One of the best things about Redsfest is the ability to meet other Reds fans who share the same passion you do for the Cincinnati Reds.
So meeting Chris Felix and seeing his art work was special at Redsfest for me. If you’re from the Cincinnati area, you probably know his work. He’s been featured at the Reds Hall of Fame, the Louisville Slugger Museum, the FifthÃ‚Â Street Gallery, the Green Diamond Gallery and the Museum at the Cincinnati Union Terminal.
Chris specializes with acrylic paintings that tell a story. Of his 29 handpainted art prints, 20 feature current and former Cincinnati Reds, including Ernie Lombardi, Ewell Blackwell, Joe Nuxhall, Joey Votto, Josh Hamilton, Dave Concepcion, Barry Larkin, Pete Rose and Brandon Phillips.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I try to capture a moment in time with a story,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Felix last Sunday at Redsfest.Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“I’ve always been driven and have a passion for baseball. I try to paint a Reds player as people remember him or saw something happen that he did.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Chris’ first painting was a Mother’s Day present for his Mom in 1997 and it grew from there. His Reds paintings go back to the 1869 team which he has done extensive research on. Each painting hasÃ‚Â a title and a short story accompanies it on the players’ history and accomplishments with the Reds.
Two of his paintings that stood out for me were Ã¢â‚¬Å“Rock SteadyÃ¢â‚¬Â (Frank Robinson) and Ã¢â‚¬Å“Silky and StrongÃ¢â‚¬Â (Vada Pinson: attention pinson343) The painting of Robinson was in his vested pinstripe Cincinnati uniform with the Reds slugger smiling and holding three bats. Vada’s painting captured the smooth centerfielder’s lefthanded batting stance from the waist up.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Rookie PeteÃ¢â‚¬Â is a painting of Pete Rose in his rookie year, 1963. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ExemplarÃ¢â‚¬Â features the best baseball catcher ever in Johnny Bench. And Ã¢â‚¬Å“Votto SwingingÃ¢â‚¬Â features Joey Votto’s classic swing from his MVP season of 2010.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“My style of painting resonates from a comprehension and natural motion. Beauty is found in the quality of specific motion or lack of motion. The distinction of every person as an individual is important to me. I believe intricate details tell stories of their own.Ã¢â‚¬Â
A good example of that is the one titled Ã¢â‚¬Å“Braggs Stick.Ã¢â‚¬Â It captures the moment when Reds outfielder Glenn Braggs broke his bat swinging and missing in Game 4 of the 1990 World Series against Oakland pitcher Dave Stewart.. Braggs, built like a linebacker more than a rightfielder, broke his bat when it hit his back.
The non-Reds he has painted include Cal Ripken, Willie MaysÃ‚Â and Honus Wagner.
But Chris’ Reds paintings are what appealed to me. I ended up buying the Robinson painting but now I’ve got a perfect wish list for a birthday or Christmas present.
C’mon, you want an ugly sweater or a painting of Brandon Phillips titled Ã¢â‚¬Å“ElectricÃ¢â‚¬Â?
I’ll take DatDude and Chris Felix please.
[Chris Felix can be reached at [email protected]]