4.28.18 Letang and Coach Sullivan Paintings

I watched Kris Letang play hockey since I was 11 years old. I consider him one of the best defenseman in the last decade or more, so this painting was a pretty special one to do.

Kris watched me paint at Night of Assists, which is an event hosted by the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation at PPG Paints Arena. I painted in one of the Suites where the players were before moving to the main floor to finish a couple other pieces.

A few weeks after the show, a friend of mine who works with the Penguins told me Kris wanted a painting of mine. He wanted himself, Sid, and Geno, celebrating after what was probably a power play goal. fullsizeoutput_1eeIMG_9274 2

What was even cooler was being able to give the painting to Kris himself at Penguins Locker Room Clean Out Day.

Because I was able to go to Locker Room Clean Out Day, I also knew that I could give this painting to Coach Sullivan. fullsizeoutput_19fIMG_3938 2

At the Night of Assists event, Coach Sully came up to me during a painting and we had a really great conversation. He stayed and watched me perform a few paintings with the rest of his Coaching Staff. It was really cool. I wanted to do this painting as a thank you for being a good guy and representing the City I grew up in so well.

 

PS. God gives good gifts

 

-Cody

2.28.18 “Give More Than You Take.”

A few years ago I asked a friend about the business side of art. Business freaks me out. Charging people money still freaks me out. So I asked my friend and fellow artist, Eric Samuel Timm, how to balance being a Christian artist and trying to make a profit. Five simple words of advice “Give More Than You Take.”

Cody Sabol at the Pittsburgh Heart Ball

It was all the advice I would ever need and sparked this desire to give to as many charities as possible around the city of Pittsburgh and Beyond.

From Pittsburgh, to Dallas, to Salt Lake City I have been blessed to be a part of some of these cities’ biggest charitable events. When you get to experience the things I have been able to be a part of, it gives you a great sense of hope. From the American Heart Association, to Lending Hearts, to JDRF and everything in between, I get to see people coming together, bringing out the best parts of the city of Pittsburgh.

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I get to see the best parts of Pittsburgh.

Donovan Mitchell Painting in Salt Lake City

Since March of 2017, these live speed paintings have been able to help raise over $80,000 dollars to various charities in Pittsburgh and beyond.

“Give more than you take.”

Unbelievably blessed.

-Cody

2.15.18 I Got Engaged!

I hit the jackpot.

I met Sarah in October of 2016 and from the moment we had our first conversation I knew there was a depth to this young woman that maybe had never been discovered by anyone before.

Our first conversation was at Jones Hall (The first Cody Sabol Art Studio). We talked about art, movies, ideas, and Faith. From that point on, I was hooked. Not like a cute ‘I’m thinking about you here in class’ type of hooked, I mean more like a heroin addict. I wanted to see her as soon as I woke up and I couldn’t shake it until I was able to see her again.

Fast Forward.

I’ll never forget the day she told me she wanted to leave KCU and transfer up here to Pittsburgh. We knew what was next. We knew we wanted to do it together. So on November 18, 2017 I bought a ring.

I am into big hairy audacious dreams and performances. Therefore, the proposal had to be as big, or if not, bigger, than anything I had ever planned before.

Contact: Pittsburgh Penguins

Sarah and I made a family with the Penguins Foundation. I knew I wanted them involved from the start. Not only the foundation but a long time friend of mine, Jason Seidling, works for the Penguins as well. I knew they would want to help me more than anything.

I got help from so many people in the organization, it was incredible to watch people (some who didn’t even know Sarah or myself), jump to action when it came to creating a special moment for a guy who wants to make a girl his wife.

After we put together the final touches for the plan, I had to make sure all her friends and family were here. I contacted her mom, brothers, friends from all over, and snuck them up to Pittsburgh. This was probably the trickiest part. I had to make sure she didn’t suspect a single thing.

I told her the Penguins wanted her to video the painting so she would notice that the crowd that formed behind her was actually her family and friends. All in all we probably had around 50 people hide behind her so we could surprise her after. (check out the closing moments of the video where she turns to see her mom. You’ll cry if you see it for the first time.)

Sarah had to drive separately because she had class at RMU that day, so when she got out of class at 4:30, traffic was a wreck (pun intended). Seriously, a wreck on 376 inbound kept Sarah from getting to PPG Paints Arena on time (5:45pm) to being almost 35 minutes late (6:20pm) which is TEN minutes before I started painting. I was in a panic she would miss her own engagement, or see someone she knew, or we had to cancel.

But she made it. Thats all that counts.

I painted horribly. My palms were sweaty, my head was sweaty, everything was sweaty, and for a moment I thought I was going to throw up. No vomit, but my hands were shaking so bad that I didn’t think anyone would be able to tell what I was painting (a few didn’t, but I didn’t care.)

