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Theo Fleury - The Painting of Theo - 1995 
Trevor Kidd

Tony Esposito

" Theo #14 "

This is a 22" x 28" acrylic on paper painting of Theo Fleury of the Calgary Flames

by Joe Versikaitis

The Original painting owned by Theo Fleury - 1996

 214 and 14 Artist Proofs prints signed by Theo Fleury and Joe are sold out

Thank you for your support

This is Theo and myself after a long 3 hours of signing of 214 prints

When I lived in Brooks I used to do the cartoons for a weekly newspaper called
" The Paper ". I did this cartoon when the Sheldon Kennedy story broke. I find it again coming back with a little different story...
The title of the cartoon is " Justice "...Graham James goes to jail to find buddy waiting for him with some cookies, a glass of milk, and flowers....Oh yeah you can't miss the lipstick and the I Love Men tattoo...

To read more on this story please continue to the bottom!

The Story of  " Theo 14 "

This all started with a long conversation with a gentleman by the name of Mike Franco - Calgary Flames sales and the painting of Trevor Kidd" Kidder". He was the one who informed me of where Trevor was going to be doing a signing in Calgary.

 After my meeting with Trevor, I had taken the piece to the Saddledome to show Trevor and then Theo had seen it.

 Theo's first words to me were " Where is mine?" But without having that initial conversation with Mike I don't believe any of this could of happened. Thanks Mike!!!

So after getting back home I quickly started on my quest to get the piece done. I remember receiving slides from Bruce Bennett studios out of New York. Then my wife, my best man Mike Laux and I sat for countless hours going through different shots. I was looking for a certain pose that I always seen Theo in. We had gone to several games and I studied his moves, stance, and his rituals.

It was just before a face-off pose where he was hunched over and with the intensity in his eyes that would send shivers down the spine of his opponents. It was that pose!

Mike and I found a few shots that we really liked and finally decided to work with them. The piece took 160 hours to complete. I couldn't wait to get it framed and go down to the Saddledome to show Theo.

The day that I took the painting down to the Saddledome, the flames were on the ice practising. I had to wait just outside of their dressing room. I put the painting down on the floor by the main entrance which was located just across from the entrance to the ice surface entrance.

If you can picture this, the one side of the corridor was where I was standing and about 15 feet from the that spot is the entrance to the ice surface. Now from the entrance to the ice surface there is a walk way that goes underneath the bleachers to the players bench and ice surface.

On this particular day the flames had a couple of chairs set up in the walk way. On these chairs there were half a dozen sticks and as the players walked by they would sign them.

As I was standing there waiting for Theo to come off the ice, there was this racket coming from the walk way. Then I heard the chairs and those stick being hit or kicked or something. Then there was this big burly guy that came through the entrance to the ice surface and what he did next was just baffling.

All you could hear was this swearing before the sticks went flying and then this guy , all I remember was his #3 comes in, stops, and stares at me and at the same time fixes his eyes on the painting of Theo. He looks back up at me to ask " Did you do that?" Then in a high pitched voice all I could mustard was " Yes!"

 I thought the this Tasmanian Devil just came through the doors is now admiring my art work.........cool!

Anyways he was pretty pissed off cause as soon as he walked by me and down the hall to their dressing room the blade of his stick that he just smashed up against the wall came flying by me and landed on the floor in front of me. Well that was interesting!

Once Theo came through and seen the piece he seemed delighted to see it. We talked about the process on what to do with the painting and hashed out a deal to get prints made. The rest as they say is history.

Theo and Joe go One on One

 Garth Hordenchuk - The Paper - Brooks, Alberta - December 16, 1996

 ​ I was in awe as I witnessed two professionals, each at the top of their game, share an experience that will last a lifetime. On December 9, the Calgary Flames Theoren Fleury and local sports artist Joe Versikaitis met at Sundog Printing Company in Calgary so Theo could autograph Joe's latest work of art " Theo 14" a 22 x 28 acrylic on paper painting. The limited edition print is a portrait of Theo in a game situation preparing to take a face off. ​

There is a bit of tension in the room as 4:pm rolled around and Theo hadn't shown up yet. His press agent, Ryan Griffin was there and explained that with the Flames recent loosing streak there have been a lot of extra team meetings. ​

 " The captain has been down and isn't taking loosing very well." To kill time Joe tried to cover his nervousness by making sure everything was just perfect. He straightened the same stack of prints about ten times.

 At 4:10pm Theo showed and his own nervousness as displayed, equalled that of Joe's. As Theo walked into the room he spotted the original work of art which as part of the business transaction, would be his to keep. The anticipation in his face immediately turned to approval as Joe's face went from worry to relief. ​

 "Wow! That's fantastic! It looks great!"

" You like it then?" Versikaitis asked.

