I did this painting for an amazing clothing company based out of St. Louis, MO. They are called The Normal Brand http://www.thenormalbrand.com. If you visit their website you will discover why by reviewing their blog, customer pics, testimonies and of course the clothing itself. They have a terrific clothing line catering mainly to everywhere in the Midwest. One of their sayings is “Life In The Middle”. That said their brand can be found in retail outlets coast to coast. I met their founder and some of his staff, and all I can say is they are some real genuine and fantastic folks who are taking the clothing world by storm.
Now, as to why I did this painting for them. I actually heard about The Normal Brand through a local TV News Story on how they are taking their clothing line to incredible heights. As I looked a little deeper into how they started back in 2015 I got hooked. They are already getting accolades from celebrities like Jennifer Lopez to Terry Bradshaw to John Hamm and more. It was pretty impressive on how the founder started very small in such a short period. They also have been in a ton of magazines and news stories across the nation. But, what really impressed me is they are so down to earth and approachable. I liked their clothing, and I especially liked their “In The Middle” theme. So, with that I was inspired to make a painting for them.
My painting style is sort of also in the middle. Like The Normal Brand I am trying to share something a little new and different in a world saturated with what appears to be NORMAL. As I said, painting on wood is not new, but my style and usage of a different kind of wood canvas makes my art a little in the middle too. So, it’s my new normal. I wanted to depict their brand in this painting in such a way that it would all tie into the middle theme. The silhouette of a man fishing is my youngest son who I love dearly. He is an amazing person. He is one of those people that if you met him for the first time, you would instantly like him. I have a lot of respect for him and I’m not just saying that because I am his dad. The image of him fishing is from a photograph his mom took of him back in 2012. For me, this was the perfect center piece image of the painting. As you can see the fishing line is connecting everything together to include the sayings… “Life In The Middle”, “The Midwest” and “Embrace It”.
This was a fun project for me. The company’s founder Jimmy Sansone has it hanging in their place of work where he and his staff see it everyday. That is rewarding to me. It justifies in my mind that what I am doing is worthy. As an amateur artist I question my abilities. The hardest part of making a painting to me is putting my signature at the bottom when it is complete. I’m my own worst critic, and I say to myself is this painting really complete? Did I miss something? Could I have made something different or better? Will anyone who sees it think it is good? I could go on and on. I say these things not to discourage anyone from maybe giving painting a try. It’s just part of the painting process. So, don’t be to hard on yourself when you try something new. Give it a shot. Pick up a paint brush, a guitar, a saw or whatever, and discover the power of creating something. For me, it’s therapy, escapism, fun. Free your mind with it.