|THE NCAA 75th Anniversary Project
||This last year I was commissioned by the NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches) to paint one painting to comemmorate each winner of the NCAA D1 Basketball Tournament Winner back to its start in 1939 to celebrate the NCAA's 75th Anniversary. The originals were unveilied all this year at each of the 35 schools around the counrty. There will be prints of each of them as well. The benefits are the NABCs innercity literacy program and the schools. The entire painting will be on display in Bracketown in Atlanta during the Final Four and then move to its permanent home at the College Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City next Fall. There have been interviews I have conducted with coaches and players that will be made into a coffee table book availabe next Fall as well. You can follow the progress and unveilings from the entire journey on the Facebook site.
|….and the very next day…the Dodgers present to Joe Torre!
|| 10 days to work with and a major presentation the day before across the country…no problem. The Dodgers wanted to honor Joe Torre for this time spent in Los Angeles with a painting that paid close attention to two things. This first was his time with the Dodgers and two, a story that he recounts in his book “Chasing the Dream”. This story goes back to 1961 Spring Training in Bradenton, Florida with the Milwaukee when Joe hit a home run off Hall of Fame Yankee Whitey Ford and watched the ball fly over the head of Mickey Mantle. The caveat? No reference whatsoever. So in ten days, and with the help of Marion Kusnick of the Milwaukee Public Library, an accurate picture of exactly what that moment may have looked like took shape. That image, with further photography help from Chris Van Zant of the Braves (the day before), was “ghosted” into the bright LA sky behind Joe in the painting. Joe featured in his LA whites with his familiar hands in his back pockets pose. It was a great moment to be a little part of.
|The Year of Bobby Cox
The beginning of this year started with the 2010 Braves Media Guide cover. A publication that garnered much praise throughout the year because it contained no text on the front, only the image of the painting was present. It showed Bobby standing in his “rally spot” at the end of the Braves dugout looking out on the field. The year culminated in the presentation of a new painting of Bobby standing in his customary place in the dugout. Surrounding him are "ghosted" moments from his career in baseball. The painting was made into 40,000 posters that were passed out after the game. Bobby managed some time after the game to talk about the painting and take some pictures. Each of these images are available in Limited Edition of 25 prints on canvas.
|AROD Honoured By His Teammates
|| In a closed door, team-only meeting, organized by Andy Petitte, the Yankees presented Alex Rodriguez with a painting commemorating his 600th home run this past August. Set up at one end of the clubhouse, it was introduced by team captain Derek Jeter and unveiled with aplomb by Mariano Rivera and Robinson Cano. A long explanation of the painting ensued with members of the Yankees asking questions from content to methodology. Following the presentation, the slugger was so anxious to have the painting up in his home that a trip into Manhattan and a stop at the local Home Depot were necessary to drive the painting over during the game and hang the art work.
|The Yankees to honor Derek Jeter
On September 11th Yankee Captain Derek Jeter, with a sharp single to right field against the Baltimore Orioles, passed Lou Gehrig on the All Time Yankee Hits List. His teammates were trying to decide what to give the King of New York to honor the occasion. They thought it has to be unique; it has to be different; it has to be one of a kind…Andy Pettitte thought of Opie. A late night call from Andy following the fisticuffs on the field with Tampa Bay set the wheels in motion. Now, nothing on a short deadline by Opie could be done simply and easy…especially when it’s going to be presented on the field at Yankee Stadium. So phone calls were made to the Hall of Fame, the Louisville Slugger Company, the Smithsonian Institute, and Woodcraft (and a trip to the mall) got the painting in motion. A Lou Gehrig model bat, a Derek Jeter gamer, a Yankee Jersey, a sliver of a game-used Gehrig bat, Yankee dirt from both stadiums, and a fine piece of ash all went into the painting. It will be presented on the 29th of September during a pre-game ceremony on the field.
|"The Astros 300 Home Run Club
|| When Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee, and ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez became the first players in history to reach the 300 career home run mark for the same team in the same season, the team and the Minute Maid Company teamed up to commission a painting of the three players. It was short notice, so to help expedite the painting Opie enlisted his two ballplayer patrons to get the exact image he wanted to paint. So during batting practice, he had them pose with their bats pointed at his camera lens. This turned out to be the only posed photo of the three of them together as Pudge was traded a few days later. The painting was made into artcards and was passed out to the fans at Minute Maid Park on September 4th. The original painting now dawns the entry way of the Minute Maid Company in Houston.
|"All roads lead through Texas…”
|| It was once said about the first Texan Hall of Famer and Opie’s son’s namesake, Tris Speaker, that “all the roads in his life led him through Texas.” Because it seemed no matter where he was going, he would find a way to stop off in his home state. It also seems that Texans, no matter where they hang their hat, seem to find Opie’s work on their walls. Recently, Boston Red Sox ace and native Texan, Josh Beckett, saw one of the World Series show paintings that Opie created, featuring him throwing the first pitch of the World Series in 2007. In the Boston night sky are ghosted images of the retired numbers. When Boston came through Arlington (yes, Texas), the painting was delivered in front of Josh’s teammates and clubhouse crew.
|| Opie Otterstad was recently invited to spend an evening with Mike Dirnt of Green Day before their concert in Houston. The Green Day tour manager and guru Doug Goodman collaborated with Opie on a surprise for Mike that featured his son Brixton (yes, named after the great Clash song, “Guns of Brixton”) attending his first major league game at Wrigley Field. The unveiling backstage a few hours before the show brought out an emotional reaction from the Green Day bassist. As a thanks for the surprise he presented Opie with a custom Mike Dirnt Fender Bass. Play it or frame it?...PLAY IT!!!!
|The 2009 Astro Wives Gala
|| Astros ace Roy Oswalt was the feature in the original painting that was donated to the Wives Gala this year. He is unleashing a fastball that was the first pitch thrown in a World Series game in the city of Houston. It depicts much of the surrounding ballpark. The large Citgo sign, the train, and the left field wall are all depicted in the painting. The evening was a great success. Even Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio came out to the festivities..it seemed like old times.
|The Phillies Roster World Series Painting
||When the Phillies won the World Series several of the players wondered when the Opie painting would debut? Would it be at Spring Training or the home opener? Would they have to wait until the late season trip to Houston? The answer came when they visited Kissimmee this March. Waiting for them as they came off the bus into the visiting locker room was the original, multi-panel World Series Roster Painting. It features all the Phillies on the roster as well as a center panel that depicts Brad Lidge dropping to his knees in celebration. Jimmy Rollins and many of his teammates will hang prints of the painting in their homes this off-season. Two sizes of prints were made of the monster 40” x 80” painting. There is a full-size version and a smaller 42-inch high version.
|Yankee Brett Tomko Art(icle)
||Brett Tomko and Opie have been friends for years. You see, Brett is not only a pitcher for the Yankees, he is also an artist. So conversations in the clubhouse sound much different than the usual locker room chatter. During the off season, Brett will sometimes call Opie with an art related conundrum. Opie has gone so far as to film his answer to help Brett with a technique or two. Brett has a real passion for art and is always looking to grow. When the Newark Star Ledger came to interview Brett about his artistic pursuits, he thought they should get Opie’s take on it as well. After a long interview, the following article paints a nice picture
|The DiceK Painting
||After his historic hit in the 2007 World Series and a private visit to the Opie Otterstad World Series Show in Boston that year, Daisuke Matsuzaka of the Red Sox commissioned a painting that captured his own World Series moment. Opie created a two-panel painting that features DiceK staring down a batter as he delivers the first pitch of his World Series start. The left panel shows the first RBI by a Red Sox pitcher in a World Series game since…Babe Ruth. It was a pretty long time coming. The middle features the same model bat that DiceK uses mounted in a box painted with green monster green paint. The bat is painted with an elongated print by the famous Japanese artist Hokusai. Buddy Lewis of Nokona was gracious enough to send the Nokona model bat that he used.
|Bloc Party lead singer in a Spaghetti Western!
||When London rock band and personal Opie ipod repeat offender Bloc Party rolled though his neighborhood at the Warehouse Live! In Houston, he felt compelled to act. Meeting with lead singer Kele Okereke before the show and displaying some previous music paintings and images featuring each of the band members, a set of paintings was agreed upon. The first of which features Kele in a red light, elongated like a spaghetti western. Next on the easel is bass player, Gordon Moakes.
