said, “ I hope some day I’ll be up there playing in this league.” And by chance I did. Now Connie Mack the gentleman that preceeded me here at the mike, I remember walking fourteen miles just to see him play ball for Pittsburgh. (crowd laughs) Walking and running, or hitchhiking a ride on a buggy, them days we had no automobile. I certainly am pleased to be here in Cooperstown today, and this is just a wonderful little city, or town, or village or whaever we’d call it. It puts me in mind of Sleepy Hollow. (crowd laughs) However I want to thank you for being able to come here today.”


Football art painting for Venice Family Clinic Artwalk



My contribution to the Venice Family Clinic Artwalk silent auction in Venice, Ca.  You can view and bid online and see other artwork donated for the clinic at: http://theveniceartwalk.org/500_silentartauction.htm. #VeniceFamilyClinic. #Venice Artwalk