View Full Version : My Captains

11-30-2007, 11:06 PM



Title: My Captains
Year Created: 2007
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 36 inches x 54 inches
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

This is the final version of a piece I started in WIP forum. Here's my description of the motivation for the painting:<br><br>"Since the elimination of my promotional/advertising job with a major financial institution in Toronto last spring, I have been on a 15 month severance payout and took the opportunity of the first 6 months to prepare and exhibit my recent 'Moments of Awakening' art show. I have further art shows in mind, but also, now, I'm working at coming up with some kinds of commercial lines of work that may better provide me with a livelihood, to whit: an idea for a line of "sports paintings"... well, hockey paintings, since I'm a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs since the early '60s of the last century."<br><br>This first piece took me 7 weeks to paint -- working daily on it -- for a total of approximately 150 hours. I am taking th image to my printer on Monday to have 500 litho copies made which I will be selling on my website as a signed, limited edition series.


12-01-2007, 06:43 AM
As pure portraiture, this is absolutely tremendous. The individual personalities jump out of this picture, a nice reminder that even in a team sport style and character can still be evident among all the different players. This really might be a nice painting to post for the folks in the Portraiture forum. I think they'd like to see it as well.

Your picture is going to really strike a chord among the faithful who have loved their Leafs for generations. Each of these men represents an era. Perhaps those who haven't grown up playing hockey or following the sport can't fully appreciate the responsibility that comes with being named captain of a hockey team, or the respect that is evidenced by a team when it selects a guy to be their leader. When you see how few captains the team has had in its long existence, you can tell that they've chosen carefully.

It's got to be a sort of wistful feeling for Leaf fans to know that so many names have been engraved on that trophy since the last time they hoisted the Cup. The guys in your top row are there to remind them to keep the faith.

Great, great job Allan. I hope this one's huge for you.:thumbsup:

12-01-2007, 04:51 PM
Hey EJ: Thanks for your generous comments and for saving me from the ignominy of going "O'-fer (to make a sports analogy) with this thread. Funny, this site: post anything with a dog or a horse or a tree, no matter what the level of competence, and folks are all over it. But go a little off the beaten track of familiarity / expectation and, no matter the quality, the image can be roundly ignored. Oh, well, on to my new landscape series. Prolly get some feedback on them, should I chose to put them up.

12-01-2007, 06:30 PM
honestly, i'm not a big hockey player fan...though the sport is mildly entertaining to watch
so that's why I didn't comment...but it's very well done..the hockey team pictured would probably pay you a good bit for it

and also...bravo for working 150 hours on this very detailed painting--you definitely have patience Allanom

12-01-2007, 07:31 PM
Allan, you know I've followed this picture since its WIP days. This just might be one that has a special appeal to people like me who grew up loving hockey, playing it (badly), and thinking the original NHL was as pure a sports league as there could ever be. There's nothing negative about this picture not getting dozens of comments, in my opinion. Part of that is that there really is nothing to critique: it's beautifully accomplished.

Many of your other paintings have generated a lot of comment, but because you have a tendency toward technical excellence and novel subject matter, it might be intimidating for some people (like me) to comment. After all, this is a critique forum, and the "attaboy" forums are the specialty ones. So, if there's not much to critique, maybe some people hold off. Your artistic vision is really special. Like I said, this one might be a good candidate for cross-posting in the Portraiture forum. Certainly your landscapes would be enthusiastically received in the Landscape forum.

There are good people in this forum. Many, like me, participate because we learn from the experience and the input of others. Others, like you, perhaps, are at a stage where the critiques might only be minor nitpicking. I would take that as a compliment, if I were in your position!

[One other thought: maybe post in Structured Critique and let them have a go?]

Like Kate said: maybe if she were a hockey fan this would mean more to her. I know it helped me to have the memories of great games and great players as a basis for viewing it. I hate to see you feel down just because there weren't tons of comments. You really shouldn't view this that way, I hope.

[Final thought: Take a tip from me and next time name the picture "Gruesome Bloodbath at Center Ice" or something. Hooks 'em every time!]

12-01-2007, 07:41 PM
Kathryn;EJ: Forgive my "pet"ulence (and my bad pun:O)). I've been on this forum long enough (2001 -- and where are all those people from way back when!?...just a few of the mods left) that I should realize that subject matter is probably the primary resaon people respond. Would think that the Canuckians might perk up on seeing hockey players -- but then again, they're mostly from Quebec and would only jeer unless the players were Montreal Canadiens....:O)

EJ: A deep bow for your kind and clarifying words.

12-02-2007, 12:44 PM
Allan.....old friend...some of us old timers are still around.......barely

Your painting is charming and obviously very marketable. As that, it is successful, for sure.

Artistically, I like what you did with the balance of color against value. The composition is interesting and wise!

Much luck with it!!!


12-02-2007, 09:25 PM
that is an amazing work, i am not surprised it took you so long to paint. You should definitely concentrate on painting because you have immense talent.

12-05-2007, 10:19 PM
A well thought out composition. The people just do not look real they look like everyday people you would know. i do not play hockey or know much of the game but the potential for this would be and should be financially rewarding with your great talent of capturing individual likeness. I could see not just sports but other avenues that would do well in your talent and composition style. Entertainment movies ect. the striking blue uniforms stands out well with the gray background of I would presume yesteryears stars of the game. Form and function of the poses in the background compliments the relaxed pose of todays stars. It makes me wish to know there names and position, what year they played ect, ect...........Your talent and patience is well rewarded..............Great painting..John

12-07-2007, 05:19 PM
Before this drops out of sight, thanks Pam, artforprofits and John for the kind feedback.


12-11-2007, 07:39 AM
wonderful group portrait and very successful interpretation of each player as an individual.....an heirloom print indeed !!!