Interview with Baseball Artist Kyle Morrissey: Baseball is Addictive Art Work
Saturday March 31st, 2012
MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen: For another first on MLB reports, we charter into new waters. The Art World. While I would rather sit at Yankee Stadium for three hours than a museum, I have to admit that art has always fascinated me. A great painting can move people in many ways. It can tell a story and make different people draw many conclusions about the piece. They create conversations and discussions, while getting put up on our walls to be admired. So combining art with baseball is a logical step in my estimation. Today we feature on of the hottest young artists on the scene. While he does draw more than baseball, I found Kyle Morrissey through his love of the Angels. Kyle has prepared countless works of art for Angels’ players, as you will see featured throughout this interview. We learn about Kyle and his venture known as “Addictive Art Work”. I found it extremely fascinating to get to know a baseball artist for this features. For all lovers of baseball, you will enjoy Kyle Morrissey and his art. Here is a little bio about Kyle and my feature interview with the artist himself:
Kyle Morrissey, aspiring artist from the city of Orange, in Orange County, California. I am 35 years old. I went to Buena Park High School (class of ’94). I was a Navigational Electronics Technician in the military (Feb. 1996-Dec. 2000) on board nuclear submarines. Sometimes my artwork was the only thing that could get me through some of those stressful and highly classified missions. Everyone would ask why I was in the military when I could be making money with my artwork.
I have always been interested in art for as long as I can remember. I started painting, seriously, in 2007. I hadn’t painted in 14 years. I started painting when I was asked to paint a mural for the coming birth of my daughter, Kaylah Morrissey, December 1, 2007. I’ve been painting ever since.
My first baseball painting was of Angels right fielder, Torii Hunter. He was doing an autograph signing in Anaheim. Over 700 people showed up. With 15 minutes left of the even, there were still 200 people in front of me. I ended up paying a young kid $5 to get my painting signed instead of his ball (with approval from his mother, of course). He was a true fan and appreciated my artwork. His mom got the ball signed as well.
The painting that started getting me recognized was my Ervin Santana “no-hitter” painting. I had it autographed by Ervin himself. I posted it onto his FB fan page. A few weeks later, I received a call from his wife,Amy Santana. She commissioned me to do 2 no-hitter paintings for her husband. After that, I started getting orders from other Angels players (Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar).
When I take my paintings to the games, they almost always make it onto the jumbotron. I’m the only fan, as far as I know, that brings artwork to the games. It let’s the players know that we really appreciate what they do. The paintings always put a smile on the players’ faces.
I recently took a road trip to Atlanta to drop off some paintings to L.V. Ware, of the Braves organization. On the way back, I stopped off in Texas to drop off a painting to Angels pitching prospect, David Carpenter. I am in Arizona during spring training and dropped off paintings to a lot of the Angels players: Hank Conger, Peter Bourjos, Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, Garrett Richards, Mike Scioscia, and others.
Baseball and art. One of the perfect combinations in my estimation. How do art and baseball relate in your opinion?
Art and baseball are two of my favorite things. I paint baseball paintings to show my appreciation to the athletes. A lot of people take them for granted. Baseball and art are the two things that I am most passionate about. Putting them together just makes it that much better. I always try to capture some of the more emotional and inspirational moments in sports. Moments that will be remembered always.
Are you exclusively focused on baseball as an artist or have you worked in other genres in the past?
I do more than just baseball. I do more than just sports. I’ve also done paintings for people in the music industry. I am currently working out a deal on a painting for Shannon Sharpe, Hall of Fame tight end for the Denver Broncos.
Do you have a particular preference as to the type of paints and materials that you use? What are the options in what materials to use for your art- from paints to canvas choices and why do you choose your particular ones?
As for paints, I use acrylic paint. It is one of the more versatile paints. It can be used like oil paint and it can also be used like water colors. It dries fast, which is always a good thing…who likes to watch paint dry? Being that they dry faster, I am able to finish and deliver my paintings in a timely manner. In order to put a varnish on an oil painting, it is recommended to let the painting dry for 6 months. For acrylic, it’s only 5 days. Acrylic is also a very durable paint. Acrylics are easy to mix, which allows me to mix my own paints.
As for materials, I usually only use 3 main brushes. A good round brush, a liner, and broad brush for large area cover.
I mainly paint on canvas. I also paint on wood and murals on walls.
My usual canvas is 22″ x 28″. I bring most of my paintings to the Angels games. They are the perfect size to allow people to see it from a good distance.
How long does it take you to draw a particular piece?
