Happy Father’s Day to The Golden Bear

 

It just so happens that I was commissioned to paint a picture of Jack Nicklaus for the Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood, Ohio. It was there in 1973 that Nicklaus won the PGA Championship, giving him his record-setting 14th major title, surpassing Bobby Jones. He later went on to win four more major tournaments, a record that still stands.

The painting was based on a famous photo taken at the tournament. After finishing one of the holes, Nicklaus’ four-year-old son Gary (now a professional golfer), having been cajoled by his mischievous older brother Jack Jr., crawled under the security ropes and ran out onto the green to greet his father. Jack hoisted him into his arms and Cleveland Plain Dealer Newspaper photographer Ray Matjasic snapped a black and white photo.  Jack Nicklaus is quoted as saying that it is his favorite photo.

I can make up colors from black and white images if I have to, especially skin tones, but instead I scoured the Internet and found color photos taken of Jack and his son Gary at that very tournament, possibly the same day that the famous photo was snapped. The clothing on both of them matched the black and white photo perfectly. So this is historically accurate, not that it matters much. The Nicklaus Foundation also helped with some critical details.  I would post the photo here but there might be some copyright issues.  You can find it online.

Canterbury appropriately chose today, Father’s Day, for the unveiling of the painting to its members. They have a whole room dedicated to Jack Nicklaus, as well as rooms dedicated to four other famous golfers. This is the third portrait painting I have done for them (so far). They tried to get Jack to fly in for the ceremony, but the trip from Florida to the Cleveland area proved to be too burdensome. Instead, he will be participating either through Zoom or sending a video message. I’m not sure of the details. The unveiling is at 3:00 PM Eastern time, so if you don’t hear from me or my wife @caryn around then, you will know why.

Here’s a sneak peek at the painting and a wonderful Father’s Day greeting to all of you fathers out there. A special appreciation to my own father James, also an artist, who died ten years ago. He taught me everything I know!

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  1. Samuel Block Support
    Samuel Block
    @SamuelBlock

    Fantastic!

    • #1
  2. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    That’s spectacular.  Holy cats!

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Another extraordinary painting, Steven. Their expressions are priceless. Congratulations!

    • #3
  4. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    To produce a work like that takes so many talents, but the one that most impresses me is your sensitivity to human emotion as it shows on a person’s face. You have an extremely rare gift.

    I have a lifelong fascination with the talents God gave us and how we often need or deploy all of them to accomplish whatever it is we are supposed to accomplish. It’s my own private version of an intelligent design theory. I find it fascinating that we have all the talents we need and often don’t know we need. It’s just something I get a kick out of.

    My son is a photographer, and one point, he was shooting a lot of weddings. I found it fascinating that he would get the smile at the best point of that smile. However, he had also played baseball when he was a kid, which meant he had had some experience watching and waiting for a pitch. :-) And he was a percussionist through college. Photography is all about timing–experiencing parts of seconds of time–and knowing to wait for that smile to open up on a person’s face. A photographer needs to be patient and confident that the smile is going to keep getting better. And then wait for it.

    I think God is an artist and we are works of his art. :-)

    Beautiful portrait of a father and son. :-)

    • #4
  5. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    MarciN (View Comment):

    To produce a work like takes so many talents, but the one that I am most impressed by is your sensitivity to human emotion as it shows on a person’s face. You have an extremely rare gift.

    I have a lifelong fascination with the talents God gave us and how we often need or deploy all of them to accomplish whatever it is we are supposed to accomplish. It’s my own private version of an intelligent design theory. I find it fascinating that we have all the talents we need and often don’t know we need. It’s just something I get a kick out of.

    My son is a photographer, and one point, he was shooting a lot of weddings. I found it fascinating that he would get the smile at the best point of that smile. However, he had also played baseball when he was a kid, which meant he had had some experience watching and waiting for a pitch. :-) And he was a percussionist through college. Photography is all about timing–experiencing parts of seconds of time–and knowing to wait for that smile open up on a person’s face. A photographer needs to be patient and confident that the smile is going to keep getting better. And then wait for it.

    I think God is an artist and we are works of his art. :-)

    Beautiful portrait of a father and son. :-)

    Thank you for the kind comments, Sam, Dr. B, Suzie Q, and Marci!

    Marci, you are right about timing in photography.  I do a lot of shooting pictures of kids in order to try and catch them in spontaneous, but fleeting, poses.  It is like trying to hit a curveball with a toothpick.  A lot of patience, psychology, and social skills involved, too.

    • #5
  6. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Missing my father today.  But there is nothing he loved more than golf and Nicklaus was one of his favorites.  So your beautiful painting  brought a tear to my eye in more ways than one.

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    If you’d like to see more of Steven’s work, you can visit here

    Go to the portfolio tab to see them.

    • #7
  8. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    I think that I can top this.  

    in 2013, Judge Ted Reed was being sworn in as a Superior Court Judge.  When he stepped forward, his toddler daughter broke free from her mother and ran to her father in front of over a hundred attorneys, family and friends.  He scooped her up in his left arm and held her while raising his right arm to be sworn in!

    • #8
  9. Ansonia Inactive
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    LOVE the painting.

    • #9
  10. Eleanor Member
    Eleanor
    @Eleanor

    Very Nice! 

    Congratulations!

    • #10
  11. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    LOVE the painting.

    I appreciate that very much!

    • #11
  12. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Eleanor (View Comment):

    Very Nice!

    Congratulations!

    Thank you for that!  Now on to the next project.

    • #12