Canvas is usually expensive.
Unless Michael’s is having a sale, canvases can be around $38-$60 dollars per piece.
However, this is was on a whole other level.
Two weeks ago I stopped by the Penguins Foundation Office to pick up Marc Andre Fleury’s 2008 Season Worn Leg Pads. The same ones worn in the Stanley Cup in June of that year. I was 13 years old but I remember every Penguins Stanley Cup run when I was alive to see them. (Missed the first two, born in 1995).
Before I even touched the pads they were valued at $4,500 dollars. So painting on these pads made me feel like I was pure white gold after all of those times I complained about spending $51.56 on a 4ft by 3ft canvas at Michael’s.
Marc was my favorite player growing up, as I have said time and time again. I was honored that the foundation would let me participate on a project of this magnitude. I remember sitting in the meeting with them when they first pitched the idea to me. They had gone over the details with me, they wanted them for the Feb 6 game where Marc had come back to Pittsburgh for the first time. They wanted to give me the pads so I can paint them to honor his tenure. It was obvious how serious this project would be especially the strings they had to pull to get the ‘okay’ to do this thing rolling. After laying it all out to me, the first thing I said (which I shouldn’t have said), was “what if I screw up?”
So I began.
The stress that is involved with a project like this ebbs and flows constantly through out it.
There is an anxiousness to start, but once paint hits the canvas, or pads, in this case, it goes away, then you make one little mark that doesn’t look right and all of a sudden your heart skips a beat and you’re in full panic mode.
Looking back at those moments while I was working on those pads were some of the best moments. Being terrified, having your blood pressure spike and the adrenaline start taking over is an incredible feeling (only when you fix it though…)
To honor Marc and all that he achieved here in Pittsburgh I was very intentional about the artwork that would go on the pads.
The first image I wanted on the pads was his greatest moment as a Penguin. I was thirteen years old watching the 2009 Stanley Cup finals when Marc stopped a rebound with 2 seconds left to clinch the 3rd Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh Penguins history.
Next, I wanted to capture Marc’s personality by painting him smiling. Ask anyone, he was the happiest guy, with the best attitude. I’ve heard story after story this week about how great of a guy Marc Andre is.
Obviously I had to include pictures of him hoisting the Stanley Cup and finally, from the 2011 Pittsburgh Winter Classic.
Last cool thing, Mike Rupp from the NHL Network wanted to feature the pads on the Tuesday edition of NHL Tonight!
This was my favorite project I have ever done. Honestly I was very sad to see the pads go.
God keeps blessing me with gifts, and I will continue to praise him for it.