Before I say anything else about it, I might as well just show you:

Everything turned out perfectly.

She said ‘yes.’ if you listened without the sound on.

And I am the happiest person who ever lived because of it.

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I have many thanks to give.

To Maddie, Dave and everyone else at the Penguins Foundation: Thank you for giving me a platform to propose to my new fiancé. Maddie, you were Sarah’s first friend when she moved up to Pittsburgh. We cant thank you enough for letting us into your little family at the Pens Foundation. Love you guys!

To Jason, Billy, and Iceburgh: You guys rock. This was such a huge moment for us and you guys went above and beyond for me. This was more than a favor, it was something ill owe you guys forever with. I don’t have much to give, I can only finger paint and preach, but whatever it is you need, ill be happy to help you guys with.

To Ryan, Madi, Lee, Jannah, and Chelsea: Thank you guys for dropping everything to come up here and make Sarah’s night. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, it wouldn’t have been as special if you guys weren’t there.

To my Bible Chapel Family: Thank you for your support! Tom, Amanda, Lorraine, Jeremy, Ashley, Brad, Rachel, Jonathan, Megan, and Maria, thank you for coming to our engagement. I have the best brothers and sisters in Christ and the best ministry teammates God could’ve given me.

To my brothers: Owen, Gene, Chris, and Christian, I love you guys. Thank you for always being there for me.

To my parents, sisters, Charlie and Savannah: I love you guys. I can always count on you. Thank you for helping me pull this off. Thank you for always asking “what can I do to help?” and then following through. Savannah, you’re the cutest baby.

To my new mom and my new brothers: I promise, whatever I can do in my power to love and provide and protect and make Sarah happy, I will do it and I will go above and beyond that. We are going to do some big big things in this life together. Thank you for supporting me and our relationship. Andrew, I think Pittsburgh is a great fit for you. Think about it 🙂

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This has been an amazing journey.  This has been an amazing life so far. I have been so thankful and so awestruck by it all. The support has been overwhelming.

To God: Thank you for her. Thank you for them. Thank you for this platform. Thank you Thank you Thank you.

Love and peace and everything that makes you happy,

 

– Cody.

2.9.18 NIGHT TO SHINE

I love to paint for my church, the Bible Chapel.

This time I was part of an extremely special night and unlike anything I’ve been a part of before.

IMG_3340.jpgThe Tim Tebow Foundation sponsors “Night to Shine,” a formal dance for individuals with special needs who do not often get the experience of a prom or homecoming dance. Throughout the course of the evening guests are treated like royalty. They are pampered and styled, given the opportunity to be chauffeured by a limousine, and even escorted by their buddy down the red carpet where they are crowned as the kings and queens of the night. This year in the Pittsburgh Area, Night to Shine was hosted by the Bible Chapel located in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. The event is hosted annually by 540 churches all across the world and over 90,000 guests of all ages come to be celebrated.

My super cute girlfriend, Sarah, spent her night volunteering as a buddy with her beautiful guest, also named Sara. They were instantly the stars of my night.

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Before painting, I had the privilege of spending the evening on the red carpet. Where   our dashing guests were greeted with the roaring of cheers and applause from our audience made up of adoring parents, friends, aids, and volunteers. Guests were radiating with big, contagious smiles. They were so appreciative of every little moment. The atmosphere of the whole evening was so joyous.

I painted Tim Tebow. So many guests admire and love him for what he does for them by sponsoring Night to Shine. Having the experience of the guests up close to me while I worked was amazing; getting to hear their excitement as I flipped over the canvas to reveal the surprise painting of their hero was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.

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My favorite part of the night was something I overheard at the event: Sarah’s guest looked at her and told her “I cant wait to be beautiful like you.” To which Sarah responded, “Don’t you worry about that. You already are.” It was an amazing night.

Night to Shine is such a humbling event everyone should be a part of.

Seeing everyone shine was so rewarding. Being with my church family is always a blessing. Just a great night.

Thank you Jesus for the church I call home, the Bible Chapel.

-Cody.

2.8.17 Marc Andre Fleury Project

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).

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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?”

“dont.”

So I began.

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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…)

 

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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.

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Last cool thing, Mike Rupp from the NHL Network wanted to feature the pads on the Tuesday edition of NHL Tonight!

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This was my favorite project I have ever done. Honestly I was very sad to see the pads go.

 

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God keeps blessing me with gifts, and I will continue to praise him for it.

-Cody.

 

 

2.6.18 Painting for the Fleury’s

A few weeks ago I was sitting at home late on a Friday night painting hockey pads for the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation. These weren’t just any pads, they were the pads of Marc Andre Fleury from the 2008 Stanley Cup run season. (More on this in a later post).