 " Yeah, the detail is incredible! It really looks just like me!" ​

 The work of art is a colourful hand painted original done with a mixed media of acrylic and pastels. The 214 limited edition numbered prints are 16 x 22. There are also 14 artists proofs available. Each print is numbered and signed by the artist and his subject. " Theo #14 " is the second in series of Calgary Flames players that Joe has painted. The first was " Kidder#37", a print which is still available at local art stores or directly from from Versikaitis. " Kidder #37" features Calgary Flames goaltender Trevor Kidd. ​

 Joe has painted Bill Ranford when he was with the Edmonton Oilers and hall of fame netminder Ken Dryden was Joe's subject in a drawing called " Dryden #29". Although bothe of these works were autographed by the NHLers, neither has been presented for sale like " Theo #14" and " Kidder #37".

As the signing of the 214 prints took place, the conversation was light and casual between Joe, Theo, Josh - Theo's son who was along for the experience. The autograph session was often interrupted so the two men could pose for photographs. ​

 A very special moment came when Theo volunteered to pose for a shot with Joe and his family - wife Michele, son Miguel and daughter Jericka.

The more Theo looked at the art as he was signing it the more impressed he became with the detail. ​

 " I like this because he got my 5'oclock shadow and that doesn't happen very often."

 " The gloves! They're incredible! and the folds in the sweater! I can't imagine painting folds in a sweater. How much training have you had Joe?"

" Just junior High and High School art classes." ​

 Joe gives a lot of his credit for his ability to Mahen Patel, who he refers to as " his life long art Teacher." ​

" You can tell I'm missing a tooth without painting it, just by the wrinkle in my lip." Theo said. ​

 A neat transformation took place in that print shop in Calgary. Theo Fleury was in awe of Joe Versikaitis and his talent. This was obvious when Josh asked his dad how can people learn to do that.

Theos response " You don't learn it, it's a skill, a talent and a gift." ​ with each comment Theo looked at the framed original and you could see that although he liked the prints he took great pride in ownership of the original that would hang in his home. ​

So here was one of the greatest hockey player in the world sharing his experiences like winning the Stanley Cup or scoring from behind the net by banking it off Bill Ranford's head, an old Gretzky trick with our own local sports artist Joe Versikaitis. The Venezuelan born artist was living his dream to become an NHL artist. ​ True professionals are humbled by their own accomplishments while respecting the achievements of others who have excelled.

 I was fortunate enough to witness two true professionals showing each other the respect they both deserve. ​

" Theo #14" is a vailable at Avenida Art Gallery in Calgary and right here in Brooks at Frameways or Photographs by Drake.

Garth Hordenchuk - The Paper - December 16, 1996

Theo 14 for Fort Mac - 2016

As you all know, on May 1, 2016 a devastating forest fire ripped through the city of Fort McMurray and it soon engulfed most of the surrounding municipalities of Wood Buffalo. “ The Beast “ fire destroyed over 2400 homes and buildings. It forced the city of Fort McMurray to be a part of the largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta history.

On May 27, 2016 NHLer Theo Fleury - 1989 Stanley Cup and 2002 Olympic Gold medal winner and Alberta Sports Artist Joe Versikaitis signed 30 limited edition prints called Theo 14 for Fort Mac - 2016.

The first run of these prints were signed 20 years ago and now these 30 Limited Edition prints are to help with the fund-raising efforts for Fort McMurray and surrounding areas. Any revenue raised by these prints will go towards the victims and recovery efforts from ….“The Beast”….

“To the first responders and every firefighter who fought shoulder to shoulder on the front line of “ The Beast ” not only did you save the communities of Wood Buffalo, but you also saved Fort Mac…Thank you!”

Joe Versikaitis

May 27, 2016 picture of

 Theo Fleury during signing of Theo 14 for Fort Mac - 2016 ....

Only 30 prints were singed....

Thank you going out to:

Theo Fleury Dawn Roberts - TheoFleury14.com , United Way - Fort McMurray

Am 770 - Calgary, AB , Calgary Radio Bell Media - Calgary, AB

 Minuteman Press - Red Deer, AB , Pixx Imaging - Calgary, AB

Orange Line Publishing - Calgary, AB , New West Public Affairs - Calgary, AB

Evenbrite.com place2give Foundation , The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors

TransCanada Corporation , Cowboys Dance Hall - Calgary, AB

Barcelona Tavern - Calgary, AB , Versa-Line Services - Red Deer, AB

The Blind Monk Pub - Calgary, AB , Wild Rose Brewery - Calgary, AB

Aradia Fitness - Calgary, AB,  Frame Works - Custom Picture Framimg - Calgary, AB

Creative Avenues - Calgary, AB

This is my limited edition printing experience with  " Theo #14 "  came to life......

" Theo 14 for Fort Mac -2016 " is a limited edition print based from an original 22” x 28” acrylic paint on paper painting of Theo when he played for the Calgary Flames. The original painting is owned by Theo.

