Eleven Cardinals

March 28, 2012

Eleven Cardinals | ink, acrylic on clayboard | 8 x 32 inches | © Darick Ritter

I’m a baseball fan.
Last fall, I believe at the beginning of the National Championship Series between the Cardinals and Brewers – you know, right after that stupendous 1-0 game between Chris Carpenter and Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Philies in the division Series – I said to myself: if this ragtag team, my Cardinals, manage to pull off another surprise World Series Victory after such an awful season (lets ignore that spectacular last run to screech just past the Braves), like in ’06, I would put a cardinal somewhere in my art.
And by golly, the fools pulled it off…
Normally, I would of thrown this quiet exchange between the sports gods and me away as one does after the sweat dries, the hangover begins, and normal life resumes post-sports ritual as if the furious moment of prayer had never been uttered (much less, thought).
Fortunately for this incantation I had a piece that almost required the damn things. This helped tremendously to ward off my kitch-regurgitating reflex of painting “cute little birds”.
Here is its previous incarnation:


Look at the thing: it’s on a skateboard for crying out loud; all weirdly absent of color; it has a sickly orange band around it; the shapes I created can’t help but be associated with branches are wooded growths – while being adjacent to real wood.

As odd and ugly as I thought it was, it needed to be finished because those little wispy lines had sucked way too much time out of me to let the piece collect dust in a corner.

So my (pre-prayer) plan was simple:

  1. It needed to be re-bordered black
  2. It needed something red in the foreground (this would actually help bring out the natural wood color)
  3. It needed something red that I could finish fast and not screw up (probably the most important requirement)


So, thank you Cardinal’s Baseball for helping me find a solution to an artwork that I didn’t really know how to finish.
And thanks for the good time last fall.
12 in ’12!
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