Sunday, November 26, 2006

Stallion Showcase

A pic of my exhibit space at the Florida Thoroughbred Farm Managers "Stallion Showcase and Equine Trade Show". The weather was perfect and I got to catch up with lots of my horsey and artists friends that I haven't seen for awhile.

View from another angle showing my merchandise table which is quickly depleting. Michael is committing to helping me keep up with the inventory of small-end items. I can't believe I'm almost completely out of t-shirts, mousepads, etc.

When working a show like this, I don't get to see much as I'm busy in my space. I did get out a few minutes to get these photos of Denise Boudrot Hopkins preparing for her comedy racehorse skit. Michael and I knew Denise way back when she was the first leading female jockey riding in New England.

Here's Carole Fletcher with her Peruvian stallion Magnifico. He's just gorgeous and performs elegant "tricks". I think I prefer to call them "movements" as he brings music to mind with such grace. Magnifico has recently been immortalized into a Breyer's model horse!

Tomorrow I'm Kentucky-bound to deliver a painting to Cross Gate Gallery. I was invited by Catherine Ladd to participate in a traveling exhibition of foxhunting artwork. I'm very excited about this and looking forward to it.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Stallion Parade

Tomorrow I'm exhibiting at the Florida Farm Managers "Parade of Stallions and Equine Trade Show" here in Ocala. This is A "Not for Profit", Educational and Charitable Organization that does fabulous work. Every year the thoroughbred stallions come out to strut their stuff and there are usually other equine entertainers in the lineup. A silent auction fundraiser offers stallion seasons, gifts, products, services etc. The trade show continues to increase in size with a diverse variety of cool horsey stuff. If you're in Ocala and plan on attending, (oh, and it's free and open to the public) please stop by my exhibit in the big tent and say hi. The timing is perfect with holiday gift giving in mind!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Maggie's race injury is almost completely healed. She never walked sore, it was just painful to the touch. Michael hosed her and did her up in sweats daily. The cold weather is making all the horses incredibly frisky and here, Maggie is poised to explode sideways!

I have so much to be grateful for this year. I've picked up three new galleries - in Aiken, SC, Lexington, KY, and Hot Springs, AR and another in negotiation. I've got terrific clients and friends who support me not only with my artwork but with my career efforts. The work itself is in breakthrough mode. I've been wanting to push this envelope and it's really working. Big! Bigger and bigger! Outgrowing the workspace. Getting out of the studio more to meet and mingle is another goal I'm accomplishing. The website re-do looks terrific thanks to the talents of Angee Chase of Webwrx. Another mural commission is on the horizon for 2007. Lots of travel for shows and promo is in the mix. I'll blog closer to New Year's with a list of intentions for the year. Paintings are all over the place and Michael is organizing a group exhibit of equine art at the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners Association for January. He's attracting some strong talent for this one, more on that when it's a done deal.

So thank you Universe for all my blessings. I'm so thankful for all the good in my life now.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


I believe that race horses run to their names. Consider the names of the big horses this year - Invasor - Barbaro - Bandolini - Lava Man - Gorella. Strong, no-nonsense, in-your-face, powerful names. I just looked over the result charts at Calder for today and I see horses named Chip In A Chair? - Zoobstick? Please.

Maggie is the nickname for Seeking First. Nicknames evolve naturally in accordance with an revealing personality. The character Maggie in the movie "Million Dollar Baby" was a tenacious female prizefighter. Our Maggie walks over people, ever ready, poised to go in a dogged determination whenever approached to train or just go outside. The halter is presented, Maggie is on her way.

In her race last week, Maggie was almost knocked down by the inside horse. She and her rider checked sharply and ended up last by many lengths. She endured this nasty rap, this bruise on her shin and still ran on to finish a very close third. Heart and courage.

Maggie's boo boo. A slight cut, lots of swelling, painful to the touch. Yet she is still jumping and playing around the barn. Resilience.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Another Update

I've finished three canvases for the multi-canvas project. Only six more to go! Due to the holiday commission crunch time, the project will be set aside for several weeks.

I pulled apart these two canvases and I'm surprised that the gesso is sticking together on the sides. It easily separated when I ran my palette knife between them but it's another perplexing challenge that's a first for me. Now that the image and the application of paint is beginning to take shape, I'm very happy with the direction this is all going. And speaking of paint application, I'm really stepping out of the box with this one. Lots of luscious thick paint applied with brush and palette knife, scraped down, thinned, layered upon layer, scumbled and I have to resist the urge to eat it! Paint for paintings sake.

