A self-taught Stoney Creek artist is issuing a challenge to hockey tough guy Don Cherry: autograph a stencilled frosted portrait and he'll donate the proceeds from its sale to a local charity.
Andrew Haines, a retired former City of Hamilton bus driver who's making a name for himself in the art world, put 400 hours into creating the one-of-a-kind Cherry piece for a series he's doing on Canadian legends.
"You cannot think about hockey without thinking about Canada and eventually thinking about Don Cherry," Haines said.
Haines would like to donate the proceeds of the sale of his work to a local charity if he can get the Hockey Night in Canada icon to sign the portrait. He estimates the work as it is now would retail for $6,000.
"When it comes to charities though Don Cherry's the man - he's dedicated his life to helping kids get into playing hockey."
The portrait was made by sandblasting several layers of stencils onto a half-metre by one-metre tinted glass pane. The technique is known as frosting and each stencil is carefully cut by hand using a craft knife blade.
'He's got a drawable face,' artist says
Haines said he finds the CBC Hockey Night in Canada commentator's facial features both unique and challenging to capture.
"He's got a drawable face and he's got a lot of character in that face," Haines said. "If you cover half his face up he looks like a nice guy, like a grandpa, and if you cover up the other side he looks like a hockey coach about to bust your chops."
The 48-year-old got his start a little over 10 years ago when he left a job at the City and purchased a large-scale 54 inch printer to start-up a bumper sticker business.
Experimenting led to him using the printer to create his first stencil from print vinyl and subsequent frosting of Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.
But while Haines's work has never been shown in a Hamilton gallery, some local residents might recognize his portrait frosting of the late Lincoln Alexander which was displayed at City Hall after his passing in 2012.
The South African Consulate in Toronto has also offered to purchase a portrait of Nelson Mandela after seeing it at a memorial in Hamilton a few months ago. Haines said he's so honoured by the request he plans to deliver it personally to them on Mandela's birthday next month.