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Spirit Come Down
Posted: Sat, 14 Jun 2014
Spirit Come Down
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Spirit Come Down is another recent miniature that I have done. To show the size comparison, I laid a quarter on the piece while I was painting. It measures only 8″ x 8″.

Spirit Come Down

This piece is traditional oils on Ampersand Gessobord Masonite. The framed original is hanging at the Plainsman Gallery at 2141 Main St, Dunedin, FL 34698.

Spirit Come Down

Signed and numbered prints available. Edition of 150.

Original is available. $975

Measures: 8″ x 8″

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Sasha – Amba Chante (Goodbye Heart)
Posted: Thu, 24 Apr 2014
Sasha - Amba Chante (Goodbye Heart)
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Finally after several months of working out issues with my eyesight, I am now fitted with new contacts. This is my first painting with my new eyes.

This stunning model is our friend, Sasha Livingston. She is part Apache and was born and raised in Cody, Wyoming. She now works and resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado. At the time of my painting she is 26 years old. I met her through her mother, Nabu Livingston. Chances has it, when you are always wearing your favorite Pittsburgh Steelers garb, you’re bound to run into other well-dressed fans which is what happened. Nabu and her friend were all decked out in the Steelers colors! We all stopped to chat in Cody one day and discuss our common bond. She said her daughter was a die-hard Steelers fan as well. It came up that I was an artist for Steelers Vice-President Art Rooney, Jr. and a western artist. She immediately said, you need to meet my daughter, she would be the perfect model. Frankly, I hear this a lot. Everyone knows someone for me to paint. Several weeks later, I found out Nabu’s words to be very true!! Sasha came into town for a visit and we immediately set up a photo shoot with Leigh doing the honors with Nabu helping to get Sasha all ready.

Sasha is wearing a hand made leather, Apache wedding dress designed by Nabu and made by her close friend, Nancy Snow. The detail on the beautiful hand-made, beaded choker is second to none! Lastly, the custom deer antler handled knife was made by a really close friend of Nabu. One of his last wishes was that the knife go to Nabu after he passed on. What a keepsake!

I want to thank Sasha for giving me the opportunity to sit for us. Thanks to Nabu for making it all happen. Thanks to Leigh for always making my paintings the best ever, and lastly, I thank God for giving me the help getting my eyes back to where I can paint beauties like Sasha again.

This piece will be featured at the Plainsmen Gallery Wildlife & Western Visions Art Show, April 26 in Dunedin, FL. plainsmen.com

Traditional oils on Ampersand Gessobord Masonite.

Signed and numbered prints available. Edition of 150.

Original is available. $2,900

Measures: 12″ x 16″

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Rocky Bleier – Intensity to the Tenth Power
Posted: Wed, 22 Jan 2014
Rocky Bleier
After his 1968 rookie season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bleier was drafted into the U.S. Army in December 1968. He volunteered for duty in the Vietnam War and shipped out in May 1969, serving with the 196th Light Infantry Brigade. On August 20, while on patrol in Heip Duc, Bleier was wounded in the left thigh by a rifle bullet when his platoon was ambushed in a rice paddy. While down, an enemy grenade landed nearby after bouncing off a fellow soldier, sending shrapnel into his lower right leg. He was later awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. His rank was Specialist 4.

While he was recovering in a hospital in Tokyo, doctors told him that he would not play football again. Soon after, he received a postcard from Steelers owner Art Rooney which just read “Rock – the team’s not doing well. We need you. Art Rooney.” Bleier later said “When you have somebody take the time and interest to send you a postcard, something that they didn’t have to do, you have a special place for those kind of people.”

One year after being wounded, Bleier reported to Steelers training camp. Upon his return, he couldn’t walk without being in pain, and weighed only 180 pounds (82 kg). He spent two full years trying to regain a spot on the active roster, and was even waived on two occasions. But Bleier never gave up, and said that he worked hard so that “some time in the future you didn’t have to ask yourself ‘what if?’.”

Rocky Bleier

An offseason training regimen brought Bleier back to 212 pounds in the summer of 1974. From that point in time, he would be in the Steelers’ starting lineup.

Since Preston Pearson was wearing number 26 (the number Bleier wore his rookie season before he went to Vietnam), Bleier switched to number 20 when he returned to the team from Vietnam. After Pearson was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in 1975, Bleier kept the number 20, with which he had become associated.

In addition to being a great lead blocker, Bleier was the second of the Steelers’ rushing weapons (Franco Harris was the primary back), but was effective nonetheless at both blocking and rushing. In 1976, both Harris and Bleier rushed for over 1,000 yards, making this the second NFL team to accomplish this feat, after Mercury Morris and Larry Csonka of the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

Bleier played in the first four Steeler Super Bowl victories, and caught the touchdown pass from Terry Bradshaw that gave Pittsburgh a lead it would never surrender in Super Bowl XIII.

Bleier retired after the 1980 season with 3,865 rushing yards, 136 receptions for 1,294 yards, and 25 touchdowns. At the time of his retirement he was the Steelers fourth all-time leading rusher.

Writeup courtesy of Wikipedia

This is Denny’s pencil drawing of Rocky. It is featured in a book that Pittsburgh Steeler Vice President, Art Rooney, Jr. published titled A Passion For Art And Football. The drawing was also incorporated into a collector card designed by Pittsburgh artist, Peter West.

Rocky Bleier Trading Card
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