ROCK V STONE COLD: Rob Schamberger Newsletter 25JUN23
The microphone explodes, shattering the molds.
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Hi. My name's Rob Schamberger. I'm that guy who paints rasslers. And other stuff. They don't gotta burn the books, they just remove 'em.
The Rock. Stone Cold Steve Austin. Wrestling Landscape. This is a very important painting to me on several levels. Obviously, Rock and Austin are two of the biggest stars that WWE has ever seen and the times that they squared off in the squared circle are properly monumental. Because of that, because of how they pushed themselves and one another, I wanted to push myself as an artist on this piece.
I felt like my Wrestling Landscape paintings weren’t as expressive as I wanted them to be, and through learning about the process of glazing with acrylic paints I could get closer to that expressiveness. Whether it be the abstract nature of the top of the painting, the hazy crowd, the perception of depth that creates, the way that the ring canvas looks properly textural, and the way Rock and Austin are popping right off the composition by simply standing there, it all comes together and takes my work up another level.
Personally and emotionally, I started this painting while our cat Korma was still with us, working on it during my last day with him, and later becoming the first painting I finished with our new kitten Tikka by my side. It creates a sense of continuity in my life and is beautiful in a way that will forever elevate it in my eyes and in my heart.
‘Founding Member Tier’ subscribers will automatically get a hand-remarqued version of this print, where I’m going to paint directly on the print. This is an exclusive and not available anywhere else and not something you can buy. The Founding Member tier is $200 for a year and you’ll get at least four of these, in addition to all of the other paid membership perks. That’s at least a $400 value and you get a minimum FOUR original paintings each year. Not bad!
Here’s what the last hand-remarqued prints looked like, for reference.
ICYMI, here's last week's Canvas 2 Canvas episode. Today’s episode will go up on WWE's YouTube channel at 3PM CST!
7/9 - Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn. I’m in the midst of painting this and it’s going to be a fun one!
7/23 - Pretty Deadly
Card subject to change.
I’m leaning towards the next Wrestling Landscape painting being a Triple H WrestleMania entrance where I can go full Frank Frazetta.
WHAT I LIKED LAST WEEK
I was eagerly anticipating Night Fever by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips and Jacob Phillips and as this crew always does, it exceeded all of my very high expectations. It’s a sort of heavy noir take on Eyes Wide Shut, where an American book publisher is in France for an event and finds himself swept up in a few nights of sex, drugs, assassination and maybe aliens. Sean and Jacob Phillips are producing some of the very best comics art in the world right now and it’s thrilling to watch them excel.
I don’t know that I would say I ‘liked’ watching Shiny Happy People, but I definitely couldn’t stop watching it once I started. I grew up in Lee’s Summit, MO, the town that the 2006 documentary ‘Jesus Camp’ was shot in, so I’m very familiar with fundamentalists. It’s hard to live there and not have some sort of close relation with people existing in that world. Watching the show, I wasn’t really in disbelief by all of the twists and turns but instead nodding my head, like, of course it turned out that way.
Speaking of, how about the new season of The Righteous Gemstones? I can’t get enough of these whackadoodles and their grifting. Also: I hope John Goodman is in the next Fast and Furious movie.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season Two Episode Two is beautiful and perfect. I’m of the mind that the best science fiction is when it’s a mirror held up to our own current society, using aliens or robots or whatnot to comment on pressing social issues in a way that may not get through if you’re directly talking about those topics. Star Trek has consistently excelled at that throughout the history of the franchise and this episode continues that tradition in a bold way. One of the characters outs herself so that she can live as her true authentic self, and it leads to division among the ranks and Starfleet looking to prosecute her for simply being herself.
Sounds familiar, right?
It’s not a happy ending, but it is ultimately an optimistic one. As someone who finally started publicly living as my true authentic self about a year ago, this episode resonated with me in a big way. It spoke truth.
Here’s an episode of The Midnight Special with a very young Steve Martin, so new in his career that he was the opening act for The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and the crowd had no idea who he was. Can you imagine experiencing Steve Martin with no idea of what you were about to witness?
Friday night I was part of a group show at Art School KC. It’s always a pleasure speaking with people in person about my process and story. I had two of the Wrestling Landscape paintings displayed along with the first four Hawaii paintings.
I haven’t done a gallery show in years, mostly because I don’t seek them out (it’s a weird fit) and they don’t seek me out, either. But Diana and Allen Rendell, who run Art School, are friends and it was kind of them to ask me to participate. It was also fun exhibiting about 5 blocks from the house where I grew up, and having my childhood best friend Brandon come by to take a look.
I used to try to justify my existence in those spaces (in any space, honestly), feeling that I wasn’t valid and that no one accepted me there. And when I say “used to” I mean until about a year or less ago. I was looking for the acceptance I didn’t get in my youth but also feeling like I wasn’t worthy of it. That’s a tough paradox, causing me to reject anyone who accepted me.
But it was nice at this show, just hanging out and chatting with the other artists, my friends, and the people who came through to look at the art. I just enjoyed the moment and am thankful to every person who accepts me, that I get to do this for a living.
Love you more,
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