Yelenak describes the steps taken to create the
Work began on the poster in the summer
of 1996. The concept for the painting, which came from the
Race Director, Guy Morse, was to show the start of the first Boston
Marathon in 1897, contrasted with the finish of the 1997 race.
It will be titled "The Second Century."
Researching the 1897 start necessitated
a visit to the Ashland Historical Society which is about a mile
from the first starting line. Historian Dick Fanon gave me
a tour of the site, including the remnants of Metcalfe's Mill and
it's surroundings. The key piece of information I drew from
this visit was the proximity of the railroad to the starting line.
Many people traveled to the first start from Boston by way
of the Boston & Albany Railroad. A steam engine
would be an interesting element to suggest the time period.
No pictures are known to exist of that
first race. The Ashland Historical Society did have photos
of later races which I referenced for period details, such as clothing
and bicycles. The New Haven Historical Society also provided
information on turn of the century fashions for the spectators.
To explore different concepts, I also
visited and photographed Wellesley College and the Heartbreak Hill
area. I wanted to give the BAA a choice of designs for the
poster. I finally settled on two designs and produced a detailed
color sketch of each.
Click on a sketch to view
a large, detailed image.
1897 Start/1997 Finish
The BAA approved the 1897/1997 sketch
with some minor changes, and I was given two weeks to create the final
painting. This may seem like a tight schedule in which to work.
As a freelance artist, most of my assignments are needed in considerably
less time. This deadline was a comfortable one.
The Base Drawing
My plan for the final version was to
first produce a very accurate and detailed base drawing. Starting
from an accurate drawing and "loosening up" when painting the watercolors
over it, would give me a nice combination of gesture and precision.
After the watercolors dry, the pencil drawing is erased.
This the top part of the base
the 1897 start.
Click on the image for a large
The Final Painting
The final watercolor painting was completed
in approximately 100 hours.
Details from the painting.
The painting has been reproduced as
an art poster and as a lithograph. Email us at email@example.com
for ordering information.
An Artist's Remarque
Lithographs will be available with
a special artist's remarque, an original watercolor sketch painted
by the artist in the margin of the lithograph.
Visit his studio
where Andrew Yelenak discusses another of his marathon lithographs,
"Billy's Breakthrough." It's a very
detailed painting of Bill Rodgers' first
victory at Boston in 1975.