Updated: Mar 26, 2019
My yards a disaster, as is probably yours. Having endured winter's wrath and an early March windstorm, the yard is peppered with fallen branches and loose trash from any number of neighbors. The squirrel loot is revealed, the snow has melted and shows the cold weather shopping habits of those bushy tailed gangsters.
As the weather breaks and spring cleaning is underway, it's also the start of another baseball season. As temperatures slowly rise and we prepare our yards and patios to be more inhabitable, I have planned what paintings I will work on over the summer.
"Yankee Family Stained Glass"
(Gallery Glsss on repurposed windows)
By Bobby Padilla
Anyone who knows me, knows the value I put in Yankees baseball and painting. I'm ol' school in the sense that I'd rather listen to John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on the radio then watching broadcasts on the YES network. So weekend games in particular along with choice weeknights are opportunities to work outside or even in my studio for a dedicated amount of time. I wouldn't say I was on a pitch count but I do measure my progress of a piece by the number of innings I've put in on it.
If you ask me about a painting or drawing from November-April, I'm pretty forthright about what premise, approach, techniques and even how long I've been working on it. You may hear, "That's about how to focus one's hope in the face of isolation. I'm still working out how to orchestrate the symbolism. The acrylics are layering nicely, and I've got about 10-12 hours in on it." From May-June is a much shorter response. "I'm about 16 2/3 innings in...yeah, it's progressing ok..."
You see one of the things I love about baseball is that is has no clock. It takes as long as it takes. I dedicate that block of time to working on a piece. That could be 9, 11, or 13 innings. Plus, listening to the game can allow me to paint and render without a certain conscientiouness or being overly analytical about every little creative choice. While I'm determined to work a shadow in a precise color and shape, I'm more concerned with getting the runner in from third with less than two outs.
These are cherished opportunities. So my Saturday during the season might look like this; a morning trip to the Public Market for weekly produce and meal preparation, cut grass and weed the back flower beds, (game time is 4:05) have palette mixed for underpainting for the beach umbrella painting.
So the same applies to any folks watching or listening to the ballgame in their backyards, cold beers and perhaps a cigar and dreams of what to grill for dinner. Except in my case, instead of surfing my phone while I'm tuned in, I'm "working" on something. Yeah, I know, it's tough work if you can get it.