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Bill Ranford - The Painting of Ranford - 1993 
Bill Smith

The Rivalry

"Ranford "

This is an 22" x 28" mixed media of Bill Ranford - 1993

When he played for the Edmonton Oilers from 1987-96
signed by Bill Randford
Copyright by Joe Versikaitis

On September 5, 1994 this painting was signed by Bill Ranford  The middle person is Bill's dad and personal trainer. Im the guy that just got out of jail! ...lol.

The meaning of mixed media is the use of different materials to accomplish the end project.In this case about the only thing I didn't put in was the kitchen sink....

I used color pastels, pencil crayon, graphite pencils and acrylic paint. I was inspired to go back to using chalk pastels and pencil crayon after reading a book by Bernard Poulin. Poulin an accomplished world artist and author, has a book called " The Complete Colored Pencil Book". This book illustrates the various techniques and applications of using pencil crayon to create your master piece.

Ranford won his first Stanley Cup in 1988 as the backup to Grant Fuhr. In 1990 and with constant comparisons to the injured Fuhr, Ranford emerged as a first-rate goaltender, leading the Oilers to the Stanley Cup and winning the Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP) in the process. It was the last Cup that the Edmonton Oilers dynasty would win. Ranford went on to play the next six seasons in Edmonton before being dealt back to the Boston Bruins on January 11, 1996.

While watching the Oilers I started to study Bill Ranford. He was a lanky kinda of player. I found myself recording the games and then stopping the play to draw out a pose. It was pretty grainy images coming from the Tv.

I found a few shots in magazine and decided to pursuit this pose.

It was the spring of 1993, at that time I was taking art courses at the Medicine Hat College and I remember one of my art teachers there, who himself a huge Oilers fan persuading me to try working out a deal with Ranford to create limited edition prints. Back then I didn't have a clue about prints. Not to mention how to approach players to ask for such a thing.

 I did my homework and I found out what limited edition were all about. I also found where Bill was doing a hockey school which was in Sylvan Lake, AB.

Well, I went up there while the school was in the last weekend and I began to ask people how I could get my painting signed by Bill. People pointed to ask his personal trainer who was his dad.  I got the opportunity to talk to his dad and when he seen the piece he immediately went and got Bills mom who was somewhere else in the arena.

I told him of my intentions and he told me to talk to his agent John Huckle.Bill finally came over to have a look at this piece. I remember Bill standing on the ice looking through the glass at my painting. Then opening the gate to come over to sign the piece. I also had a letter to give to him stating my idea on creating limited edition prints.

It took a few months but I finally got a hold of John Huckle and we worked on different ideas. It was a lengthy process because at that the only way could communicate with John was sending him letters, calling to talk to him.  I remember going to meet with John but only a couple of times. It was a 5 hour drive from Brooks to Edmonton and I couldn't afford to just drive up to Edmonton for a meeting to talk to John.

We finally agreed to creating prints. I remember getting the phone cal from John stating to go ahead and get the process going for the prints. We were getting a sponsor to pay for the prints. That was so exciting. It was a lot of work and this whole process took a little better than 2 years.

I had everything ready to go  the printer lined up, the marketing in place, the sponsorship agreement, and the agreement for John and Bill to sign. Then came the phone call from John on January 10th to mention that Bill was being traded to Boston the next day. So everything just crashed. I remember throwing the painting on the floor in my basement and having the glass break. It wasn't a good day at all. Fortunatly there was no damage to the piece.

This was one of those times where life threw me a few too many curve balls and I just striked out.

If you have any questions on the this or any other paintings please click 'contact' and we will be happy to provide you with any information we can.

Thank you and I really appreciate your visit. I hope you enjoy viewing and reading about " Bill "

Joe Versikaitis

Image taken Nov 11, 1994 a few month after Ranford signed it. Pretty young looking kid then at 22...lol

All works are under the Canadian Copyrights Law. Any reproduction in part or whole without the written consent is strictly prohibited

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