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Thursday, October 1, 2009

1990-91 NBA Hoops -- C. W. Mundy

One of the great things about having a lot of cards (particularly disorganized cards) is that you often come across things you didn't know you had or that you see in a different light.
The other day I rediscovered the checklist cards from the 1990-91 NBA Hoops set. The front of each team's checklist card has an original painting of a star player. Nine artists each contributed three paintings.

The first three cards here are by artist C. W. Mundy.

#355 Dominique Wilkins

#357 Rex Chapman

#369 Alvin Robertson

I started with these three only because #355 is the lowest numbered of the checklists but the Dominique Wilkins is one of my favorites.

I thought it would be fun to see what I could find out about these nine artists.

Charles Warren Mundy is now in his mid-sixties. He is an accomplished artist. You can check out his web page here.

Below is a piece from the online fraternity magazine Cross and Crescent from January 2007.

“En Plein Air” Artist C.W. Mundy

When artist C.W. Mundy (Ball State 1969) picks up his brush, he’s not focused on the end product; he’s looking forward to the journey.

Mundy’s work has received numerous awards, including Best of Show from the Hoosier Salon, an Indiana juried art exhibit that awards thousands of dollars in prizes to artists each year.

“The bulk of my career has been what they call ‘En Plein Air,’” says Mundy. “This is a French term meaning ‘in the outdoors, in the open air, in plain air.’” Mundy travels abroad several times a year to capture European landscapes.

Mundy was a sports illustrator for about 30 years before he jumped into fine art in 1991. He played basketball for his first few years at Ball State, but always knew he wanted to become an artist.

While Mundy is best known for his impressionistic landscape paintings, he’s overflowing with talent. He plays banjo in a bluegrass band, is skilled with a camera, and also paints portraits.

“If I can’t have a subject sit for four or five settings,” says Mundy, “I’ll paint from a photograph — but I do so (with the photograph and canvas) upside down.”

Using a grid on both the photograph and his canvas, “I’ll paint with the photograph upside down because it is so much more creative and so much more fun,” he says.

“While the grid helps me execute the drawing,” says Mundy, “painting upside down helps me concentrate instead on making it a poetic piece.”

“By focusing less on the literal content, I leave some mystery in my paintings by being more aloof and impressionistic.”

Mundy’s work is displayed in the Indiana State Museum, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame

Below are a picture of the artist in his studio and one of his Paris scenes.

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