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We all know tennis star Serena Williams for her dominant and consistent serve, return of serve, and powerful groundstrokes from both her forehand and backhand swings. But after taking a painting class in Paris before the French Open, Serena found her love for art, and has gone on to create beautiful Impressionist paintings. Her style, color choice, and sketchy technique are reminiscent of Monet, and she makes great use of shadows like an 1800s painter. Using light and varying brush strokes and open composition, Serena created her first series of paintings, Expressions, in 2013.
Ernie Barnes began playing football in the 1960s and played for various teams throughout his career, including the Broncos, Colts, and Chargers. When he decided to end his football career, he moved on to his other passion – painting – and soon became a successful artist. Ernie is known for having designed many album covers for famous music artists, such as B.B. King and Marvin Gaye. Ernie’s Mannerist style of painting is very clear in all of his art work through the elongation of the human figure, use of clear but intricate curved lines, fascinating dimensional relationships, and the use of a darker color palette. Ernie is often credited as the founder of the Neo-Mannerist or Mannerist Revival movement in today’s modern art sphere.
Although Desmond Mason was never an All-Star or one of the league’s premier players, he had a very respectable career in the NBA, winning a slam dunk contest. With the same talent needed to win that contest, he pursued his career as a painter. Desmond had always shown a talent for art from a young age, but his aptitude for painting thrived when studying at Oklahoma State University, majoring in studio art. After being drafted to play in the NBA, Desmond continued to develop his art, improving as time went on. In 2000, after seeing the biopic, Pollock, he started investigating abstract concepts, moving away from the realistic portraits he had previously been doing. In 2002, Desmond began exhibiting his paintings, which are nowadays worth more than $10,000 per piece. Many famous celebrities are collectors of his work, including actor George Clooney, and sports announcer Joe Buck.
Jeremy Evans has been creating doodles since he was about four years old, and has been refining his skill ever since he discovered his passion for art. Studying at the Western Kentucky University, Jeremy developed both his basketball and art skills. Jeremy is still an active player in the NBA, which leaves him with very little time to take on time-consuming art projects; however, he finds time when the NBA season winds down. Jeremy has completed a wide range of paintings, including portraits of Tupac, Michael Jordan and Marilyn Monroe, as well as temples, tigers and landscapes. His most loved paintings are a portrait of his wife, and a masterpiece of a tiger. Evans has also participated in creating community murals with youths in Utah at The Road Home.
Aaron Maybin is a retired NFL player, who played professionally for the Toronto Argonauts. In 2009, he left his football career to follow a career as a professional artist, activist, educator, and community organizer, establishing Project Mayhem which helps disadvantaged and at-risk youths surpass their current conditions through the use of art. Aaron has implemented art workshops and curriculums into many schools that have experienced budget cuts in the Baltimore area. Other than working on his own painting career, he also advocated publicly for the reimplementation of art programs in school.