As I was working my phone buzzed: “hey Cody, do you know the Fleury’s?”

Heart. Stopped.

The Vegas Golden Knights were coming to town in a few weeks and I was just going through every possibility in my head of what this could be. My friend, Melissa Armstrong, asked me if it would be possible to come up to Sidney Crosby’s Suite mid game and paint for Veronique and their little girls.

Absolutely. No brainer.

After the Fleury tribute at the 14 minute mark the entire arena was left in tears, I packed my supplies and headed to the suite.  I opened the door and walked my painting equipment into the room and 6 kids ran to the door expecting Iceburgh. I was a slight disappointment. Two of them even asked me if Iceburgh was coming back. But when they saw my stuff they were asking so many questions about what was going to happen next.

I set up while Melissa explained to Veronique who I was and that I was there to paint for her and the rest of the family.

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It is always so cool to have the kids around guessing at what the painting is. I love talking and interacting with them during the painting.

After Estelle, the older of the two Fleury girls, recognized exactly which photo I was painting I had no choice but to flip it early to reveal a big picture of Marc and his girls.

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When I completed the painting, Sarah and I asked the Fleury girls if they wanted to put their hand prints on the painting next to mine.

Anyone who knows them, knows that Estelle is a professional sweetheart. She told me she loved the painting and wanted to “give the painting to her daddy as a present” which melted my heart.

 

I hope that the painting captured the love between Marc and his girls. I hope the painting will hang in their home in Vegas. It can even hang in their bathroom, I don’t care.

But most of all I hope they know how honored I was to paint for them. I hope they know how much I appreciated their time in Pittsburgh.

Thank you, Marc, Veronique, Estelle, and Scarlett for having me paint.

Thank you Lord for another amazing opportunity.

 

In Christ,

-Cody.

1.10.18 Painting Steeler’s Playoff Cleats

I was born into Yinzer culture. I love the city. I love the Steelers.

On December 14th of last year I tweeted out a goal of mine for the 2018 NFL season. I simply wanted to paint some cleats for the Steelers for the next season.

If I could achieve this goal I would take it as a huge honor. I don’t think anyone would argue that.

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I met Arthur Moats and Tyson Alualu at Cam Heyward’s Charity Event in October and this Christmas season I was commissioned to do a custom piece of Arthur by his wife Shonda. After I made the painting, posted the video, and delivered the painting, it started getting some recognition on social media because of the Moats family (who I am very grateful to).

After that it seemed like some really cool doors were opening. I reached out to Tyson and Moats about doing some cleats for them for the playoffs, trying to realize that goal so many months earlier.

On Arthur’s cleats I wanted to do something that reflected his motto which is “Dont Cross the Moats.”

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Moats is a great guy. Ask anybody that spends time around the Steelers, they all echo how great it is to be around Arthur Moats.

Arthur, I appreciate you giving me this opportunity to paint your cleats. I hope you make 15 tackles in them on Sunday!

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Tyson is from just outside of Honolulu, Hawaii. (Trust me when I do custom art for people I creep hard on them.) I wanted to do something that reminded him of Family.IMG_3208

I did a very Hawaiian design on his cleats. It very well could be the most beautiful place on earth. These cleats he will wear in pre-game since the NFL does not allow cleats to be worn that are not team color dominant.

The second pair are the shoes Tyson will wear during the game. He gave them to me completely white and black. Check out the final result below:

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The AIGA design is Samoan for FAMILY.

One of my best friends in college, Bubu, is Samoan and grew up near Tyson, just outside of Honolulu. He gave me this great “AIGA” idea for the game shoes Tyson will wear. Big thanks to my best bud, Bubu.

Tyson, thank you for letting me do this! I appreciate you, Uso!

God Opens the Doors.

God has been opening awesome doors. But I asked myself the other day, “how does painting cleats for NFL players glorify God’s Kingdom?” Last week at the Bible Chapel, the church I work as a youth pastor, Ron Moore (Senior Pastor) told a story that ended with a shoe store owner talking to his apprentice (who wanted to cut corners) about going to Heaven and having all his work piled up in front of God. He told his apprentice, “I live by Colossians 3:17 “In all you do, whether in word or in deed, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  When I get to Heaven, I want God to look at all of the shoes I made and look at me with a smile on His face and say ‘well done, good and faithful servant.”

It might be weird to some to say that I painted those shoes for Jesus. However, when I make art, I want the person that is receiving it to know that I have worked as hard as I can to make them the best piece I could have possibly done. I want that person to know that I am honoring God with every brush stroke because I will not waste the talents that God put in me.

Those cleats were painted in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Thank you for reading.

God Bless,

 

Cody.