Art Description: When I created this large, multi-layered portrait of the famous Canadian ice hockey player, Wayne Gretzky, I was not only interested in his natural talent and ability, but also absolutely intrigued by his incredible work ethic and complete and utter commitment to being the very best in the sport of hockey. I wanted to capture everything that was behind his great success, so I created a large colourful and complex background collage to show his meteoric rise to fame and fortune throughout his amazing career. The collage shows all the teams he played for right up to the end of his career with the New York Rangers, when he retired in April 1999. To get a thorough and detailed picture of what made Gretzky ‘The Great One’, as he’s known, I searched for, found and cut out hundreds of images of his life and amazing career in hockey, and pasted them together to form the background collage, to tell his story as fully as I possibly could. It is finished off with a large, golden maple leaf halo, rendered in acrylic paint, graphic markers and fine-line pens, to show how much he is still revered by hockey fans all over the world today. The actual portrait of Gretzky was created using many layers of different colour papers, with details rendered in pencil, colour pencil, fine-line pen, graphic marker and acrylic paint. The portrait took just over six months of my life to create, working in the evenings and weekends, outside of my college teaching commitment. It is a true labour of love, and one that I’m extremely proud of indeed. The idea behind this large piece of artwork was to create a portrait that would capture Wayne Gretzky's life in one, single moment, but also show the many cherished moments in his life.
Medium Used: Pencil, colour pencil, fine-line pen, graphic marker. Cut out images from magazines, scans, print outs and photocopies. PVA glue, spray glue and double sided tape. Cartridge Paper/Board.