05 April 2016

Dylan Bundy: Painting The Corner

Over the offseason, Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun wrote a story that detailed one of the new hobbies of Dylan Bundy. If one thinks of Dylan Bundy as the stereotypical professional baseball player, then it’s likely that the first hobbies that come to mind would probably be hunting or fishing. As the article outlines, the hunting assumptions would be correct. And based on this earlier tweet, it’s probably safe to assume he likes to fish as well.
According to Meoli, Bundy has taken up painting this offseason, although drawing is something he’s enjoyed doing ever since he was a little boy. Click the link to the story at the beginning of the paragraph to read about it. The story contains pictures of two of Bundy’s pieces of art.

And that brings us to the point of this article, which is where I will be providing a review of Bundy’s artwork, or at least the two paintings shown in the article. Before I begin, let me state what is probably very obvious to the reader already, although I still feel compelled to state it as a disclaimer: I am not an art critic. I don’t even consider myself an artist. Sure, I have dabbled in writing music from time to time over the course of my life (sometimes more successfully than others), but the last time I have painted or drawn something was likely in some art class back in middle school. I may or may not have googled “how to critique art” prior to writing this piece. Additionally, I may or may not have followed any advice I may or may not have found in said “google search”.


“Scarlet” is a painting of the head/neck/upper body of horse and was named by Orioles pitcher Mike Wright who apparently has it hanging up on a wall in his apartment. The horse is boldly colored in red and white over a pitch black canvas background. The color scheme and movement of the horse’s mane provides the impression that the horse is of the wild variety, running majestically through an open field, flanked on one side by the light of a full moon and shadows on the other. The dramatic contrasting colors of the red, white, and black tones in the piece are a nice touch, and their vibrancy instantly catches the eye of the viewer. The right eye of the horse painted white, showing the subtle catch of the moonlight, is a nice touch that further adds to the bold color scheme.

The horse itself is more realistic than cartoon, which I believe is beneficial for this genre. Bundy’s brush strokes are very deliberate, as he does an excellent job at capturing the symmetry of the horses face (especially at an angle), while also providing the asymmetrical aspects of the flowing mane. The painting also provides good depth, as it’s easy to envision the horse’s neck pulled back in mid-gallop, ready to drive itself forward, while the muscles in the horse’s upper shoulder constrict and relax as he (or she) runs towards the viewer. Bundy captures the natural movement of a horse about as well as one can, especially while only showing a small portion of the overall animal.

Having said all that, this type of painting isn’t my style, so it wouldn’t be something that I would necessarily buy. But on the whole (especially for an amateur artist), Bundy nailed it. It’s definitely well done and something I would hang up somewhere in my house if a friend gave it to me (or if I painted it myself for that matter). Did Bundy paint it by replicating another picture or attending one of those evening wine/painting packages? Maybe. Does it matter? No, it doesn’t. Because I’m sure you’ve seen paintings from when one of your friends or family have attended one of those things and they aren’t nearly as good as this.

** Editor's Note - I think he obviously paying an homage to Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" featuring Juicy J.

Listened to "DarkHorse" far too many times today. Thanks a lot @bweiss14
— Dylan Bundy (@bundy_dylan) December 21, 2013


Untitled (as far as we know)

The second painting is presented without a title, so I christened it “Bad Sun Rising” (I know that name is very close to “Bad Moon Rising”, so please don’t sue me Creedence Clearwater Revival). To me, the painting shows a supernova type sun rising over the horizon, which obviously means bad news for whatever world Bundy is showing in the foreground. I’m sure that there could be many things a viewer could see in this painting, and the quality of the photograph of it isn’t the best, but that’s what I’m seeing.

Similar to the previous painting, this picture uses bold colors to draw the viewer in. There are elements of both subtle contrast (seen in the upper half of the painting as the colors blend from yellow to oranges to reds) and more dramatic contrast between the upper and lower portions of the painting, as there is a hard line between the exploding sky and the land below. On the surface, the painting looks very simple, especially compared to the much more technical and realistic “Scarlet”. But what Bundy does well in “Bad Sun Rising” is capturing the reflection of that explosion accurately on the lower half of the painting. Just like the explosion itself, the reflection of that explosion appropriately fills the dark landscape with bright light near its source, only to gradually return to its natural absence of color. Even though this painting is not (in my opinion) intended to be as realistic as the first one, it’s clear that thought and attention to detail is evident.

“Bad Sun Rising” is more to my liking than “Scarlet” as it is more my style. And again, it is a solid painting. However, I’m personally not crazy about the particular colors used, and how I interpret the painting as an “end of the world galactic explosion” doesn’t help either. However, this painting (and many others) can be interpreted a number of different ways by a number of different people. And that’s what is great about art; one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Two contrasting opinions doesn’t make either person right.

So what do we make of Dylan Bundy the painter? Based on the two pieces I’ve seen, I would say that the kid’s got some talent. But in the end, does it really matter what we think about him as a painter? As long as Bundy enjoys painting and it makes him happy, it shouldn’t. The fact that I believe his artwork is well done (an opinion his teammates share according to the article) is just icing on the cake. On the other hand, if someone thinks his artwork sucks, that shouldn’t deter him from doing something he loves. You have to admire his confidence to put his paintings out there to the public and open himself to criticism, especially since “painting” and “baseball player” don’t typically go hand in hand. He’s a talented pitcher, and it looks like he’s a talented painter (typical small sample caveats apply), and if he paints the corner (and stays healthy) as well as he paints with the brush, he can look forward to a very rewarding season.

Finally, it’s the “painting the corner” joke that I am sure you were all waiting for.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Little Chen getting lit up!!!