From Ace to “Mase”
A Painting with a Purpose

Posted by on Apr 27, 2014 in Blog, Memoirs, News / Media | No Comments

Steve Mason-ArtEach spring for the last five years my wife and I have attended The Salt Shaker Foundation‘s annual fundraiser. I first became familiar with “Salt Shaker” back in 2008 when I reconnected with an old high school friend on Facebook who was one of their board members. He saw some of the sports art I had been doing and asked if I would create a Lance Armstrong portrait for their 2009 4th annual Fundraiser’s Silent Auction. Why Lance? Well aside from the fact that this was before he was found to be doing steroids, Salt Shaker is part of the Livestrong Foundation who work tirelessly to raise money to help battle cancer. With many of Salt Shaker’s members and attendees being cycling enthusiasts, it was an appropriate choice. It was a great cause so of course I was happy to help.

Every year since I have tried to donate a painting to their silent auction to help the cause. This year for their 9th annual fundraiser, I decided to create another piece specifically for the event. With the Flyers in the midst of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, I decided to do a portrait of goalie Steve Mason which I titled after his nick name “Mase”. Having been focused on completing my KISStory portrait collection for some time now, I was excited to have the opportunity to do another athlete.

Steve-Mason-with-art

The challenge with depicting goalies is there is so much more detail to be rendered. From the stitching in each of the gloves to the detail in their elaborately painted helmets and Steve Mason’s Flyer zombie helmet is certainly no exception. The design of the helmet was by far the hardest portion of the portrait to deal with. I want to give credit to artist Franny Drummond of Paint Zoo who designed and painted the amazing mask that Steve Mason wears. It meant a lot when he reached out to let me know that he approved of the job I had done.

Once the painting was finished I called on my old friend and former Flyer (current Phantoms Ast. Coach) Riley Cote to see if he could help to get the painting signed by Steve. Back in 2012 I donated my Claude Giroux painting which wound up fetching $500 for the auction and another $200 to the guy who won it as he sold it to someone else for $700 who failed to bid but desperately wanted it for his son. Given how much more these paintings sell for with the autograph the athlete, I wanted to do everything I could to have this one signed as well. Thanks to both Riley and Flyers’ Equipment Manager Derek Settlemyre who helped to get this accomplished.

Steve-Mason-Art-on-Table

The timing of the event could not have been better. Steve Mason was injured in the second to last regular season game and had to sit out the first 3 games of the playoffs. He made his dramatic return in game 4 the night before the event making 37 saves and leading the Flyers to victory over the New York Rangers as the first star of the game. So, the excitement for the Flyers and for Mase could not have been greater going into the event which was held last night.

By the end of another great evening I was ecstatic to see my painting go for a whopping $1,050. By far the highest priced item in the auction which included many great items.

I would just like to personally thank everyone for their generous bids, especially the happy couple who ultimately won it. It is really humbling to see my work fetch that much at an event for such a good cause but these events would not be successful without generous people such as these.

Thank you to this year’s host Dubh Linn Square in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and congratulations to The Salt Shaker for another great and very successful event. Looking forward to next year which sadly I hear may be their last. Have to come up with something really special next year to help them go out with a bang!

Winner-of-Mason-painting

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