Former baseball player hitting it out of the park with art
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - This weekend is the 60th anniversary of the St. James Court Art Show. Oftentimes the story of the artist is as interesting as the art itself.
That's the case with Louisville's Richard Sullivan, who was a southpaw pitcher for the Braves in the minor leagues. But he had another talent in the bullpen.
"I wasn't ashamed of it. But wanted to be known as a baseball player," Sullivan said.
Now, instead of pitching with his left hand he's painting with it. He uses watercolors in his Portland studio to bring athletes to life.
"The action, the emotion of the player, the moment when everything's on the line," Sullivan said.
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The Ballard High School graduate got a baseball scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design. The sport then interrupted school. After retiring from baseball in 2013, he went back to college to get his degree.
"I've done baseball all my life. That's how I knew who I was. Once I stopped I had this existential crisis. Who am I? So I think painting and drawing, combining everything, really helped me out," Sullivan said.
The now 29-year-old has been evolving his technique since then. Last year his painting graced the poster for the St. James Court Art Show. His painting of Bryce Harper was purchased by the Washington Nationals at a charity auction for $18,000.
"Ever since I was really young played baseball, pitched. Whenever wasn't pitching or on the field I would draw," Sullivan said.
Sullivan said he feels the same pressure holding the brush as he did holding the ball. He's now on a different field hoping for a homerun.
He said it takes him about a week to do one painting. He begins by sketching it with pencil using looking at a few photographs of the moment, then paints it.
His prints start at $125. Original paintings begin at around $500.
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