Why this one?

I finished the painting of Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan feeling exuberant. I knew it was going to be a great piece when the Michael Jordan side of the composition was nearing completion and I gave it the squint test.  This is when I step back, mostly close my eyes, and view the painting through somewhat of a blurry fog.

The squint text was even more compelling when Kobe was done and all that was left was the background.

Backing up a little, I need to share that this project was sitting in my commissions pile for a ong time - probably 6 to 8 months.  Leo, the client, has been very patient with me, trusting that the inspiration would strike at the right time.  I was a little frightened of this one, if I'm being honest.  It was something completely different than my normal work and would be my first basketball painting.  Normally I paint faces with a few fingers tossed in from time to time.  This one had faces, hands arms and legs.

For the background, I decided to go with hues of purple and turquoise.  It was coming along beautifully when my brush accidentally dipped into a pool of adjacent deep yellow.  It wasn't what I planned, but I took it as a sign that I needed to add the yellow to the background as well.  This was the result.

For the moment, this is my favourite of over 250 paintings.  I'm sure the feeling will pass eventually, but all the pieces seemed to come together on this project in a way that was rather unexpected.


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