A Knox artist recently completed a South Shore Line poster to celebrate a sports dynasty. Mitch Markovitz was commissioned last year by CEO Andy Arnold of Precision Controls of Griffith to do a poster painting entitled “Let’s Go Hawks.” It’s the latest work in the “Just Around the Corner on the South Shore Line” series.
“We got together and I did a rough sketch at Mr. Arnold’s office at Precision Controls. While he and some of the people from South Shore Arts were talking, I just sat and roughly painted the poster with watercolor, because it always works better that way,” Markovich said. “Talking a painting is like painting a lecture. It just doesn’t work out well.”
Markovich admits he wasn’t much of a hockey fan until he went to a Blackhawks home game with Arnold.
“What I really enjoyed was the apparent camaraderie. It’s different than at a ball game. I’m used to Wrigley Field. What I liked about the United Center is everybody sounded like they were from Chicago, which made me feel at home, of course, just like at Wrigley Field. There was no tension or angst. Everybody was in this great celebratory mood. I don’t know who we played, but we won.”
Markovich used team photos to finish the details before submitting the finished painting to Arnold and the Blackhawks. He says they loved it but had a few constructive critiques.
“One of the three said they felt they looked too snarky, and I asked somebody to define ‘looking snarky’ because it was from a team photo. And then one of the other players claimed they looked too young. I’m sure you can only guess that was Jon Toews. There’s nothing you can do. He’s going to be 95 and he’s going to look like he’s 18, but I did a little work. They were very happy with it.”
Markovich finished the painting just before the Stanley Cup playoffs started. He calls the timing a “happy accident.”
“I didn’t want to jinx anything. I couldn’t talk about the painting. I had it turned the other way in the studio. I went other places. I went on eBay. I didn’t want to have anything because I’d jinx it, and if they lost they’d blame me. It would be the spooky painting.”
The Blackhawks downed the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final in front of a sold-out United Center crowd to win their third championship in five years. Markovich and his son, Matt, will be signing copies this afternoon at the sold-out Chicago Blackhawks convention at the Hilton Chicago. Copies will be available soon through South Shore Arts of Munster or can be purchased directly from Markovich. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.