What does an artist do in his spare time? Opie paints
things just for fun. Some of his skateboarding friends
encouraged some designs for their own shop decks. So taking
a page from the Jeff Koons and Marylin Minter Supreme
Decks, a number of very limited edition decks were created
for a few shops here in Texas. Regiment Boardshop, Capital Skatepark and Proshop, and Kingpinz in Houston all had
decks made this year. Signed Limited Edition decks are
available, but they are in very small numbers of 33 only.
Last All Star Game at Yankee Stadium
Back At POP! International Gallery for the All Star Game
Show. The select few artists that are officially liscensed
by MLB were invited to participate in a group show at
POP! Stephen Holland, Brian Fox, Burton Morris, Bill Purdom,
and Opie filled the walls while a gallery full of people
knoshed on Hot Dogs and Cotton Candy. The center piece
of the center wall the featured Opie's work was the original
Babe and Kids painting. Former Dodger great, Steve Sax
purchased the original a few days later. Splitting time
with the show in Soho was the Art of the Game booth at
the Javitz Convention Center. The new piece at both shows
was the 1927 Yankees Celebration painting. It featured
a new image of the famed Murder's Row Yankees in a dogpile
on the field in the House that Ruth Built. Attending the
All Star Game started with a great thrill and became a
war of attrition. Staying until the last out was recorded,
it seemed as if the ghost of the Babe didn't want to let
go of the old grounds.
Sox Invade Houston
When the interleague baseball schedule brought the Boston
Red Sox to town is was a wonderful opportunity to show
off some of the Boston pieces from the World Series. A
month prior Eric Gagne stopped in with the Brewers and
purchased two of the sculptures as a gift for Varitek
and Papelbon. When the two players came through the clubhouse
and saw the sculpture for the first time, they were elated
to find out they already owned one. The most progressive
painting from the World Series works was entitled Inside
the Green Monster. It is a bolt-for-bolt replica of an
inside panel of the Green Monster. From the front you
peer in a lighted slot, just like the scorekeepers do
a Fenway Park. In that slot is a painting from that viewpoint
of a Red Sox night game versus the Yankees. The entire
piece is lit from the inside. CoCo Crisp, the speedy centerfielder
and World of Warcraft fanatic, loved the piece and purchased
for his Los Angeles home. Interviews with a number of
Boston media ensued including NESN during the broadcast
of the game.
Rolling Stones Show at POP! International Gallery
In the window of this polished NY fixture in Soho rested
the Ron Wood Picks Mosaic. As patrons approached this
polished NY gallery fixture in Soho they were greeted
by the Ron Wood Picks Mosaic. Standing eight feet high
by four feet wide it could be seen from down the street.
The show was a great success. There was a couple from
Puerto Rico there that purchased an Andy Warhol piece
before they saw the mosaic. Seeing the sales slip for
an Andy Warhol in favor of your own is quite a thrill.
Boston World Series Show
again the eyes of the baseball world fell upon Boston.
Opening Day, the ring ceremony and the unveiling of the
World Series Celebration Painting at Newbury Fine Arts.
For the second time in four years a full scale show of
prints and original works filled every wall of this beautiful
gallery. The show also featured the very first sculpture
by Opie of Jonathan Paplebon and Jason Varitek embracing
after the final out of the series. Todd Jones of the Tigers
stopped by on opening night. DiceK and his family also
stopped by for a private tour during the week.
Last Game of Craig Biggio
Sentiment. Nostalgia. The sense that a chapter of life
is coming to a close. There has been a continuity of
family within the Houston Astros that has been passed
down from Nolan to Drabek to Bagwell, Caminiti, and
Craig Biggio. This has been the extended family of this
artist for 25 years. So, when the torch was passed today,
it was a sad moment. Some of the early successes that
built the momentum of an art career started with the
family Biggio. It is a friendship that will continue
for years to come, but there will be a vacuum in that
clubhouse that will be palpable. It was an honor to
be included in the festivities on this special day as
the Astros used the painting that sold at the Wives
Gala (see previous two entries) as an “I WAS THERE”
art card giveaway. The folks in the scoreboard department
also used an older painting of Biggio in a “Thanks
for the Memories” freeze on the biggest scoreboard
in the park. There are a very limited amount of giclee
prints available of Biggio’s 3000th hit. Contact
the studio for details.
Sunshine Kids Gala
Two nights later….Craig Biggio’s own Sunshine
Kids Gala near Medical Center in Houston. Another large
crowd was in attendance to support the Sunshine Kids and
the programs they offer which give children with cancer
the opportunity to spend some quality fun time away from
the hospital. Since Craig and Patty started this event
17 years ago, the studio has donated original work to
this event. The event organizer, Toby Holt, wanted to
do something special to commemorate Craig’s historic
year and all that he has meant to the Sunshine Kids. At
the end of the evening with the original from the Astro
Wives Gala on hand, a show of auction paddles was held
to purchase a limited edition giclee of the painting to
be signed by the artist and Craig. Forty-five people raised
their paddles to purchase a print for $1000. In two nights
this one painting raised $75,000 for two worthy causes.
Afterwards Craig and his family were presented with a
special painting that depicted he and his family celebrating
right after hit 3000. It was a personal heirloom to a
family with 14 walls that already show Opie’s work.
Astro Wives Gala 2007
There are two charity organizations that have been involved
with the studio for 17 years. This year their Galas happened
on the same weekend. The first was the Houston Astro Wives
Gala held on the field at Minute Maid Park. It benefits
the Houston Area Women’s Center that provides a
great service to families in the city of Houston. The
painting was a surprise live auction item. The ambitious
work depicts Craig Biggio collecting his 3000th career
hit. Surrounding him are four boxes that have small portraits
of the other 26 members of the 3000 Hit Club. It caused
quite a stir in the crowd as it was brought up and unveiled
for the first time to the crowd of over 800. The paint
was still a little wet when the gavel fell at $30,000.
It was the largest auction item for the event. A very
limited number of prints are available to collectors.
They are giclee on canvas. Please contact the studio for
Gift for LaRussa
When the Cardinals ownership was deciding what to present
to Tony LaRussa to commemorate his 1042 victory as Cardinal
manager, the general fodder was considered until trainer
Barry Weinberg suggested a painting. That victory was
a milestone that moved him above Hall of Famer, Red Schoendienst,
as the all-time wins leader as a manager in St. Louis
Cardinals history. Now, while this was a great idea, this
was also the Monday before the record was broken, placing
the presentation on the well-attended Labor Day Weekend
in St. Louis. With every commission pushed back a week,
Opie put together a painting of Tony and Red in front
of the scoreboard at Busch Stadium III in record time.
As the painting was unveiled to the sold-out crowd, Tony
was appropriately warned that the paint might still be
tacky due to the fact that not 45 minutes before the game,
it was as yet incomplete. Mike Shannon had Opie as his
guest on his post-game show on 550 and the St. Louis Post
Dispatch featured a colour photo of the painting the next
Once again the traveling gypsies of the art world converge
on the Javitz Center in Manhattan for the largest exhibition
of its kind. This year there were only two new paintings
from this studio. Each of these paintings took about a
month to paint. The first of which is a celebration painting
for the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers. It features many of the
key players running out onto the field at Yankee Stadium
following the last out of game 7. About a year of reading
and research went into this painting’s completion.