Time varies from painting to painting, but on average I would have to say that I can usually get a painting done in about 1 week…assuming I don’t have other paintings going on, then I split my time between paintings and it takes a little longer. Doing multiple paintings keeps it from getting boring because it’s always something new. All my paintings are hand painted and I have yet to make a copy of any of my paintings. I currently give my customers a one month turn around time, and I usually hand deliver.
From where do you draw your inspiration in the particular actual drawings you create? Do you use photographs or create your own?
Most of the time I use a photo(s) to create my paintings. My paintings are totally custom and one of a kind.
How long have you been artist? Was art always your planned profession?
I have been drawing and painting since I was in 3rd grade. It had been 14 years since I last painted until 2007 when my daughter, Kaylah, was born. Her mother asked me to paint a safari theme in her room, and I went all out. My daughter is the one that inspired me to start painting again. I’ve been painting here and there ever since. It’s only been within the last six months that I focused all of my attention on my artwork as a sports painter. I used to work on nuclear submarines in the US Navy. Even the captain of the submarine said that I was wasting my time in the military. He said that I should be an artist.
From the works that I have seen- you paint primarily the Angels. It is based on your location I presume.
Yes, I paint Angels because I live about 10 minutes from the stadium. I did a painting over night when they announced the signing of Albert Pujols. Out of 4,000 fans, me and another guy were the only ones that did artwork for the event. My painting was broadcasted world-wide.
Have you met most of your subjects? What is it like to paint an athlete and then have that person see your work?
I have met everyone that I have done a painting for. It feels great to have them see my work and appreciate it…anyone can come to the stadium with a baseball card or a photo for the players to sign, my paintings stand out in a crowd of baseball cards. As soon as the players are done with warm ups, they run right over to me and sign my paintings…most requesting a painting for themselves. They understand the time and the effort that goes into each and every painting that I do.
Do you plan in the future to pursue other art forms like statutes?
I’ve never thought about statues, but that would be cool. I think I’ll just stick to painting for now…but you never know what the future holds. My artwork is always evolving, so I wouldn’t rule anything out.
Are you planning to open your own store in the future, become an on-line retailer or be offered through galleries?
I am currently working on all of those ideas…I have a website that is being built at the moment. It will be AddictiveArtwork.com.
I hope to open my own store/gallery in the near future. I might be able to get some of my artwork in galleries in Tempe,AZ…spring training home of the Angels.
What is it about baseball that draws you?
Baseball players are more readily available. They do a lot more things in the community. Baseball is one of the longer seasonal sports…a lot of games. A lot of time for the players to build relationships with the fans. You feel more like a family. I paint all sports. I will be doing NASCAR paintings when their season starts back up. I will mainly be going to the race track in Fontana…I think. I have a few NFL players that are interested in getting some artwork.
Did you play baseball in your youth?
Yes, I did. I played in little league in Buena Park, Ca. Never played once I got to high school.
I am seeing Cooperstown and the Negro Baseball Leagues Museum. Those are two institutions that would greatly enjoy posting your work if you prepare some historical pieces. Are you a fan of baseball history?
Yes I am a fan of baseball history. I am an all around sports fan period. I even watch golf from time to time. I have respect for all athletes. I would love to be able to get my artwork in either of those institutions. I like to paint important/emotional moments in sports history. Something that will bring back memories for anyone that sees it.
Favourite piece that you ever prepared?
My favorite would have to be my Ervin Santana “No Hitter” painting. It was the painting that prompted Ervin Santana’s wife to call me personally and order two paintings for her husband. That painting is what really jump started my career as a sports painter.
Who is the person that you most would like to meet and prepare a piece for?
I would really like to meet and prepare a piece for Tim Tebow. I know it’s not baseball, but he is the most inspirational athlete/person that I have ever seen. It would mean the world to be able to talk to him and show my appreciation for all he does by doing a painting for him.
I have been at spring training this year in AZ delivering paintings to most of the players on the Angels. Even 3rd base coach, Dino Ebel, asked me to do a painting for him!
***Thank you to Kyle Morrissey for joining us today on MLB reports and sharing his wonderful baseball art with the world! We are looking forward to Kyle’s next projects. Baseball and art…now that is a masterpiece to us! You can reach Kyle on Twitter (@addictiveartwrk) and feel free to check out Kyle’s website: addictiveartwork.com…and make sure to tell him that MLB reports sent ya!***
Jonathan Hacohen is the Lead Baseball Columnist & Editor for MLB reports: You can follow Jonathan on Twitter (@JHacohen)
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Posted on March 31, 2012, in Interviews with MLB Stars and tagged addictive art work, albert pujols, anaheim angels, baseball, howie kendrick, kyle morrissey, mlb, nick adenhart, peter bourjos. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.