Maggie finished 3rd at Calder this afternoon (a.k.a. Seeking First). I didn't go down to Miami with Michael as the studio is getting busy. I watched her race on satellite and it appeared that she was badly impeded by the inside horse which caused her to check and drop way back of the pack, maybe 20 lengths. She was totally off the TV screen until a few yards before the wire and then there she was coming on like a freight train! She was in a photo for second, getting beat for everything only about a length and a half. Good girl!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Maggie's In

Maggie's in the 5th race on Thursday at Calder. (a.k.a. Seeking First) I made a little video of her returning after a half mile workout last Saturday but I'm having trouble posting it since switching over to Blogger Beta. I hope they resolve this issue quickly as I love having it right in the blog. If you'd like to see it you can go to Video Google here. Even YouTube won't post it in beta. As usual, I'm bugging the help with my incessant photographing/videoing.

I was commissioned to paint this large canvas, 7'x10'. The clients came to see it this past weekend and were very pleased with the results. What a relief. I'm keeping it in the studio as their home is being extensively renovated. I don't mind, I get to show it to other clients.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Best of the Season

Last night I attended the opening reception for the "Best of the Season" exhibit hosted by the Brick City Artists Association at Central Florida Community College. I juried in with this little acrylic and gold leaf horse head that I tried to sell on eBay. (no more ebay until I learn more about it) The gallery is located at the Webber Center on campus and it's a beautiful space with it's own ambiance. They hung my piece on an end dividing wall by itself and it looked exceptional. I found out today that the theater lighting pro also lights the art exhibits and it looked it. Gorgeous!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Walking Ring

This is one of the paintings that's hanging in the conference room at Farm Credit of North Florida. It was on the cover of the Ocala Breeders Sales Fall Mixed Sale in 2001. I'm surprised that it never sold or was purchased by the powers that be at OBS. It's a light-filled painting with sunshine filtering through the oaks onto the back of the chestnut horse in the foreground. So, I pulled it out of the rack and it looks lovely on their wall.

Don Dean of FCNF writes and produces their quarterly magazine and visited the studio to interview me last week. We had an intriguing conversation which I considered most thought-provoking. He was especially interested in my current multi-canvas project and asked very relevant questions about it. These viable questions challenged my ability to explain my processes and intentions which turned out to be an invaluable exercise for me. Thank you Don!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Update on Multi-Canvas Project

Added another smaller canvas to the right side. This project is fraught (love that word) with technical challenges. When I attached the new canvas it became evident how much the wooden stretcher bars had bowed. They're heavy duty and braced - still they bow. It isn't noticeable until placed up against each other, then a sliver of daylight peeks through. Now I'm wondering about every canvas I've ever stretched. I'm sure our Florida humid weather contributes. I clamped the canvases together tightly with several C-clamps and I think the wood is relaxing into it's original straightness.

Here's the bottom canvas that I leaned up against the easel to get an idea of the scale and direction all this is headed. I'm still concerned with the weight and I won't be able to assemble it in my small studio. My neighbor visited to see what I was working on and he offered his pool house to use as an alternate workspace. Damn considerate of him but the ceilings are still only nine foot like mine.

Things are happening everyday. I received an invitation to participate in a traveling exhibit hosted by Cross Gate Gallery in Lexington, Kentucky. Very prestigious, upscale gallery featuring sporting art. The exhibit will consist of foxhunting artwork.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Breeders' Cup

I spent all of Saturday afternoon, for six hours or more watching the Breeders' Cup like the rest of the racing world. I admit my participation is mostly self-serving in keeping an eye on the events of my clients/potential clients. Interesting to note the circles of direction racing takes, i.e. who's hot, not, rising stars, fading stars, frustrated stars, etc. I found the interview with the owners of Lava Man to be particularly interesting. Can't remember which partner (Dave Kenly or Jason Wood, pardon me gentlemen) waxing philosophical about their rare fortune to claim their "blue collar" horse for $50,000, when indeed, the huge majority of such claims are lucky to yield a resultant $10,000 horse or less. Now there's a realistic investor.

Congratulations to trainer Doug O'Neill. Many years ago when Michael and I had a small stable at Bay Meadows, Doug had one horse right next to ours. He came to the barn very early to get his one horse out and then had to leave to work a job as a cable TV installer. Success could not have happened to nicer, classier guy.