The second painting that was unveiled at Expo was an animal
of a different spot. Seven years since it was conceived,
the Babe Ruth and Kids Painting was finished just in time
for the show. There is a very famous photograph of Babe Ruth, in a boater’s hat, in the midst of a sea of
children. Seeing this photograph led to a sense of wonder
as to the stories of the children that are anonymous,
but immortal in this moment. What if those children all
had a story? What if each of those children grew up to
be a Hall of Famer? So over the last seven years a collection
of photographs, featuring Hall of Famers as children,
was amassed by the studio to replace each of these children.
The result features 56 different players in their youth
surrounding the Babe. There is a sense of satisfaction
and loss in the completion of this work. It has been a
long time coming. Evenings in NYC were spent at dinners
with friends from the agency and the oldest of friends
and hosts for the week.
and Gentleman.....The Rolling Stones
Those of you not up on the Rolling Stones
continuing story, this legendary rock quartet played the
capital of Texas for the first time on October 22. In
conjunction with that show, Ron Wood the guitarist for
the band, also had an art opening at Art on 5th. Ron has
been a painter for years, and as his style has matured,
so has his notoriety. Ron is represented by the Limelight
Agency just as this studio is, so our artistic paths were
bound to cross at some point – why not on the first
trip here? Some years ago an idea came up during a trip
to a guitar store: to use guitar picks as tessari for
use in a mosaic. As the years have passed the opportunity
to bring this idea to fruition has never come up, so Ron
was chosen as the subject for the first mosaic to be unveiled
at his show at Art on 5th. Logistically, it was bit challenging.
Where does one purchase the 20,000 picks needed to complete
such a work of art? The answer came from the fine folks
at Ernie Ball. On short notice, they rallied to put together
the order and ship it out, just in time to complete the
piece. It was still ripe with the smell of glue when it
was unveiled to oohs and ahhs at the show. Ron and his
wife Jo were both blown away by the 8-foot
by 4-foot work. The discussion of its completion went
on for a while, when Ron decided it needed a Stones touch.
Pulling a tongue logo guitar pick from his pocket, he
slid it in between two picks in the mosaic. A closer look at the eye reveals what seems like a mess. The following
Stones show at Zilker Park in Austin took on special meaning
and was experienced like few people in the 50,000 crowd.
Viva la Rock!
for Old Timers
When does an artist get to go home again? The feet
of this painter spent a great deal of time on and falling
off a skateboard as a rebel youth. Now, twenty years later,
a return to the 8-foot half pipe has prompted some new
works. It is always good to take the creativity out for
a spin, and the resulting images are the continuing effort
to explore this subject. While the falling part certainly
hurts more that it used to, the thrill of propelling oneself
into the air on 4 little wheels is well worth a few bumps
and bruises..Some of the recent paintings from that return
to danger can be seen here.
Front Row TLU Woodcut
For the third year, a hand-pulled woodcut
was created for the Texas Lutheran University Front Row
Event at Union Station in Houston. This year, the honoree
was Craig Biggio of the Houston Astros. This year he embarks
on his 20th year with the team he started with. If he
stays healthy, his 3000th hit should come later in the
season. Craig, being an old family friend and patron,
made completing the work this year a great honor.
In the tiny Texas town of Nocona, Texas is
the factory of the last major baseball glove maker in
the United States. Nokona Ballgoves have been around since
the 1930’s. When this artist was a boy there was
a local sporting goods store that carried Nokona Gloves.
Now these gloves were the most expensive gloves in the
store and found of the top shelf of the glove section.
Well out of reach in both height and wallet. The Reverend
Marcus Otterstad would gladly pull them down for his son
to see, feel, and smell what a one hundred dollar glove
was like. Dream, covent, wish for, desire, obsess, use
whatever term you like, that was the mountain top of baseball
gear to this young boy. When the time came to leave home
and go off to St. Olaf College, and the question arose
as to the last gift to a sentimental child? The choice
was simple and a 10 year wish was granted, a Nokona 12”
outfielders glove. While over the years over 50 gloves
have made their way into the studio, this one is prized
like an heirloom above all others. When Nokona began to
develop a more global marketing strategy recently, a chance
meeting between Nokona CEO, Buddy Lewis and this story
came about - and from it a friendship. So if you see Opie
around the clubhouse or the stadium, and you notice the
leather satchel he is sporting, know that it is more than
just a bag, its a Nokona. You can visit them on the web
Louis Celebration Painting!
There is some extra meaning in this year’s
World Series Celebration Painting.
There are some teams and some cities that make for great
stories when they win. Each year the team is a special
group of individuals. Then there are those that are very
personal. The latter is the case with the Cardinals' victory
last year. Every since the passing of our good friend,
Darryl Kile, the city of St. Louis and its ballclub have
been very close at heart. So the victory last October
was a great personal moment. The celebration has more
players packed into the fray than ever before. The scoreboard
features Tony Larussa on the jumbotron as well as the
box score, and the years of previous winners. The first
year of a new stadium was important at Fenway way back
in 1912. Perhaps the new Busch stadium will carry the
same venerable mystique (without the whole curse thing).
There is a 30" x 40" Limited Edition Giclee'
available. Please call or email for details.
Louis Helicopter Trip
Sometimes foresight and planning can lead
to great moments in out lives. Sometimes the lack of said
planning can do the same. Artists would tend to be more
likely on the backside of that equation. In the case of
the Busch Stadium Paintings,
the latter is certainly the case. While photographing
the last days of Old Busch Stadium, the very last shot
in the Canon was from high atop the Millenium Hotel across
the street. The house lights of red and yellow illuminated
the archs around the silent old dame. In the painting
the large negative space of the night sky was kept and
filled with ghosted images of great moments in that park.
Ozzie, Lou, Big Mac, Sir Albert, Stan on the mouth harp,
Jack Buck, the 67 and 82 team moments and even an image
for Darryl Kile are all present in the night sky above
old Busch. When the beautiful new stadium was built a
daytime painting to mirror the night time painting of
the old stadium was born. Shown from the opposite angle,
looking down and back toward the river and the Arch was
the choice for the painting. This plan had a minor caviat.
There is no building on that side of the stadium from
which to photograph down. Calling around to the local
airports a great Cardinal fan was found that also happened
to be a helicopter pilot. So hanging
out of a small helicopter, several passes, at differeing
heights, brought about a photograph that was the basis
for this matching painting. In the new painting, the World
Series Trophy can be seen in the sky over the arch. A
number of Limited Edition Giclee' Prints on canvas are
Baseball Hall of Fame
The inductees for this year’s class
brought an unexpected woman’s touch to the festivities.
With the induction of three proud Texas members of the
All American Girls Baseball League (AAGBL) and the Astros
own power broker, Pam Gardner
the stage was set for a unique tribute. The other inductees
included Astros greats, Terry
Puhl and Rusty Staub.
The class was rounded out by the original founders of
the Houston Colt 45’s, Judge
Roy Hofeinz, George Kirksey, and Bob Smith. The weekend
coincided with the reunion for the AAGBL so the ladies
were out in force to see in Marie
Mahoney and honor Tex Lessing and Alva Jo Fischer.
The grand finale’ was an inpomptu singing of the
AAGBL theme song while a group of a hundred former players
stood and sang. It was moving and a great tribute to what
that league meant. Prints are available. They are 16"
x 20" on canvas.
Babe and Kids Painting
What does a painting that took 7 years to
complete look like? Take a very famous photograph of the
most iconic figure in baseball. The photo
features Babe Ruth in a small town trainstop along
a barnstorming trip amidst a sea of children. The Sultan
of Swat is in the eye of this youthful storm wearing his
best boater hat and a coat and tie. Even out of uniform
his mug is unmistakable and his presence is commanding.
Coming across this photo in books over the years led to
a curiosity as to the stories of the children as much
as a story about the Babe. What if we knew these children?
What if we knew some of the tales that these children’s
lives told from that brush with baseball immortality?
