Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Flight 93 National Memorial fine art painting by Pittsburgh artist, Charles Ott.

Featured here is a painting I created of the Flight 93 National Memorial. The Flight 93 National Memorial is located near Shanksville, Pennsylvania at the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 which was hijacked in the September 11th attacks. The memorial was created to honor the passengers and crew of Flight 93 who heroically thwarted the terrorists in reaching their intended target which was likely the U.S. Capitol.

Steel City Artist Illustrations

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D-Day and the first wave of American soldiers to land in Normandy France on June 6, 1944.

I share this photograph from photographer, Robert F. Sargent onto my Facebook page every Memorial Day, but it is such a powerful image and it pretty much says it all. Imagine being an 18-20 yr.-old kid with your whole life ahead of you and heading into what must have seemed like hell on Earth. We have all seen “Saving Private Ryan” and these were the first soldiers to land on Omaha Beach in Normandy during WWII. They had to run across a beach the length of three football fields with thickets of barbed wire, 5,000 defensive obstacles and 20,000 land mines while dodging well fortified German positions. The Germans had five MG-42 gun turrets on Omaha Beach which fired 25 bullets a second, that is 125 bullets every second zig-zagging down on the beach, let alone all of the other artillery, grenades and gunfire. I don’t know how they did it, but they did and their courageous heroism changed the world as we know it. So much respect for these young men and what they had to endure. May they all rest in peace and know they will never be forgotten.

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NASA Marcury astronaut, John Glenn and Friendship 7 fine art painting by Pittsburgh artist, Charles Ott.Featured here is an illustration I created to commemorate John Glenn’s historic flight aboard Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962. Glenn’s flight took place on my late mother’s 12th birthday as he entered the orbit and returned an American hero. I remember my mother showing me a medallion which she received from President John F. Kennedy. At that time there was widespread interest in space exploration among children in schools across the country. Students were asked to submit a story regarding Mr. Glenn’s flight into space and her story was chosen as one of the favorites by the president. President Kennedy was devoted to NASA and adamant about landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

John Herschel Glenn, Jr. (born July 18, 1921) is a former United States Marine Corps pilot, astronaut and United States senator who was the first American to orbit the Earth and the third American in space. Glenn was a Marine Corps fighter pilot before joining NASA’s Mercury program as a member of NASA’s original astronaut group. He orbited the Earth in Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962. After retiring from NASA, he entered politics as a Democrat and represented Ohio in the United States Senate from 1974 to 1999. Glenn received a Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978. He was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990. On October 29, 1998, he became the oldest person to fly in space, and the only one to fly in both the Mercury and Space Shuttle programs when at age 77, he flew on Discovery STS-95.

Steel City Artist Illustrations

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"Washington's Return To Pittsburgh" fine art painting by Pittsburgh artist, Charles Ott.

In this painting and on this President’s Day, we look at one of the most prolific men in the history of our nation, George Washington. Before becoming our first president, George Washington spent much of his early military career here in southwestern Pennsylvania. I wanted to capture a scene of Washington on his horse of the place that bears his name overlooking the city he helped to shape and what it has become.

Washington’s first journey to western Pennsylvania was an expedition in the fall and winter of 1753-54 from Williamsburg, VA to Fort LeBoeuf (Erie). He faced the unknown of the wilderness and hostile fire on numerous occasions. One skirmish took place on the slopes of Chestnut Ridge in Fayette Co. There he clashed with French soldiers, providing the spark that ignited a worldwide “war for empire”. Locally it is known as the French & Indian War, but it ultimately involved France, Great Britain, Canada, Native American tribes, Spain, Germany, Prussia, Austria & India.

Washington recognized the strategic importance of building a fort at what is now Pittsburgh. The British created Fort Prince George in February, 1754 near the Point along the Monongahela River. No sooner had it been built when French forces arrived burning the British stockade and erecting Fort Duquesne. The French held Fort Duquesne until November, 1758 when a combined British and colonial force, including Colonel George Washington built Fort Pitt which became one of the most elaborate strongholds in North America.

Click the link below to the Pittsburgh Art section of my fine art website to purchase this colorful print for your Pittsburgh home honoring our city and country.

Steel City Artist Illustrations – Pittsburgh Art

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In January, 1959, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, J.P. “The Big Bopper”, Dion & the Belmonts, Frankie Sardo, Waylon Jennings, Tommy Allsup and Carl Bunch set out on a 24 day tour barnstorming the Midwest. It became the most infamous tour in rock-n-roll history. The tour was a complete catastrophe from the beginning. Shows zigzagged through several towns and states during one of the worst winters the Midwest had experienced in decades. The musicians crammed into a drafty bus to perform in small ballrooms and theatres. By the time the tour had come to the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa on February 2, 1959, Buddy Holly had enough and decided to charter a plane for himself, Allsup and Jennings for their next scheduled appearance in Fargo, North Dakota. At the last minute, Jennings gave up his seat to the “Big Bopper” who had the flu and Allsup lost his seat to Ritchie Valens with the flip of a coin. It was a night that burned bright with some of rock-n-roll’s greatest songs and brightest stars, but would ultimately end in tragedy. Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, the “Big Bopper” and pilot, Roger Peterson were all killed when their plane crashed shortly after take-off from nearby Mason City Municipal Airport. That day was forever immortalized as “The Day the Music Died” written by Don McLean in his 1972 anthem “American Pie”. For many, the tour and subsequent crash symbolically marked the end of a period of rock-n-roll, the innocence was forever lost.

Click the link below to the Celebrity Art section of my fine art website to purchase this limited edition print honoring three rock and roll music legends.

Steel City Artist Illustrations – Celebrity & Music Art

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This illustration I created is titled “Scout’s Honor” and recognizes the millions of Boy Scouts who each year place American flags on the graves of American soldiers nationwide each Memorial Day.

The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with over 4.5 million members. Since its founding in 1910 as part of the international Scout Movement, more than 110 million Americans have been members of the BSA.

The BSA goal is to train youth in responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programs, and, at older age levels, career-oriented programs in partnership with community organizations. For younger members, the Scout method is part of the program to inculcate typical Scouting values such as trustworthiness, good citizenship and outdoors skills through a variety of activities such as camping, aquatics, and hiking.

Click the link below to the Military Art section of my fine art website to purchase this print honoring our nation’s boy scouts and military veterans.

God bless America!

Steel City Artist Illustrations – Military Art

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RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner which sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912 after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City. The sinking of the Titanic caused the deaths of 1,514 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history. She was the largest ship afloat at the time of her maiden voyage. The Titanic was one of three Olympic class ocean liners operated by the White Star Line and built by the Harland & Wolff shipyard based out of Belfast, Ireland. The wreck of the Titanic remains on the seabed gradually disintegrating at a depth of 12,415 feet. Since the ship’s rediscovery in 1985 by Robert Ballard, thousands of artifacts have been recovered and put on display in museums worldwide. The Titanic has become one of the most famous ships in history. Her memory has been kept alive through numerous books, films, exhibits and memorials.

Steel City Artist Illustrations

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