Walter Payton, in that moment, is responsible for all of the satisfying Sunday’s I’ve had when my team has won, to the exhilaration of making a play on the field during school, to being paid to paint the game I love, and for all of the wonderful friends in my life that have been created through a shared passion for football. Years later, I was lucky enough to be in attendance at Texas Stadium to see Emmitt Smith break Payton’s rushing record. Growing up in North Texas, I’m naturally a Dallas Cowboys fan and was as happy as I could be for Emmitt and his accomplishment. However, what really made that moment special for me personally was witnessing a part of Walter Payton’s legacy first hand.
Last December the Deacon Jones Foundation contacted me about signing on with them to create paintings that will help to make a difference in the lives of inner city kids. The paintings being created for the Deacon Jones Foundation are Officially Licensed by the NFL. Being able to say that my work is a licensed NFL product is something I’ve worked toward and dream about for years. It was important to me that the very first painting I create as an Officially Licensed NFL product be of the man who is responsible for leading me to this point in my life. In the spirit of Walter Payton’s NFL Man of the Year Award, I will continue to paint NFL athletes with the hope that what I create will not only help others re-live their memories, but also assist in giving back to those in need through charitable endeavors. With this painting of Walter, my career has now come full circle.