|Seventh Inning Stretch, 18" x 10", oil on Linen, ©copyright Richard Luschek 2012|
I would say for most of my young adulthood, I really did not pay much attention to sports other than to watch the occasional "important game" involving the home team. Over the past few years my interest in baseball has grown. I remember baseball being on the radio a lot when I was a kid. My Grandma took me to a few games in the mid 70's during the Big Red Machine era. All of these are very pleasant memories. Now the sound of the game on the radio is very soothing and familiar. I listen in the studio and it just seems to go well with the process of painting for me. This interest had developed over the past few years into my wanting to paint Cincinnati Reds pictures.The first few were pretty generic, but they are getting more specific and personal.
My desire here, is to do paintings that appeal to me, have some pleasant connection to my past, are pleasing designs.
This painting came together when I found this old 7 up bottle in an antique store. I knew the green bottle would go great with a Reds hat. I was thinking of what else to add- cracker jacks came to mind first, but as I was setting this up I remembered that I used to chew a tremendous amout of grape Bubble Yum. This gum is probably partially responsible for my TMJ and a good portion of my fillings. It has been years since I purchased any gum. I went to the store and bought a pack, but as is the case with most packaging these days, the current branding is ugly, terribly over designed, and rendered with a ridiculous mascot- Bubble Yum now has a punk rock duck with a Mohawk and a nose ring. I guess that is what the kids are into these days. The old packs had this classic, simple design. I wanted that look.
The internet is fantastic for researching packaging and retro products. I found very nice scans of the gum online that I could print out to scale and create my own stand-in packs. I even contacted a packaging collector who was very helpful, sending me a few photos of an actual pack from various views.
I wanted the scene to have some life to it, so I made a pack that I could open with the fancy tear strip, and a piece missing. I cut a block of wood as a stand in for the gum and wrapped it up.
Below is my homemade, fancy Bubble Yum replica. The pieces were all individually wrapped, so I created a small wrapper in photoshop with a partial scan I found online. This also was wrapped around a little block of wood. The packs had this red plastic pull strip inside so I cut a strip of red electrical tape to replicate this.
I placed the handmade Bubble Yum pack and repainted that area. Try to ignore the glow in the dark Halloween skeleton hanging on the wall, it has nothing to do with the painting, that is just were it lives in the studio.
If you purchase this painting during the Reds current home stand I will include a pack of delicious Bubble Yum- though it is the crappy new design with the punk rock duck.