By Ray Schulte
|(Courtesy of Schulte Sports)|
A show promoter secured approximately 20 players from the 2012 championship Ravens team to sign during a two-day public show, Feb. 22 and 23, at the Pikesville DoubleTree hotel. Some of the notable players who attended were Terrell Suggs, Michael Oher, Paul Kruger and Torrey Smith. Missing were Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, but fans still came out to congratulate their heroes.
One exhibitor created a great deal of attention with his live on-site paintings. The artist's name was Lynde Washington, and I caught up with him to find out more about his work.
Ray Schulte: Was this your first experience painting live on site and exhibiting at a sports memorabilia event?
Lynde Washington: No, I've painted live before, but this was the first sports-related event I've participated in. It was great meeting and celebrating winning the Super Bowl with so many Baltimore fans and players. I particularly enjoyed seeing the smiling kids, who were so excited to see their favorite players up close in person.
RS: I understand you have local ties, playing football for the University of Maryland. At what time did you become an accomplished artist?
LW: I was always an artist; it was just a matter of when I would commit to painting full time. I enjoyed playing football at the University of Maryland. I knew it was only a matter of time, after my brief stint in the NFL, that I would start developing my craft full time and start selling my artwork.
RS: How would describe your artistic style or approach?
LW: I'd say [I'm] a loose illustrator who works with oil-based paints. The oils look significantly better. They flow/paint easier and last longer than acrylics and other mediums.
RS: Is there a market for sports-related artwork?
LW: Yes, there is a huge niche for original sports art. People love their teams and love to commemorate their favorite players and special moments. I'm painting original pieces, some signed by the athlete and all coming with a certificate of authenticity.
RS: What is your all-time favorite piece of art you've painted?
LW: It was a piece I did with my great-grandfather many years ago. We drew Stevie Wonder together on cardboard, with a knife-sharpened pencil, for several weekends one summer. He [Lynnwood "Lynde" Jordan] was a very accomplished artist, jeweler and art professor recognized throughout Baltimore. Although he never had the opportunity to see me develop into the artist I am today, he was the one who inspired me to create art.
RS: How did fans react to you painting on site during the show?
LW: The response was overwhelming. It didn't hurt that I was painting a Ray Lewis image and had finished Joe Flacco and Torrey Smith pieces displayed behind me. I particularly enjoyed when kids, with their parents, stopped by to tell me they had aspirations to become an artist. I wasn't expecting that. It was very emotional for me. The greatest gift I know I can give is to help influence kids to continue their dream.
RS: How can our readers get in touch to learn more about you and your art?
LW: By all means, please visit lyndesart.com to learn more about my art and get my contact information. You can also check me out on Facebook at facebook.com/lynde.washington.
Issue 183: March 2013