124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

Art of Golf: 'A little sense of whimsy'

January 17, 2012

Steve Sunenblick was a lawyer by trade and an aspiring artist, who, unbeknownst to most of those around him, attended the Maine College of Art from 1978 to 1984. "It was sort of the best kept secret in the community," he said. "Not many people knew I was doing it."

He also went away for a month every year to an art colony, the Vermont Studio Center in the foothills of the Green Mountains. "I thought I'd like to transition into doing this (art) full time," he said. "I had the skills, but probably didn't utilize them as much as I'd have liked while working."

Sunenblick, meanwhile, also was an avid golfer, who today has a handicap index of 9.0 at the Woodlands Club in Falmouth, Maine. He also plays at the Purpoodock Club in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. "I've been playing in the same foursomes for the better part of 20 years," he said.

Eventually, he made the transition to full-time artist and combined his passions, painting and golf, into a business, the Art of Golf, featuring "modern art for the golf enthusiast." Shown above is "Swing Elegance #1" from his newest collection.

His pieces, he said, "primariily came from the camaraderie of the guys I play with, all the laughing and jousting about and having a grand old good time. Of course, I also spend a lot of time on the range. I have a collection of buddies, fellow range rats, giving each other tips and pointers. Most of the paintings I think have a little sense of whimsy and humor. "

Sunenblick maintains studios in Portland, Maine, and San Miguel, Mexico, north of Mexico City, the latter a winter destination, where he plays a Nick Faldo-designed course, Ventanas San Miguel Golf and Resort.

Giclee prints of his work are available for $150.

-- John Strege