Art Crosses Over

10 Jul 2009

As an American Artist editor, I'm privy to a multitude of art-related news items—far more than could ever be covered in print or on our website—but some of the more interesting stories are the ones I find outside of my role at the magazine. For example, it would be no surprise for the people who know me to hear me describe myself as a baseball fanatic. I love the sport, and much (probably too much) of my free time is spent watching or reading about baseball. Sometimes, though, my fanaticism bears unexpected dividends, as it did with the video below. While reading about my favorite team, I stumbled across an article and this short video that features Brett Tomko, a relief pitcher for the Yankees. As I found out, Tomko has had a passion for art since a young age—even majoring in it in college—and often paints in acrylic while on the road, using the process as a way to unwind after a game. Check it out for yourself.

Yankees pitcher Brett Tomko is also a painter

Seeing this video reminded me of another intersection between baseball and art that was brought to my attention a couple of years ago. Vernon Wells, Sr., father of Vernon Wells III, the all-star center fielder for the Toronto Blue Jays, is a successful portrait artist, who's been commissioned to paint some of the best-known athletes in the world. You can check out some of his artwork at his website,

Vernon Wells, Sr. working on a painting.

It's funny how often things like this pop up when you aren't looking for them. How about you? Has art ever made an appearance somewhere in your life when you least expected it? Share your experiences in the comments section.

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Robin11 wrote
on 12 Jul 2009 2:20 PM

I think it's funny that people often think that artists have to be flaky dreamers (wearing a black beret with smock, of course!).  I know artists who are also lawyers, artists who are also engineers, artists who are also medical researchers, and yes, artists who are also athletes!

Interesting post.

Robin11 wrote
on 12 Jul 2009 2:23 PM

PS Brian, tell me what PHILLIES is also an artist!  Go Phils!

Former Phil Pat Burrell has brought me more visitors to my ART blog than any other post I've written...well, it's actually his bulldog, Elvis, who is so charismatic!

johanne7 wrote
on 16 Jul 2009 2:58 PM

When I went to college I was not allowed to take art courses.

I spent my work life as a registered Medical technologist mostly in Blood Bank Technology.  I always knew that I preferred art to all else so I always drew, painted and did all sorts of crafts.  Through the years I have had the priviledge to be able to take some phenomenal workshops and have done many portrait commissions on the side.  Art has always been a big part of my life and will always be so.

drwhome wrote
on 17 Jul 2009 9:58 AM

I have been an artist for 40+ years.  I am also deeply interested in cosmological physics.  It has been my experience over the years that I have known more physicists deeply knowledgeable about art, including so excellent artists, than I've known artists knowledgeable about physics.