John Isner’s Serve, Art by Jace McTier

The explosion of Isner’s serve has happened. Yellow pink green orange burst from the sky. We want to move a little closer or stand back in awe. McTier’s vibrant colors mix with our memories of Isner’s serve, his thrust up from his legs through his core back and shoulders toward the ridiculous height of 10 and ½ feet, a movement echoed and enhanced by the surge of brushstrokes behind Isner’s right arm.  

A thousand aces, a thousand aces, a thousand aces, a thousand aces. That’s how the years pass by.

When I need a good laugh, I watch the best players on the planet attempt to return John Isner’s serve. You have two options. Neither one good. You must make like a goalkeeper in soccer on penalty kicks and guess where the serve’s going or simply react and try to get a racquet on it as serves rocket towards you at different speeds–137 mph, 142, 126, 115, 157.2 (the official fastest serve on record),—the slower slice serves breaking further and further away from you the further back you stand. Some grow desperate, try the slip-on-the-banana-peel option: step way in and take the ball early. The result is the pros often look like beginners. The ball hits the frame. They shank one. This one doesn’t get to the net. One ball hits them. Swing and miss. Block a few back. Watch a few more go by.

From way up on high something comes our way. Yellow hinting gold surrounds John’s face like a secular halo, a hint of the divine. Jace McTier brings it all to life in strokes of color as dramatic as Isner’s serve.

Artist Bio of Jace McTier (from website): The son of renowned portrait artist, Lucy McTier, Jace McTier has held a paint brush in his hand from the age of eleven months. After accompanying his mom to deliver a portrait of Ronald Reagan (atop Reagan’s beautiful stallion, El Alemain) to the Oval Office as a 5 year old, Jace decided then and there to enter the world of art. Combining his portrait skills and his desire to visually interpret motion as well as emotion, Jace has been able to capture not only the likeness of the subject, but the intensity of sport as well.

Jace McTier’s first sporting painting was commissioned following the 1996 Equestrian Olympic trials in Thomson, Georgia. His first lithograph of a hunt scene, complete with twenty hounds and four horses and riders, benefited Easter Seals. Soon he was commissioned to paint a large landscape for the John Deere Corporation with 5000 limited edition prints- and he was well on his way as an established artist. Beginning at the age of 16, Jace was “knocking out” large oil commissions. 

Recently hailed as the next Leroy Neiman, McTier’s bold color and powerful use of impasto ranks him among today’s leading sporting artists. With work collected by such clients as Angelo Dundee and George Foreman to corporate commissions, his paintings benefit charities through the sale of his original work as well as print sales. A recent project includes a joint venture with the Press On Fund and Jack Nicklaus to aid in finding a cure for childhood cancer. Jace McTier’s art has been exhibited multiple times publicly along with Leroy Neiman’s original paintings.

To check out more great tennis art by Jace McTier, you can visit the McTier Art Website.

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