A portrait of Peter Finney commissioned by Nola Media Group, producers of Nola.com / The Times-Picayune as part of its tricentennial project, 300 for 300: People who make New Orleans, New Orleans. Part of the ongoing 300 for 300 project with the Times Picayune, honoring 300 New Orleanians over our 300 year history who have helped shape our city.
I chose a photo of Peter Finney to reference where he is caught in a candid smile, because on all accounts his disposition was remarkably optimistic, humorous and kind. I did not grow up in New Orleans, or even following sports for that matter. Therefore I didn’t grow up knowing about Finney, but all accounts I read in researching him were glowing, and I value the role that sports play in bringing people together. Finney seems to be a man who brought many people together and showed his expertise with care and humility. A collection of his best writing over a seventy year career is titled “The Best of Peter Finney, Legendary New Orleans Sportswriter.” For a man beloved by the Times Picayune and the general public in a city where sports play a large cultural role it seemed appropriate to decorate him with the title of Legendary, taken from his collected writings, and a delicate halo. I also read accounts that he was often one to poke fun of his age, so I included a fountain pen as a reference to his self-deprecating humor as I imagined him writing his articles by dipping an old fountain pen in ink. He was very fun to paint with that great smile of his. | Read full story |