Baskets, and Touchdowns, and Paintings…Oh MY! Speed Painting at Sports Events

4 Jul

Michael Ostaski LOVES painting for sports fans – they’re one of the most passionate and vocal audiences that any performer could hope for: they cheer, they yell, they jump out of their seats and get into it! Just like Michael.

And athletics’ fans are eager for artistry, the leap to the basket, the blur at the finish line, the sailing drop of sweat, and Michael, one of the most versatile fast painters, strives to capture the drama in a wild 7 minute surge of paint on canvas. Basket after touchdown after home run after photo finishes… major sports fans, from the NBA to NASCAR to the Olympics, love it; it’s a rush, and they hunger for it.

But let’s not forget about the “P” word: pressure. Sporting events are all about it. For performing artists its one of the highest-pressure situations they will ever face. Take, for instance the performance that Michael did for the Chicago Bulls (actually, performances for most basketball games are very similar to this) – when performing for a basketball halftime, you have one of the shortest performance slots in the biz – 6 minutes to be exact. That’s six minutes to tarp the court, bring out the canvas and paint supplies, paint the painting, take off all the supplies and canvas, and then refold the tarp remove it as well (keep in mind that on average, Michael takes between 6 and 7 minutes to paint a portrait; this does not include setup or breakdown times). Oh, did we mention that if we were to get even a drop of paint on the court, it would be a foul for the home team and delay the game, most likely resulting in a fan riot? Ok, probably not, but we’ve never been willing risk it! Stressful? To say the least. But worth it? Absolutely!

We don’t just love performing, we love the opportunity to travel, inspire, and meet some cool people -like the Brain Urlacher (of Chicago Bears fame), Reggie Miller (one of only 5 to have his jersey number retired by the Indiana Pacers), and Yao Ming (Houston’s Chinese super-tall super-star) sort of cool people. And we’ve painted at all sorts of sports, too – golf, football, you name it. We’ve even done paintings for the Olympics!

The point is, sports and fast painting actually have a lot in common; high-energy, excitement, and a great rally for people to come together. What could be better than being a part of, and then watching, a good-natured and spirited sport, whatever it may be?

By jonahflamingo – Jonah also posts at

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