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Vince Lombardi’s influence on art

As a child, I heard about Vince Lombardi’s speech on the first day of the Green Bay Packers’ Training Camp (1959). It made a huge impression on me. Here he was, speaking to these professional football players, and he brought everything back to the absolute fundamentals.

“Gentlemen, this is a football,” he said, holding one up in front of them.

He was a giant in the world of football. He was speaking to excellent players. Not newbies, and he wasn’t joking, wasn’t being light, trying to make a good impression on his new team. He was serious.

What it’s meant to me is that no matter how good someone is at what they do, how many years they’ve been doing it, how much fame they may have garnered, they’re never too far along to return to the very basics. In fact, it’s essential to return to the basics regularly.

How much more so for me, still very much at the beginning of my path as an artist. I’ve been “working” my way through Darrel Tank’s 5-Pencil Method instruction CDs and the next step is to create a complete portrait using his technique. But, I’ve decided to do more basic practice first, really become consistent with the technique before I move on.

As I was searching for an image of a cylinder to work from, I came across an exercise on Julianna Kunstler’s website in which she has her students make a drawing of a still life composed of geometric shapes. I gathered a few blocks and a sphere from my son’s toy collection, arranged a little still life, plugged in one of my husband’s work lamps, and made a few photos.

Here’s my reference image for the assignment I’m playing with this afternoon. When I have a version I like enough, I’ll post it.

4 thoughts on “Vince Lombardi’s influence on art

    • Exactly — being willing to let go of thoughts like “I know how to do this already” or “I should know how to do this already,” allowing ourselves to begin again, and again . . . Each time we do, we gain something new, a new perspective.


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