Friendly Encounters is a weekly series about friends of mine who have met celebrities.
Sara Moulton was a standout pitcher for the University of Minnesota and the Chicago Bandits. Currently, Sara (with Michelle Harrison) owns and operates Strike Zone Sports, a premier fastpitch softball training center in Minnesota.
I have been a fan and friend of Sara's since I met her while I was covering the Bandits. Sara is a perfect example of the quality of women athletes on the Bandits and in National Pro Fastpitch. She's a fierce competitor on the field, is great with the fans all of the time and is simply a real gem all around.
Ordinarily, I discover artists at comic con, but this time I discovered a great one through Sara. Like Sara, Rebecca Oberle is a winner! When I saw the painting Rebecca did of Sara, I had to contact her to find out more about her and she was kind enough to answer my questions.
Rebecca on her artistic beginning:
I started doing art when I was a little girl. I drew with pencil and colored pencil mostly. I studied graphic design in college and graduated with a degree in design, but did quite a few classes in fine art. One of which was painting, 3 classes in drawing and 3 in pottery. Painting wasn't on my radar for quite some time. I have done more on the graphic design side and cake design and some drawing. Painting just really started becoming more of interest to me about 2 years ago. I have been hooked ever since.
Rebecca on why she chose to paint Sara:
I wanted to get a portfolio going for my painting so I could have some things to show. I thought how awesome it would be to start in the sports world and what better person to paint than Sara! She is my daughters pitching coach and we click. I figured it would be a great piece to showcase in my portfolio for the sports people and to be honest, I'm crazy about sports and it's one of my favorite avenues to paint things of. I thought it would look neat in her Strike Zone Sports building that she owns and show case who she is to those walking in. I want to see more of "who she is" when I walk in the door. She has a lot to brag about.
I have been thinking of painting Sara for quite a few months now and never told her. However, once I started the painting, I couldn't keep a secret. I was too excited. So I posted the start of the painting on IG and FB and told her to check my page out. She did and knew it was her right away. Was so fun seeing her reaction both then over text message but ever more so in person.
Rebecca on current/future projects:
I have 5 paintings going as we speak. (A horse, a Springer dog, Football, vintage lady, a little girl) But I have a list of about 8 on the back burner that will be for Christmas gifts coming up and a couple more of my nephew to do as well. My nephew has played for the USA National Football team 2 years in a row and now is invited to play for NIKE and soon will commit to a D1 school so I have three of him on my project list. I am currently doing a USA one for him. (see attached pic) I also have a hockey goalie painting coming up possibly soon.
In addition to the Sara painting, Rebecca has many other finished spectacular creations. The Sara painting was merely my introduction to Rebecca's work. Through email and social media, I have seen a lot of her other work (paintings and cakes).
Please check out my other story on Rebecca on the Patch.com at Introducing Rebecca Oberle - Artist and Designer, which includes a few more pictures of her works. I am sure you will be as fascinated as I have been.
Much like the Sara painting was a labor of love for Rebecca, writing these two pieces was a pleasure for me. Creators like Rebecca deserve to have their work seen by as many eyes as possible.
I want to thank Rebecca and Sara for sharing this experience with me and my readers. I hope that Rebecca will update me occasionally on new and interesting projects. Until then, I'll be following her on RebeccaOberle.com, Rebecca Oberle - Artist and Designer on Facebook and Rebecca Oberle on twitter.
Sara Moulton and Rebecca Oberle in Minnesota-March 2018.