What if one of these kids went on to be a baseball legend
themselves..what if all of them did? The Babe
Ruth and Kids Painting took seven years of collection
and replacement. Photographs of as many baseball Hall
of Famers that didn’t play with the King of Crash
have been carefully placed in the stead and attire of
the unknown children that were there in history. 56 Hall
of Famers in total comprise the sea of children. Can you
pick some of them out with out looking at the key? There
are no slights. Players were only omitted if in those
seven years a photo could not be found. It is the culmination
of a lot of hours sifting through photos and player biographies.
Thanks to Eric Enders for his invaluable assistance while
at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
White Sox Show in the Windy City
aside my home team loyalties for one painting was tough.
Taking into consideration what the victory for the Sox
means to baseball history and the fans of the Southside
team on the junior circuit, it was easy. Eighty-eight
years they have waited for a Series win, so for each year
there was one inch of paint on the original canvas. Overall,
it stands 88” wide by 68” tall. This World
Series painting has more players than any of its predecessors.
An early arrival in Chicago allowed some rare free time
on the first night. What better to do than draw? A trip
to the local Michael’s and a patient limo driver
from the hotel allowed for a nice charcoal of Shoeless Joe Jackson
to emerge in time for the show. After some
press interviews the first few days, Saturday was the
unveiling during pre-game against the Indians at US Cellular
Field (Comiskey Park to the old schoolers). Included in
this ceremony was the presentation of the 2005 Team of the Year
from the United States Sports Academy. Two birds….Afterwards,
we embarked on a winding drive out to The Great Frame
Up in Oak Lawn for the show. Originals and Limited Editions
were greeted warmly by a large group of baseball fans.
The evening was spent telling stories and signing some
dedications on the Limited Editions. Everyone had a great
time. You can find out more about the prints at www.whitesoxvictory.com.
Longhorn Foundation Auction and Golf Tournament at Barton
the Sunday night before all the little white balls could
ruin the weekend was the live auction and dinner for the
Longhorn Foundation. Mr. Dodds, Coach Mack Brown, and
Coach Darrell K. Royal were all in attendance. The event
was a swank affair with several magnificent items up for
bid. Along with the first three prints from the UT Edition
of the Championship painting was a one-of-a-kind giclée
of the original that was almost the same size as the 106”
x 60” monster. Each panel was stretched individually
on different stretcher bars like the original. While the
three prints brought $5000 each, the big one brought $25,000.
To top it all off the food was really good, too –
a charity function anomaly.
the buzz around the University of Texas Painting and Limited
Editions, a show was held at Art on 5th in Austin. With
four months of work on 10 new originals, it was the most
time dedicated to a single event in succession. The show
featured a VIP party the first night which included many
folks from over at “The Forty Acres,” including
athletic director Deloss Dodds. The show also featured
a “this is your life” crowd from the Opie’s
past. Friends and family from all over came in for the
show. It was a trip down memory interstate. Following
the Sunday night open house at the gallery is the news
item above this one.
Unveiling of the University of Texas painting!
May 6th and 7th at ART of 5th we will be displaying
the UT National Championship painting for the first
time. The painting is being made into limited giclees
and lithographs. Those prints will be available at the
show. “Just one painting?”, you ask? Of
course not. There will be 10 new originals featuring
UT on display as well. ART on 5th is one of the finest
art galleries in Austin. It is an all day affair, so
stop by and say hello on Saturday or Sunday (check the
ART on 5th website
for hours) The painting will hang there for two days.
It will then journey crosstown to hang permanently at
the Moncrief-Neuhaus Athletics Center on campus.
Robert Horry Show at Gallery 319
seems that some things come full circle in life. When
a young artist was starting out in Houston selling paintings
to professional athletes and toting a large folio, he
humbly sported a few pairs of well-worn twin-tone spectators
and waited hours to talk to the people who the paintings
were painted of and for. Robert Horry was a rookie in
Houston in those years and thought paintings were the
last thing he needed or appreciated. However, a friendship
was born. Two years ago, after five championships, Big
Shot Rob decided a painting might be a good idea to commemorate
this achievement. One afternoon was spent at Westside
Tennis Club in Houston shooting reference with Robert
taking three-pointers with a soccerball (the basketballs
had all been knicked). Fast forward 4 months, with the
now six–panel monster completed and a three-day
trip to Los Angeles on the schedule for the Spurs, a show
and a print were planned. About a hundred invited guests
joined us at Gallery 319 for the show. Artist
and Basketball player alike told some stories and
relived some fond memories. A great time was had by all.
United States Sports Academy (USSA) show in Daphne, Alabama,
opened on March 9th. The day after returning from New
York, a very small plane flying to Mobile, Alabama, carried
a nervous artist and an unfinished painting to the Academy's
headquarters for the show. After a long night of finishing
touches on “Andy’s World,” the opening
was held from 5 to 7 pm. The lower gallery at their beautiful
museum was wall to wall with works. The folks at ICAF
also had paintings on display from the “Children’s
Olympics Contest.” It was a great evening of conversation
and rubbing elbows with patrons from the area. Along with
a second medal presentation, councilman Gus Palumbo from
Daphne also presented the Key to the City. It was quite
an honor for an artist, or anyone for that matter. "Andy's
World" will be the next limited edition giclee'. Check
out more about the show here.
family affair in NYC this time was the featured theme
for this trip to New York. This year provided us the opportunity
to make some new friends and see some unexpected old ones.
The newest addition to the Limelight stable is Paul Karslake.
He is the brother-in-law of Rolling Stones’ guitar
player Ron Wood. His reputation over in England is storied
and deep. His sense of humor and anecdotes are what make
the man. After “almost meeting” on Thursday,
we spent the better part of five hours on Friday exchanging
stories and cutting up. The mischief and light mood affected
everyone in the Limelight booth, including Stephen Holland.
Paul’s nephew Ty was in town as well, so conversation
of Arsenal Football Club’s triumph over Real Madrid
was the talk of the evening. Friday night there was a
reception for Sebastian Kruger at Pop International Gallery
in SOHO. Sebastian is another new addition to our merry
band of artists and scribes. Sunday saw the completion
of the White Sox painting so it can be scanned for prints
back in California. Dinner at Surrey’s Indian Restaurant
in the West Village was a highlight of the cuisine this
trip. We also hit Lombardi’s, Rizzo’s, and
the Carnegie Deli for some cheesecake.
World Cup Figure comes to life!
the day after the LA trip was the first meeting of 20
young art all-stars from the Austin area coming together
to complete the figurine for the ICAF Show over in Munich.
The countries that are participating in the World Cup
have been asked to have children from those lands decorate
a full-size mannequin representing their country. A
local teacher and old friend, Rebecca McCombs, worked
very hard to assemble 8 elementary, 6 middle-school,
and 6 high-school students who were chosen by their
art teachers as being exceptional. This proved to be
the case. The first two-hour meeting was a brainstorming
session to create a clear vision of what the figure
would look like. The following day was spent in a one-man
scavenger hunt around Austin amassing the laundry list
of items that the group came up with. Saturday the 11th,
at 10 am the team reconvened and set forth the task
of artistic interpretation. The fine folks from JenKev
Productions were there to film and take photographs
of the event. At 5 pm a steam whistle blew and “Ms.
America” was complete. Every single participant
was hammer and tongs throughout the entire day. It was
an inspirational sight. Every aspect of the figure is
symbolic to some aspect of being an American. Some of
the concepts are literal, and some are abstract. As
a collective, they brought different strengths and different
ideas into a work of art that is cohesive as one sculpture.
It is amazing. An endorsement from Major League Soccer
was great as well. Thanks to MLS, Cedar Park ISD, the
parents and teachers, and ICAF for a great concept.
Check out some of the photos here.
Man Show in Santa Monica
trip to Los Angeles was unlike other ventures to the West
Coast. It is the land of surreal people and experiences.
