Artist Larry “Klu” Klukaszewski1) What is your inspiration for painting? What made you want to pursue a career in art?

My inspiration for painting is my family. Though I have always enjoyed painting, as I began having children, I began painting more and more as a way to supplement my teaching income. I feel very blessed to be able to utilize my God given skills in making a better life for my loved ones. I pursued a career in the arts because it is a true love of mine. Besides being with my family, there is nothing that I would rather do than to teach and create art.

2) What got you into doing sports paintings? / Do you do any other artwork outside of the sports realm? If so what else?

Sports is another passion of mine. Therefore, it was a natural progression to begin creating sports art. When I wasn’t pretending to be a professional athlete as a child, I was drawing and painting them. As I got older, sports kept me grounded. I behaved and studied because I wanted to continue playing sports. As I got better at playing them, so too, did I become better at drawing and painting them. I earned a Division II scholarship to a small state school where I received an excellent education and continued refining my art. I don’t do much art outside of the sports art realm.

3) What medium do you work with and why?

I mostly paint in acrylics because of the convenience in the drying time. I do, however, like to draw in graphite and colored pencil as well. I particularly enjoy painting on items of sports memorabilia. To date, I have painted on helmets, bats, sticks, footballs, basketballs, pucks, jerseys, baseballs, and the Pittsburgh Terrible Towel. Obviously, I paint on traditional surfaces as well. I have even dabbled in some mural painting too.

Steelers and Ravens Painting by Larry Klu4) What is your favorite sport to watch and what is your favorite sport to paint? and why? Who is your favorite athlete if anyone? What is your favorite sports team (if any team)?

My favorite sport to watch is football. It is also my favorite sport to paint. I love the challenge of depicting the power and speed of the game in my art. My favorite all time athlete is Larry Bird. Surprisingly, I have never painted him. I plan to some day. I admired how he used every last bit of his talent in becoming the best athlete he could be. He wasn’t always the biggest, fastest, or most athletic player on the court, but he always seemed to find a way to help his team win. I would love to meet him. That would be a dream come true for me.

5) Who are some of your favorite artists (past or present)?

My all time favorite sports artist is the late great NFL artist, Merv Corning. I could look at his artwork all day. His composition, style, and attention to detail in each of his works was superb (and still is to this day). As far as present day artists, I admire many of my Deacon Jones Foundation colleagues, namely Dan Tearle, Edgar Brown, Dave Courson, and Rob Jackson. We are all unique yet talented in our own way.