James “Cool Papa” Bell – Action shot acrylic on Major League Baseball
As a youth in the early 1970s, Monty enjoyed drawing and creating stories told through pictures and words. His first passion was with the comic book medium, leading him to attend the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art for two years and eventually working at Dark Horse Comics for nine years.
During the first 32 years of his life, Monty had three distinct and very separate passions: Art, Baseball, and Collectibles. Upon viewing another artist’s painted baseballs at a memorabilia show in November 1997, Monty had a genuine epiphany. He realized instantly that he could combine his three passions into one object, the Artball®. A typical Artball® features two panels of art, which includes the combination of close up portraiture and then a full-length painting of the player in action, along with two panels of text. The text portion includes a brief biography along with that players lifetime statistics. Every last bit of the baseball is painted, including the stitches.
Currently, Monty’s artistic goal is to tell the whole story of baseball utilizing the baseball itself as the canvas. He can’t think of a better place to illustrate baseball’s rich history than on the centerpiece of the game. Since that fateful day in November 1997, Monty has painted over 710 baseballs that have depicted over 585 different baseball players.
Connect with Monty Sheldon, and see more of his work through his Facebook page: