Bob Hope sketch #1, graphite&charcoal, 12x15", 2011
Now that I am moving on from the oh-so laborious UpperDeck paintings, I am feeling extremely happy! I had the wonderful opportunity to be contacted by Fredrick G. Levin (google it!) about doing some portraits. I was able to visit him and his staff in Portofino Island, FL to survey the hanging space for the several celebrity portraits that he wanted painted. His home was spectacular!!! But before I go on, I have to tell you that Portofino Island is a best-kept-secret in the Florida area. The Portofino Resort (the only one on the Portofino Island, I believe) is a set of 5 towers flanked on either side be miles of undeveloped real estate. From your balcony, it appears as though you're floating atop a white sand bar, largely because the water is visible behind and in front of the resort. This is because the island is shaped like a very thin peninsula. The wife and I were there in February and on a given hour we could only count a dozen souls on the beach as far as the eye could see. Very exclusive!
Now about the project - The Levin series will feature significant individuals that have made the acquaintance of Mr. Levin during his lifetime. These range from athletes & celebrities, to politicians & world leaders. The sketches will be presented on this blog for you to view. I will be painting these all on aluminum panel which will be lines with copper edges. It should be an attention getter. Enjoy - J
UpperDeck commission series, acrylic, 2.5x3.5", 2011 - In stores July 5, 2011
The UpperDeck Trading Card Company contacted me last August about doing a series of hand painted trading cards featuring all 43 presidents. I received the cards in late November and began painting at the first of this year. Each president had to be painted 10 times for the limited edition, which is part of the selling point. That was a total of 430 individual portraits! Due to rigid deadlines I was not able to do all 430 myself and sent UpperDeck 220 finished president cards on April 20th. That was 220 portraits in a four ½ month period! Each card took approximately 4 hours from start to finish, with the layout having to be hand drawn first, then several series of glazes and layers before it was completed. I have posted images of all 220 paintings on my FB page - Works by J.Evan Kelley - check it out and leave a note. I hope to start back on the regular blog postings here now that the burden of micro-painting is out from over me. Enjoy - J