Artist and retired Deere worker David Anderson has spent the 2014 John Deere Classic capturing the crowds around the 18th hole on canvas.
From his stool beside the 18th green, Anderson uses oil paints to match the pros stroke for stroke.
“For a piece of artwork that you want to really reflect what the event is or the subject matter is, you need to be there,” said Anderson.
Anderson started his painting nearly a week-and-a-half ago, adding the trees, stands, and water. During the tournament, he worked to capture the crowds, kids and excitement of the event, as well as the JDC winner walking up on the green.
“With all your senses, no matter what it is — sight, sound, ya know… you just experience the event, and you try and put it down in what my medium is — oil paint. Trying to put what I feel in oil paint is the challenge,” said Anderson.
The quiet of Deere Run, though, is a stark contrast to the scenes he once painted.
Years ago, while still an art student in Chicago, Anderson was drafted into the Army. He opted to join the Marines, and eventually went to Vietnam as one of only five combat artists.
“We were totally unrestricted in what we painted. We thought they would say what we could and couldn’t paint, but we were free to do what we wanted,” said Anderson.
Anderson captured ambushes, evacuations, and images from base on canvas. Each month, artwork was shipped back to the United States.
“It was part of a tradition, and I felt like I didn’t waste my time in the military, and that I was actually doing something,” said Anderson.
Yet while the subject matter has changed since those days, Anderson’s goal while painting remains quite similar — even at the John Deere Classic.
“It’s a big event in the Quad Cities, ya know? And so, to try and capture that feeling, and hopefully have it so that people can say, ‘Yeah, I was there,’” said Anderson.
Anderson’s finished painting will eventually hang in the clubhouse at TPC Deere Run. He plans to sell various-sized prints as well, with 30 percent of the proceeds going to Birdies for Charity.