Stanley Grandon walked into the poker site at Motor City Casino in Detroit and observed an actual jerk at the $2-$5 desk – Steve Martin, that’s, star of basic comedies like The Jerk, Planes Trains and Automobiles, Parenthood, Father of the Bride, and quite a few different beloved movies.
Rather than peppering the comic with questions on showbiz, the two struck up a dialog about their shared love of artwork.
Martin and Grandon are each admirers and collectors of works by Eric Fischl, one among the nation’s main figurative painters who rose to prominence in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Both personal a few of his works and mentioned their love of work and poker.
However, an enormous hand quickly ended his brush with the comic. Grandon caught an enormous draw and couldn’t assist however chase it.
“I was sitting there for about a half hour and I made a stupid play,” he admitted. “I was chasing and pretty soon I had like $400 in the pot, and it never came. I lost and I left. My son said, ‘That was really stupid because you should have just talked to Steve Martin and invited him over because you have a big art collection and he’s an art collector.’ But I didn’t do that.”
While a little bit of a missed alternative, the expertise at the least mixed two of Grandon’s passions, and now the retired doctor and longtime painter has launched PokerFaceArt.com to share a few of his work with others.
Doctor’s Office to Race Track to Poker Table & More
A little bit of a renaissance man, Grandon likes to keep busy. A local of Detroit, Michigan, the 78-year-old labored as a number one ophthalmologist after receiving levels from the University of Michigan and Wayne State University. He practiced for 45 years earlier than retiring throughout the pandemic. Originally Grandon deliberate to develop into a standard doctor, however a foul again modified his plans.
“I was doing a summer program in neurosurgery,” he says. “Some of those operations take eight hours and at the end of eight hours of standing my back would hurt. In ophthalmology, you can be a surgeon but we sit down for all our procedures and look through a high-powered microscope.”
The ophthalmologist and poker participant even designed a specific lumbar supporting chair to use throughout surgical procedure, which continues to be manufactured at present. Grandon specialised in cataract and refractive surgical procedure, conducting as many as 50 operations every week. The physician was at the forefront in breakthroughs in radial keratotomy.
Grandon cherished the job, however had different passions too, together with proudly owning an newbie Porsche racing crew in addition to racehorses. Some hefty wagering on the golf course was additionally a part of his routine when not seeing sufferers.
He additionally loves poker. The curiosity got here in highschool and school in the late Nineteen Fifties and early ‘60s. He’d play video games like Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo with pals, by no means actually learning the recreation and admitting that he wasn’t that good.
When casinos opened in Michigan in the Nineteen Nineties, nevertheless, Grandon discovered a renewed curiosity in the recreation and started taking poker extra critically. Phil Gordon’s technique books turned significantly useful to his growth.
“At that time I could make quite a bit of money playing poker because nobody knew how to play,” he says. “So I started studying it like I studied medicine.”
Grandon turned an everyday on the match and money recreation scene in the Motor City, though a lot of his play now could be in native tournaments both in the Detroit space or in Boca Raton, Florida, the place he spends half the 12 months.
Along with poker, portray and drawing captured Grandon’s creativeness from an early age. A seventh-grade trainer as soon as advised his dad and mom that he was an “art genius” and mentioned the teenager ought to contemplate turning into an artist. His father dispelled the notion, arguing that painters don’t make a lot cash and that his son could be higher off turning into a health care provider.
Studying artwork could have passed by the wayside, however his love of placing brush to canvas didn’t.
“I’ve been painting and drawing all my life, just for fun,” he says. “I started taking it more seriously about five years ago. Now, since I’ve retired, I’m doing it full time because I always loved art and always loved gambling.”
His renewed curiosity in portray included artwork courses at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center and the Todd Burroughs Atelier Art Studio, amongst a number of. The work included portray human figures and Grandon determined to take that have and fuse two of his passions.
“I really love poker because I play two, three, four days a week,” says Grandon, who boasts one among Michigan’s largest artwork collections of works from the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. “I combined my love of painting models with poker playing, so in the last couple of years I’ve been doing poker paintings.”
Grandon paints in an expressionist type, meant to convey out emotion from viewers. Many of the topics of his works characteristic poker archetypes, participant pictures coming from his personal head or impressed by different gamers he could have seen at the tables. The characters are exaggerations, not meant to be practical.
“The whole idea of expressionism is that it elicits feelings,” he says. “They’re not supposed to be photorealistic.”
Poker can undoubtedly be a recreation of emotion and the artist believes that matches proper into his inventive pursuits. He’s now making an attempt to convey extra card taking part in to the canvas with hopes of turning into acknowledged as the “artist of poker.” The PokerFaceArt undertaking is the first step in sharing a few of his work and ardour with others poker-playing artwork aficionados.
“There are no paintings in the world that put the viewer at the poker table playing against players that are archetypes,” he says. “You’ve got guys who are in sunglasses, guys with funny hats – all sorts of characters. That’s one thing I love about poker, there are so many unusual and interesting characters.”
A self-professed adrenaline junkie, Grandon has not solely loved quick automobiles but in addition some epic downhill snowboarding. A bit later in life now, poker provides him a few of that adrenaline rush with out the risk of harm.
“Poker would increase my heart rate in a big hand,” he says, “and it would be going out in 120 beats a minute because it’s so exciting.”
For the Love of Poker
Grandon has discovered some success together with his artwork to date. One of his favourite items, “Big Stack, Little Stack,” includes a girl trying on glumly as she stares at the outcomes of her fortunes at the desk. The title of the work is a bit self-explanatory as she sits on a tiny stack of chips whereas her successful neighbor’s pile is herculean by comparability. Female gamers are a typical inspiration for Grandon.
“I like women players,” says Grandon, who has been married 55 years and has three grown sons. “There’s not that many of them and I think they’re interesting people because most women don’t play poker, and the ones that do can be quite good. That lady (that inspired the painting) was quite unhappy because she had a little tiny stack. It was in a tournament and the guy looked very self-satisfied. I knocked her out so she was unhappy and angry at me. But I liked the expressions on both of their faces.”
The portray received an award in a contest at the Burlini Studio of the Arts in Florida, which featured 100 entries. That expertise gave Grandon some added confidence in his Poker Face pursuits as a result of the award was voted on by different artists. He’s now reaching out to a good wider viewers. Perhaps a few of his work will likely be displayed amongst artwork lovers’ different works and even in a poker site. Maybe residence recreation gamers may place his work amongst different card-playing classics like the “Dogs Playing Poker” sequence.
After a profitable profession in ophthalmology, Grandon is providing a few of his paintings on the market. Some these gross sales will likely be geared towards philanthropic donations to eye clinics for the impoverished and uninsured.
“My ambition is to be the artist of poker because I’ve loved poker all my life, especially the last 25 years,” he says. “In order to become an important artist you have to do unique paintings. These paintings are unique.”