Big League Stew - MLB

(Begin Rod Serling voice)

"Welcome to Night Stew Gallery. Tonight's oil-based offering originates from the palette of Tampa artist Justyn Farano. He paints portraits of athletes. Famous athletes. Athletes about whom you might read frequently right here."

(End Rod Serling voice)

Farano was onsite Tuesday at Charlie Crist's Governor's Baseball Dinner at Tropicana Field, where party guests were treated to the artist in the early stages of creating a piece on Tiger Woods. But already complete and ready to take home was a potrait of Rays infielder Evan Longoria, the reigning AL Rookie of the Year.

Titled "Unleashed," the detailed realism of Longoria's body and uniform are surrounded by some creepy Van Gogh-looking puffs of smoky light. Combining the bright lights and the fickle crowd, perhaps, into one blurry backdrop? The inclusion of the number "3" on the handle of Longoria's bat is a subtle but nice touch. The flexed muscles in Longoria's right forearm might be too much for the ladies to endure.

Longoria liked the art so much, he signed it, but no word if Farano is working on an oil of the West Coast Longoria. If he is waiting, why? Same goes for the portrait of Jonny Gomes sipping the celebratory beer that we in the Stew think he needs to paint.

(Hey, when does Yahoo! start its art blog? We're ready.)

"Unleashed" and other Farano works are available at SportsArtIllustrated.com, where he also shows off a series of stunning Mike Alstott portraits. Hey, he works in Tampa!

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