The process takes place at a printing shop where they use a 4 colour press ( C.M.Y.K.) Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black (K), white being the paper. To get the colours the printers create what is called a colour separation process. Where they take an image of the painting then using a computer they would split the image into the 4 colour filters.

The computer would then creates an image of the CMYK filters which were transferred to a mylar film. This mylar was then put on top of the aluminum plates which had a coating painted on them. The 2 pieces were put into a machine that would, through light processing, would burn that image on the aluminum plate. Once the coating had been washed off a mirror image ( backwards) would appear on the plate.

The printer and myself then decided how many prints we are going to make and the pressman would calculate how much ink to use.

When we start the printing process, we can go through a few pieces of paper, 10 to 20, before we get the correct colour or image that matches the original painting. I had the original there as the prints were being made to compare the prints. Once we decided that we had the correct mixtures of ink we started the printing process or run. After that, we had a bit more ink left over and continued printing 60 more prints ( Over runs ). Thats where we stopped.

After the prints were made back on December 9, 1996 Theo Fleury, Garth Hordenchuk - Owner of The Paper - Brooks, Alberta, my wife and our two kids, and myself sat in a room at Sundog printing - Calgary and signed 214 limited edition prints with 14 artist proofs. It took us three and half hours of straight signing. Read Garth Hordenchuk here " Theo 14 ".

From those 60 over runs prints I picked out the best ones and created 14 Artist Proofs ( Theo’s jersey number) these were similar to a collectors edition. Now the way the art market goes, Artist Proofs are worth more than the original run. Again because of the small amount of prints and they were hand picked by the artist.

From these 46 left over prints I picked out 30 of the best ones and Theo and I signed those. I drew the fireman’s helmet on it and numbered them . Again as the art market goes, because I added original material or re-touching the print ( pencil drawing of the Firemans helmet ) to the print this adds extra value to it. We created " Theo 14 for Fort Mac - 2016 " a run of 30 special prints.

The more prints you create the less the value. So when artist create thousands of prints the value decreases. There is a famous wildlife artist whoran into issues when his publishers created limited edition prints of his work in the tens of thousands. This decreased the value of his print work so much that his prints were well.. dubious!

This is why we created a 30 print edition which means there isn’t many around and this will give " Theo 14 for Fort Mac - 2016 " more value. In saying that, Number one will always hold more value than number 2 and so on. But number 30 it’s the last one but it holds the same amount of value as number one..LOL Market talk..Of course print number 14 will be worth a lot more than any of its counterpart to the right collector….

Thats why people who bid on these prints look at what the number is, who the artist is and what is the subject. The subject, is a painting and print endorsed by NHLer, Stanley Cup and Olympic Gold medal winner, and…Author of 4 books - Theo Fleury. These and along with his signature is what gives the prints their value.

A little bit too much info probably but thats basically how these are made. There is a huge difference between a photo and a limited edition print based from an original painting rendered by an artist. The artist, the subject and the story on the painting adding the story of the printing process is what gives limited edition prints true value to a collector.

Now a days, re productions of art work is being printed on canvas which give the image extra value because canvas will last longer than paper.

Limited Edition Prints

The terms limited edition, and variants such as deluxe edition, collector's edition or expanded edition, are used as a marketing incentive for various kinds of products, originally published products related to the arts, such as books, prints, video games or recorded music and films. Now a days these terms are including cars, fine wine, and whisky, among other products.

Limited edition prints, also known as LES, have been standard in printmaking from the nineteenth century onwards. A limit to the print run is crucial, as many traditional printmaking techniques can only produce a limited number of best quality impressions. A limited edition is restricted in the number of copies produced, although in fact the number may be very low or very high.

This can be as few as ten or twenty for a technique like dry point, but more commonly would be in the low hundreds. The print runs of over a thousand are regarded as dubious by the serious art market for original prints, even though with many techniques there is no loss of quality.

As in other fields, the use of the concept has become largely driven by marketing imperatives, and has been misused in parts of the market. In particular, lithographic, photogravure, rotogravure, and giclee reproductions of prints, derived from photographs of an original print, which are most unlikely to have any investment value, are often issued in limited editions implying that they will have such value.

These need to be distinguished from the original artist's print, carefully produced directly from his work, and printed under the artist's supervision.

Many great European artists, such as Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt, and Francisco Goya, were dedicated printmakers. In their own day, their international reputations largely came from their prints, which were spread far more widely than their paintings. Influences between artists were also mainly transmitted beyond a single city by prints, for the same reason. Today, thanks to colour photo reproductions, and public galleries, their paintings are much better known, whilst their prints are only rarely exhibited, for conservation reasons.

The creation of  " Theo #14 "ont>

Here's how it was done and in about 40 seconds this Flash presentation will appear.

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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