Where ART Lives Magazine Volume 1 Number 3 - Page 84

Well Played A very special commission by CFAI Member Jeanne Illenye “Well Played” by JEANNE ILLENYE With the baseball season currently in full swing, I thought it apropos to share with you a particularly fun painting from a very special client, the Major League Baseball Commission. It was such an honor when I was the artist chosen to create a corporate retirement gift for long time great, Allan H. “Bud” Selig, MLB Commissioner for 22 years. I could barely contain my excitement, even though I’d only ever been to a Major League Baseball game a couple of times in New York City at the old Shea Stadium with my husband, a diehard Mets fan, as well as seeing a game at the old park in Cooperstown, New York when I was just a child. I recalled that it wasn’t the first time in recent years that I’d been approached by a corporation regarding my baseball paintings. Previously, the publisher of famed American journalist and novelist Ji m Lehrer included one of my paintings in the cover design of Jim Lehrer’s novel, “Oh, Johnny”. So the plan was set, contract executed, then the arrival of two official baseballs with Bud Selig’s signature. One was in a classic display cube for posterity and the other which was even more thrilling to me, was well worn from the game. Imagine, I held in my hand an official baseball that was actually in play...flown across home plate at speeds of 95 mph, cracked against the powerful swing of a bat, and sunk deep into a glove at first base! Oh, I could almost hear the roaring cheers... and yet there it was before me in my studio, silently resting on my lap in the gentle grasp of one hand, paintbrush in the other. 84 81