This was no exception. With a one-man show looming at
Gallery 319, the unveiling of the White Sox Painting
and the presentation of the USSA Sports Artist of the
Year Award at the end of the trip, one might think it
may be a trip short on recreation. Not so. After driving
the paintings out to Los Angeles and assisting in hanging
the show, I had a couple of days to see friends and make
new ones. The second day was spent painting at the studio
of Victoria Fuller. She is a fine painter with some
great ideas. That evening was spent at the Playboy Mansion
for dinner and a movie. Victoria was gracious enough to
invite a fish-out-of-water along. The obligatory tour
of the grounds included the infamous
grotto; and a photo with the Hugh
Hefner, but the best activity of the tour was feeding
the monkeys. The next day was spent at the Limelight
office signing various editions signing
various editions. Down the table fulfilling the same
obligations was Muhammed Ali. He was full of energy and
very kind to an artist who felt humbled sitting at the
same table as “The Greatest.” Superbowl Sunday
was spent on the beach with the family (a true day off).
The day of the opening was hectic and grand. Dr. Thomas
Rosandich, the President of the USSA, flew in to present the award. A fine turnout was highlighted by former USSA
Artist of the Year, Ernie Barnes. Some other good friends
were also in attendance. The award is a great honor. The
medal that the Academy presented was not only beautiful
but was also surprisingly heavy. The after-show dinner
was with friends from Limelight and Gallery 319.
selects Opie as Director of USA efforts in World Cup Show
International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) will sponsor
a show in Munich, Germany, as a prelude to the World Cup
this coming summer. Children from all over the world will
send in full-size mannequins decorated in a style reflecting
the culture of their country. The USSA have given their
assistance in helping ICAF to select Opie as the director
for the children for the United States. On February 9th
and 11th, an all-star group of art students from the Austin,
Texas, area will be putting their creative minds to the
test. The show begins in March and will produce a catalog
and documentary as well.
named USSA 2006 Sports Artist of the Year
several years of being named as a finalist, Opie was named
the United States Sports Academy’s Sports Artist
of the Year. There have been other fine artists over the
past twenty years who have won this award, including Ernie
Barnes, Aldo Luongo, James Rizzi, Bernie Fuchs, Bart Forbes,
and Stephen Holland. It is a fine honor to be amongst
this list of his peers and pioneers in modern sports art.
A show and ceremony at Gallery 319 in Santa Monica, CA,
on February 7th will mark the occasion, followed by a
show at the USSA home in Mobile, Alabama, on March 9th.
The Gallery 319 Show in February will see the unveiling
of the 2005 White Sox World Series painting. Look for
the full-page ad from the Limelight Agency in the February
issue of “Art Business News.” For more on
this follow the link to the USSA article - USSA.org
Shannon, a fine baseball author and historian, has put
together a traveling show of Willie Mays Art. Mr. Mays
turns 75 this May, and to honor his birthday Mike has
assembled almost 50 works of art from some of the finest
baseball artists in the country. The show opens in early
January at the Louisville Slugger Museum in Louisville,
Kentucky. For Opie’s part there are three paintings.
The first is an older painting of Willie Mays that depicts
his days patrolling the great garden in the Polo Grounds
in New York. The second is a small painting that depicts
Willie in front of his house at 175
Miraloma Drive in San Francisco. This is the location
where Willie learned that not all of his new neighbors
were enthusiastic about his arrival. The last is the centerpiece of the exhibition
, a painting that depicts Willie
in 1962 on a knee in front of the scoreboard in Candlestick.
The clouds feature aspects and moments from Willie’s
career, and the scoreboard is packed with numbers pertaining
to his Hall of Fame stats. If you want to learn more about
the exhibition follow the link - 24
Baseball Hall of Fame 2005
the second year, Opie created a special set of commemorative
paintings for inductees to the Texas Baseball Hall of
Fame. Former Astros’ star Bob Aspromonte, former
big league umpire Satch Davidson, Astros’ Senior
VP Rob Matwick, pitching great Joe Niekro, future National
HOFer Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, baseball writer
TR Sullivan, and Negro League star Smoky Joe Williams
made up this year’s class. While the Hall of Fame
is presented with the original, each of the inductees
receives a limited edition gicleé of their painting.
These gicleés are available through the Texas Baseball
Hall of Fame (TBHOF.org). To read more about the induction
festivities go to the article.
To dream. There was much fun and sightseeing on a recent
two-week jaunt across the pond. With the family in tow
we ate the chips, rode the tube, visited Mr. Watson, saw
the pomp and circumstance, and sang at the footballers.
With a new set of cityscapes in mind and meetings about
paintings of footballers, photos were taken to the point
of exhaustion. A visit to Highbury
Stadium, Craven Cottage,
and White Hart Lane were
all squeezed into a whirlwind schedule. One of the finer
memories was spurned by an old memory. Almost twenty years
ago, Opie traveled to Kansas City to see the Courtauld
Collection as it traveled the world. While it is a
small collection, it has some of the more famous paintings
in Western Culture. It was really great to see it again.
Gallery in Little Rock
is a small, independent gallery perfect for a painter
that is constantly working on private commissions and
under deadlines? The answer? When that gallery takes the
small amount of work that the artist produces in his “spare
time.” Landscapes are a joy to paint. However, demand
is such that they can be few and far between. Susan Hurst
at the Hurst Gallery in Little Rock was pleased to take
on the few works a year that come from this studio. This
is not a change in focus, rather a place to put the fun
“in between” paintings. If you get the chance,
check them out..Christo Gates
visit to Busch Stadium
taking pictures of all parts of the stadium, I watched
the Cubs final visit to these grounds. Three hundred shots
fell one day in the midst of seeking out the people and
places within that grand old dame that tells a part of
her story that few people will ever see. After lunch on
the second day with Matt and Heather Morris, the gentleman
developing the four rolls of film from the first day revealed
that I had shot four rolls of blanks. My son had apparently
explored the inside of the camera and laid waste to the
shutter. So, day two? Rent a camera and some lenses and
try and recapture all the moments I shot the first day.
Then, walking the stadium and getting ideas from people
that worked there were the next steps for the upcoming
final and very full day. Day three: arriving at the park
around 7:30 a.m. for a full day of shots. From the gusher
of a clogged pipe in the Mets Clubhouse to standing atop
the stadium on a three-foot-wide rim peering down on the
end of the game, it was a magical day.
the strikes, the player edition prints, and unveiling
one of the commissions from the Boston show to a Law firm
in downtown were all on the docket for this short trip
to Boston. The highlight of the last night started at
the beginning of the game when I was to meet with the
Media Director to be escorted out to the scoreboard inside the "Green Monster"
. Delayed by conversations
of ketchup with some of the players, I was tardy to meet
the MD, so the subsequent search landed me in the media
observation desks high above the stadium. The gentleman
who is the gatekeeper for that area took a short look
at me and announced, “I know where you belong. Can
you take him to his people?” A young lady, standing
next to him, had me follow her to one of the VIP Suites
that bisects the TV people from the people of print. She
knocked and opened the door to a room speckled with black-clad
young people. As the rock group, Green Day, and I stared
at each other trying to figure out who each other was,
I stated to my escort, “These are not my people.”
Upon our return to the gatekeeper and the apologetic barrage
for leading me astray, I promptly thanked him for making
me feel “young, hip, and cool.” The third
inning trip out to the scoreboard was great. With all
the modern conveniences of today’s ballparks, this
was a step back in time. The only update was the computer
that relayed the scores to Chris and his band of two that
update the scores.
number twelve was rather low key for us. An original of Roger Clemens
pitching to Jim Edmonds and one of the TLU
Berkman serigraphs were the two auction items we donated.
This year, with all the travel surrounding the Gala, we
didn’t set up a display. That pulled-back approach
made for a more relaxed, social evening. The nice folks
over at Everyone’s Internet ended up with the Clemens
September 4th at Minute Maid Park the Houston Astros are
honoring the two greatest right-handed pitchers of the
past 50 years. The Astros commissioned a painting of the
two Texas hurlers that will be created as an artcard to
be passed out on the 4th. Also, an edition of 56 giclees
will be created, combining the numbers of both pitchers.
