TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The news of Coach Bobby Bowden's terminal illness continues to bring in reaction from across the country. Since his family's announcement, ABC 27 learned of plans that were already in the works to honor his life and legacy.
ABC 27 Sunrise Anchor Angela Green spoke exclusively with the artist behind the project.
Artist Steve Skipper's work has been featured all around the globe and in a documentary about his life, called "Colors of Character." His talents are so well known that he became the first African American Artist to do sanctioned and officially licensed work for several colleges and even NASCAR. In fact, he was personally chosen by Alabama's Nick Saban.
From his home in Birmingham, Alabama, Skipper explained that he was commissioned more than a year ago to feature Florida State University legend, Bobby Bowden.
Skipper said this time the assignment felt different and his inspiration came from a deeper connection.
"Being in the room with not only a hero, and an icon in his field but I think that my Christian faith and his Christian faith just met each other as brothers in Christ. It was just instantaneously inspirational, I was ready to go into the studio," he said.
Skipper made several trips to Tallahassee last summer, meeting in person with Coach Bowden and his wife Ann.
They went through thousands of pictures to select the images that will be used.
Those meetings took place during a time when the 91-year-old was already dealing with health issues.
"His mood never changes. He's always upbeat, no matter what's going on. No matter what the situation."
Skipper said Bowden continued to call and email him, with encouraging messages.
The full color, oil painting took more than 1,400 hours to finish and highlights moments in Bowden's long coaching career and his dedication to his faith and family.
The painting will be unveiled during the FSU vs. Notre Dame game scheduled for September 5. Limited Edition prints of the painting will be available.
You can find details on Skipper's website by clicking here.