The painting features Nolan and Roger having a conversation
across time. Nolan, circa 1981, sits in the dugout in
the Astrodome recalling his fifth no- hitter. Above Nolan
is the scene after the no-hitter when his teammates carried
him from the field. Below his panel are 7 baseballs with
the dates of each of his record seven no-hitters. To Nolan’s
left in the Minute Maid dugout is “The Rocket”,
recalling his historic seventh Cy Young Award. Above Roger
he holds aloft his award in front of the Crawford street
faithful. Seven baseballs featuring the years of his Cy
Young Awards are above this panel. Come out and see the
Cards and ‘Stros on the fourth.
stay with a running theme. Texas Lutheran College has
commissioned another woodblock print for their annual.
The edition of only thirty prints is available through
opieart.com or Brigitte Alexander at TLU. Each of these
prints is signed by Lance and the artist. The print was
created at Coronado Studios in Austin. This work is the
second in this woodcut series. The first honoree in 2004
was Roger Clemens. While carrying a hefty $1700 price
tag, it differs from other prints due to the fact each
one is hand inked and hand pulled. It is not created by
machine. Therefore each print is unique.
Boston Media Blitz
recent years, the big gallery showing has not been a frequent
occurrence. A steady, overwhelming-at-times stream of
commissions has kept the plate over flowing and more irons
in the fire than a “smithy”. However, with
the very public “Boston Champs” print the
folks over at Limelight arranged a public show at Newbury Fine Arts in Boston. Some years ago, while in Boston looking
at galleries all over the city we were trapped by a rainstorm
in this beautiful space near the Commons. The gallery
director and staff were very nice and took extra time
to make sure we had lots to talk about while looking at
the art on the walls. Years later when we heard the news
of the impending show, we thought they indicated a nearby
gallery that we did not care for and wished aloud that
it could have been the one we liked so much. It was not
until we arrived in Boston for the show that we realized
that Newbury Fine Arts was the space we were in, and only
apprehension about the show we held onto quickly melted
away. The show featured 24 works and two separate openings.
Two television in-studio interviews, three at the gallery,
a radio morning show at 100.7 WZLX , and a picture in the Globe,
the Herald, and the Improper Bostonian were some of the
attention the show garnered. The public opening was held
on Thursday the 19th and a private VIP Reception was held
on Sunday the 22nd following the game. Our good friends
Bob and Constance Wood came down from Keene, NH for the
show. Bob is the son of the great Red Sox hurler Smoky
Joe Wood. Mike Timlin and his family also stopped by to
see the walls filled with red dots. Following Sunday night
only two paintings were left out of the original 24. It
was a smashing success. The gallery staff was lovely and
really bent over backwards to make it a great show. Danny
Stern and Scott Lucas from Limelight were also there in
Boston to make sure that everything went as smoothly as
it did. In between openings and media stuff, the Red Sox
staff participated in the Strike 1-2-3 Project in the
Media Room at Fenway. Media Manager Keri Moore and Red
Sox Foundation Director Meg Vallaincourt were both instrumental
in making the day possible. Particpating pitchers were
Mike Timlin, Mike Myers, Matt Mantei, David Wells, Keith Foulke, Wade Miller and Matt Clement. These panels will
be auctioned off on September 4th at the Red Sox Picnic
in the Park. That means, back to Beantown..
Birthday Alou. Happy Birthday Alou...
May 8th a quick trip out to San Francisco was in order
to celebrate the birthday of Giants manager and former
standout player, Felipe Alou.
Giants part-owner Allan Byer commissioned a painting that
depicts Felipe in his playing days. The painting also
featured some information about his career on the old
Candlestick Scoreboard. To top off the work, an image
of Felipe in his current role of Giants skipper was “ghosted”
up in the clouds. At a fine feast given in his honor,
Felipe was joined by former Giants teammate and Hall-of-Famer
Orlando Cepeda. Some of the other Giants part-owners were
also in attendance. As the evening progressed a firmer
grasp of Spanish would have helped laugh at some of the
stories once these two old teammates got going about the
good old days. The trip also featured the delivery of
the Strike 1-2-3 Panels to the Giants pitching staff.
Saturday was spent in the clubhouse catching up with Matt
Herges, Brett Tomko
and other members of the squad. After a while Omar Vizquel
joined in a conversation dominated by the subject of art
techniques. Brett is a burgeoning pencil and charcoal
artist and Omar sculpts beautiful works out of stone.
The end of the jaunt to the city by the bay was marked
with the delivery of the final two panels for the Byer
Athletic Center in Foster City. A tour of this wonderful
facility was arranged with Mr. Byer to see were all the
NBA photographer Andy Bernstein had a show for some of
his seminal photographs at Gallery
319 in Santa Monica. This show was in conjunction
with the 20th anniversary of the “Showtime”
Lakers of 1985. From our conversations at ArtExpo an idea
was born to create a painting that would supplement his
show. A new painting featuring a wide angle from where
Andy sits to shoot Laker games evolved. The setting was
the 1985 NBA Finals at the Great Western Forum between
the Lakers and the Boston Celtics. The starting rosters
from both teams are seem in a half court set with some
familiar faces found on the sidelines. The show was a
great success. Kurt Rambis, Chris Knight, and his ladyfriend,
model Adrianne Curry stopped by to show check out the
revelry. One day was spent in San Diego shooting some
pictures for a new commission, with a quick stop at Balboa
Park and the San Diego Art Museum as a throw in. The traditional
stop at Killer Shrimp in Marina Del Rey with Victoria
Fuller, a foray to In and Out Burger, and a stop at LACAMA
were all squeezed into the trip.
The day following ArtExpo the entire family left for rainy
Florida. This year the first week was spent in Fort Myers
because of the Red Sox Championship print. Red Sox cook
extraordinaire, Bernie Logue was saddled with the task
of making sure I didn’t melt in the alternating
rain and blazing sun while talking to the players and
families out by the cages. Much of the rest of the week
was spent getting the logistics of the upcoming one-man
show at Newbury Fine Arts in Boston on May 19th. One day
at the beach in Ft. Myers was enough for me. Most evenings
were spent in the hotel feverishly trying to complete paintings that would be in the upcoming show. From there,
the sojourn to Kissimmee to the north. The afternoons
were spent with the Cardinals, Marlins, Dodgers and of
course, the Astros. Braves pitcher Kevin Gryboski was
the subject of a painting that was a wedding gift from
his wife, Leah. Mike Hampton, Marcus Giles, Johnny Estrada,
and Tom Martin all converged at Morton’s Steakhouse
in Orlando to witness the surprise unveiling. Finally,
a special presentation of an original painting to former
Cardinals clubhouse manager Buddy Bates topped off the
spring. The painting featured Buddy at his desk in St.
Louis with one of his favorite players, Willie McGee asking
his to move his bag for him. It was just a thank you to
Buddy for his years of friendship and help around the
Once again the annual expedition to NYC was a festive
occasion filled with merriment and revelry. While staying
with friends in Astoria and venturing to the Javitz Convention
Center for show, nights were filled with a myriad of different
activities. A professional boxing match at the paramount
theatre under Madison Square Garden while Motley Crue
vibrated the floor above us made for an interesting evening.
Senior NBA photographer, Andrew Bernstein and I poked
as much fun at the ongoings as the bloodlustful crowd
around us allowed while artist Stephan Holland recounted
his childhood when the neighborhood sport was fisticuffs.
A late night meal in Little Italy sitting with Jonathan
Baker, artist Victoria Fuller
and artist Max Gold provided many hours of fertive
debate. Not having seen Jonathan and Victoria since their
rather infamous appearance on the TV Show, The Amazing
Race, there was much to discuss. An afternoon trip on
the last day to see Christo and Jean – Claude’s
Gates in Central Park
was a real treat. This year the choice not to paint while
at the show left quite a hole in the carpet where I paced.
Boston Champs Show at Newbury Fine Arts
The show at Newbury Fine Arts will take place on Thursday
the 19th of May at 29 Newbury Street in Boston. The show
opens at 6:30 PM and goes to 9PM. There will be almost
thirty works on display. Come by and say hello. The Original
Painting was completed in very short order after the
victory. The prints are 41" x 29". The edition
size is only 204. Find out more at http://www.newburyfinearts.com/.
Otterstad Painting Highlighted on MTVCribs
Steve Francis of the NBA Orlando Magic was interviewed
recently on the show MTVCRIBS. For the older crowd, it
is a show that takes features tours of famous celebrities
homes. As Steve took viewers into his study, his painting
of a flying alley-oop versus the Lakers from last season
was above the mantle. He mentioned the painting and they
showed the work from several angles. Thanks to Grant Smith,
a great young painter from Dallas, who alerted me to that
episode. OH NO! Does that mean I’m part of the “older
Boston Red Sox World Series Paintings and Prints
With a few games to go in the series I received
a call from the Limelight Agency. They were interested
in one of the yearly World Series Champion paintings.
However, instead of needing it by Spring Training, they
wanted it in drop-everything-fashion. Excited about the
possibility of honoring the first team of our son’s
namesake, I began right away. An enormous
painting was completed in very short order. E-mail
was created and shipped to MLB and The Players Union for
approval for licensing, so now the prints will be unveiled
before the Christmas Season. The painting is loaded with
symbolism: the Babe tearing up “The Curse of the
Bambino,” the green monster, the numbers of great
Red Sox players in the past who never won, and the “86”
from the door of Chumley’s Pub in Greenwich Village
New York (you can figure that one out). The original painting
is 86 inches by 55 inches. Let us know what you think.
You can contact the Limelight Agency for specifics. (limelightagency.com)
Details on a big show in Boston early next year to come
Otterstad Named As The Official Artist Of The Texas Baseball
Hall Of Fame
The wonderful dinner
for the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame was held on November
12, 2004. With Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio being the
headline inductees, how could we say no? Seven new originals
we created and donated to the Hall of Fame. This year’s
class included Biggio, Bagwell,
Texas Ranger Kenny Rodgers,
the great Lamar coach Jim Gilligan,
Astros’ Broadcaster Bill
Brown, deceased batting champ Debs
Garms, and the revered Negro League pioneer Rube
Foster. The event featured some great stories and
features that passed the time with ease. It was a great
honor to be a part of such a night. We made a limited
edition of 200 Giclée prints of each of the paintings.
You can purchase prints by contacting the Texas Baseball
Hall of Fame at http://www.tbhof.org
or call 713 – 408 – 1044. This is the least
expensive print we have ever offered.
Chicago Cubs Are The Last Strike 1-2-3 Participants Of
THE CUBS ARE THE LAST STRIKE 1-2-3 PROJECT
PARTICIPANTS OF THE SEASON – Nine….yes, nine
of the Chicago Cubs pitching staff helped out with the
Strike 1-2-3 Project. Matt
Clement, Ryan Dempster,
Kyle Farnsworth, Latroy
Hawkins, Kent Merker, Mark
Remlinger, Glendon Rusch,
Kerry Wood, and Carlos
Zambrano all took the time to pitch in. After the
panels were stretched and photographed, Opie flew up to
Chicago to deliver the
works to both the Cubs and Marlins.
A local fan suggested "The Billy
Goat Tavern and Grill" as a must visit on the Chicago
Cubs history tour. “Cheezeborger, no Coke, Pepsi!”
sounded like the real thing. The originals along with
the ball and photos will be auctioned off later this year
to benefit Cubs Care. Cubs.com did a great article on
the event; you can check it out at cubs.com
Clemens Takes Part In The STRIKE 1-2-3 Project in a BIG
Clemens was eager to participate in our charity project
to benefit The Roger Clemens Foundation; however, there
was a problem. Roger likes to distribute each of his acquisitions
to his four children and because the pitcher and his family
only keep one of the panels, we were three sets of panels
short. What to do? How about one set for each team he
pitched for? Problem solved. The Red
Sox, Blue Jays,
Yankees, and Astros
were all represented so we had twelve panels total. Normally,
we limit pitcher participation to one set per career.
But, when the greatest pitcher of the latter half of the
20th Century wants to do four sets – you let him.
There was no pause, no wondering whether or not he would
hit the target, just load up and fire – complete
confidence, no matter what you are doing. Spending time
around him this year and seeing all the things he took
the time to do for others – he is the stuff baseball
heroes are made of. Thanks Roger.
1-2-3 Go The Giants and Cardinals!
On our annual trip to St. Louis the Cardinals
and Giants both participated in the Strike 1-2-3 Project.
Now some of the Cardinals participated in the event last
year, so this year there were only five new pitchers.
The Giants were first timers, so almost the entire staff
came over to help make a mess. Rip Rowan, the Cardinals
Clubhouse Manager, saw that a room was provided (the Cardinals
family room as it turns out) and the “room of tarp”
went up in no time. The Cardinals Matt
Morris, Ray King, Jeff
Suppan, Cal Eldred, and
Jason Marquis were first up.
The local Fox affiliate ran a short story on the post-game
show that night. Then the Giants started filing in. Jim
Bower, Jason Christiansen,
Scott Eyre, Matt
Herges, Dustin Hermanson,
Jason Schmidt, Brett
Tomko, and Jerome WIlliams
all came by to pitch in. All of the Cardinals charity
Strikes will benefit Cardinal Care. Contact Tim Hanser
with the Cardinals for more information.
MLB All - Star Game Works!
With the Baseball All-Star Game being in my
hometown this year, I wanted to be a part of the festivities.
With so many of my patrons making the team, I decided
to do a painting of each of the starters to hang in the
respective clubhouses. So when everyone came through they
could view the works along with some others I chose to
display. With only three weeks to complete these works,
a furious pace was set. I kept all the images to a simple
crop with an abstract background. Even so, there were
several all-nighters involved, and the studio became quite
a mess. The National
League painting hung on the Astros home side, and
the American League painting
was over in the visiting clubhouse. Each painting is about
8’ x 6’. After the All-Star Weekend, I moved
the NL painting over to the visiting clubhouse where they
will hang until season's end.
Dennis Liborio, the Astros Clubhouse Manager, has a painting
in his office that made the photos of Minute Maid Park
for the All-Star Game on MLB.com (http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/events/all_star/y2004/gallery/c795271.jsp)
From one end of the country to the other.
The Art of the Game folks had me out on the 26th of May
to Los Angeles to paint at their great
facility inside the Staples Center during the Timberwolves
series. It was good to meet the patrons out there that
had been soaking up my basketball works. Two paintings
of the Derek Fisher shot against San Antonio took shape
as the Lakers took both games. The larger of the two sold
right away, well before completion. Dinner at the Palm
followed both games with the staff from the gallery. Spending
time getting to know that bunch of characters was a real
high point of the trip. The sandwich day was spent with
the fine folks at Gallery 319
in Santa Monica
(gallery-319.com). Michelle and
Melissa, the owner and director of the gallery, made
sure I was welcome. They even supplied this old Texan
with some ice cold Dr. Pepper. After a day of shooting
photos down at the new Venice Beach basketball courts,
we adjourned to Killer Shrimp where our friend from Art
Expo, Victoria Fuller, met us for the only thing on the
Marlins Throw 3 Strikes!
While the Marlins were visiting Houston to
play the Astros on May 12th, the pitching staff participated
in the Strike 123 Project. Seven members of the pitching
staff took time before the second game of the three game
set to dawn the jumper, stand in, and hurl three very
messy baseballs at different backgrounds of their choosing.
Josh Beckett, Brad
Penny, Carl Pavano, Darren
Oliver, Justin Wayne, Nate
Bump, and Tommie Phelps all
pitched in. Everyone had a good time, although I think
I owe Justin Wayne a new workout shirt – either
that, or I need to sign his shirt as an original! I will
update computer land when I know where the charity Strikes
will go. Step Up, Who’s next?
Roger Clemens Woodcut For Charity
Before all of this signing with the Astros
took place, Roger agreed to participate in the Texas Lutheran
University event at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Because
the event took place on March 3rd, he had to fly back
from Florida just to attend. We were in Florida for another
charity event at Tropicana Field that same night. For
TLU, I created a very limited edition woodcut for the
event. Roger signed the edition of 22. The print sold
for $2,200 establishing the price for the subsequent prints.
Interested parties should contact this site or the Texas
Lutheran University site for more details. http://www.tlu.edu/alumni/friends/frontrow/lino.html
Once again our travels took us to Florida
for the month of March to see old friends and patrons.
The NYC trip prevented the completion of several promised
new works - so as usual, the house did the Underdog tramsformation
into the studio. While setting
the stage for this year's Strike 123 participants, I delivered
new works to Scott Rolen and unveiled the new organization-only
limited edition print of the Florida Marlins World Series
celebtation. Following visits to most of the clubs, we
presented Billy Wagner and his family with "The
Rainout". A work two years in the making. The hang
up was the copper fountain that surrounds the painting
- creating the 'rain' for the rainout. Not being a copper
sculptor, yet wanting to create the
entire work , we enlisted the guidance of noted copper
sculptor (and friend) Daryl Colburn.
. With the fountain complete, the painting went rather
quickly. The unveiling took place in the Phillie's Clubhouse
with all of Billy's new teammates looking on.
Expo 2004 NYC
Any chance to return to New York City is greeted
with open arms. Showing with the artists
of The Limelight Agency (limelightagency.com)
was a hootenanny. Ronnie Wood, a guitar player for the
Rolling Stones who is also apparently a painter (who knew?),
was there, but not present in our booth. Victoria Fuller,
licensed by Hef himself to use the bunny logo in her work,
was present and accounted for. Rounding out our foursome
was Stephen Holland, who paints striking images of famous
people. The new works I created for the show were all
non-person specific, which was a mighty contrast to my
“celebrity-based” booth mates. Spending time
working on a new painting while
talking to new and old artists (lit. and fig.) about their
craft was time well spent. The trips true highlight came
from eating “authentic” Texas BBQ made by
a British former hairdresser in Queens. Ahh, New York…if
you can’t find it there it just doesn’t exist.
Rockets Tuxes and Tennies February 19th 2004
Yes, after a seven-year moratorium about working
with basketball players and organizations, I was broken
down by Madeline Spector in the Rockets front office.
We set up a small show at the event featuring a new set
of basketball related works. The original
painting was sold for $20,000 to Steve Francis of
the Rockets. As he and I were talking, a hand extended
into my field of view from over my left shoulder; you
could move a two-bedroom apartment in this hand. Over
my shoulder, an arm and torso seemed to rise up to the
ceiling of the Toyota Center zenithed by the head of Yao
Ming. My expression surely gave away my awe at his size.
He said “Thank you,” in as much broken English
as you can get with a two-word phrase. It made for a great
photo. At 6’1” my appearance is like that
of Frodo Baggins. What fun!
|Rice University Commissions Large Work! |
| When the Rice Owls Baseball Team won their first major NCAA National Title in any major sport, a massive dog-pile celebration ensued on the field. Former Rice star Lance Berkman and I had a simultaneous idea, and a few days later we met with Rice Athletic Director, Bobby May. With a colour study of the painting in hand, they decided that this would be a great way to capture this moment. The formal unveiling of the painting will be on Monday, September 15, 2003. There will be a low number giclée edition and a high number lithograph edition. You can view the Rice artworks here|
|Astros Commemorate Bagwell’s 400th Homer! |
| On Tuesday August 5th the Houston Astros will present Jeff Bagwell with a painting to celebrate his 400th career home run. An art card of the image will be passed out that day to fans in attendance. There will be a very small run of 10 giclées made of the image. Buffy and I will be walking around during the game signing art cards for the fans. Come out and see us!|
|PUDGE PRESENTATION….. |
| On Friday the 13th of June the Texas Rangers presented former Rangers star Ivan " Pudge" Rodriguez with a painting commemorating his 10 Rawlings Gold Gloves. The painting shows Pudge in his Texas uniform preparing to throw a strike to second. Buffy and I were then invited to sit in the on-field box of Rangers owner Tom Hicks. It was a great night.|
|.and then Rafael Palmeiro the following night! |
| The next night it was Rafael Palmeiro's turn for the Rangers to present him with a painting. This was part of a large ceremony to commemorate his 500th Home run this past Mother's Day. On the field I sat next to three 500 Home Run Club members, Reggie Jackson, Harmon Killebrew, and Ernie Banks. When it came time for the painting I had to scold Raffy for taking a little peek as I walked over. It gave us both a laugh. The painting shows his swing on the famous home run from the front and back. The stadium is in the background. His father's idol Mickey Mantle is ghosted up in the clouds. Raffy and the Mick both hit their 500th on Mother's Day.|
|Camp Chrysalis Stained Glass Project |
| On the week of June 15th Buffy and I spent a week at the Lutheran Camp Chrysalis in Kerrville, Texas. We had been preparing the past month to teach a group of 60 kids to make stained glass windows. Each child received a 10 inch round leaded glass pane. They chose a pre-drawn symbol or drew out their own design. Buffy prepared a comprehensive packet on Christian symbols and their meanings. Over they week they glued, grouted, and polished their projects. It was a lot of work, but heaps of fun.|
|The 2003 Claycourt Championships Program Cover |
| April is a busy month for Opie. His original painting of Andre Agassi will be featured on the cover of the 2003 Claycourt Championships at Westside Tennis Center in Houston. The painting will be auctioned on Sunday, April 20, at a charity event benefiting the Andre Agassi Foundation. Opie will be on hand for the event with a display of some new tennis themed works.|
|The 2003 Houston Astros Program Covers |
| Opie has been commissioned to create six new Houston Astros paintings. Each month this season a new painting will be featured on the cover of the Houston Astros Programs. The original paintings will be offered for sale on this website, and half of the proceeds will benefit the Astros in Action Foundation (AIFA). April will feature the Lance Berkman Cover. The April issue will also feature an article about Opie written by Mike Shannon, an accomplished baseball author.|
|Spring Training 2003 |
| March is always a blur for the Otterstad household. Again this year we were Floridians for a month. While we could live without the "surf and turf," the baseball is great. Everyone is relaxed and excited about the upcoming season. We spent much time with our home team, the Astros. Twice we dined at the Astros Official Spring Italian Trattoria - La Forschetta. We also spent time with the Cardinals, Marlins, Dodgers, Devil Rays, Phillies, Braves, and Pirates. Mornings are spent in the Clubhouse, afternoons at the game, evenings out to dinner with players and friends, and nights painting in the hotel (what the cleaning ladies must think). We took one day to visit Universal Studios to have our brains knocked around on rollercoasters. However, baseball was definitely the main course. Hope to see you opening day in Houston.|
|Mike Hampton Pitching In Foundation |
| On December 5th Buffy and I will be appearing at the Mike Hampton Pitching In Foundation Event in Crystal River, Florida. The Foundation benefits many non-profit organizations, including the Sunshine Kids, Habitat for Humanity, and the ALS Association. We have attended many events for this foundation in Colorado and in Houston. Each gathering has a family reunion atmosphere. The Florida event should be likewise. Friends, playing and retired, from all over the baseball map will be there. We will be donating a print for the live auction.|
|Woodlands Celebrity Golf Classic |
| On November 1st - 3rd we attended the Woodlands Celebrity Golf Classic in The Woodlands, TX. Number 212 of the Ghostrunners print brought $2,100 for Montgomery County Youth Services. It was a great weekend. It was wet the entire weekend, so the cold left something to be desired. The event, as always, was first class. Larry Stick of the Billiards Factory and Bob Patterson, former MLB pitcher, humored me as I flailed my way around The Woodlands TPC.|