Sunday, October 28, 2007


I'm getting over it. Street Sense got beat and I'll have some schmoozing to do. Forget about the reproductions unless I can interest Darley Stud where the boy's headed. The original should sell when the horse people roll back into Hot Springs in January. This is why I don't care to do fans have such short memories.

ocala art festivalWe've had some dreary weather in Ocala for the last few days but the rain held off bringing out the crowds for the Ocala Arts Festival.

landscape paintingArtist Mary Verrandeaux has a great looking booth showcasing her vivid, appealing landscapes. She's also a friend and OoHA member. I admire her professional efforts and big thinking. A career to watch and follow...

florida landscapeTwo more OoHA members: Jackie Schindehette and equine artist Moe Hahn in Jackie's booth. Jackie paints lovely Florida landscapes in oil and is incredibly successful with the outdoor festival circuit. Moe and I are great buddies commiserating together about the fickle world of equine art.

infrared photographyPhotographer extraordinaire Kent Weakley creates amazing works of art utilizing infrared film techniques. Atmospheric and haunting in a evocative way.

dogs in artDid you know dogs love art festivals?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Selling Out

There's marketing and then there's crappy overwrought commercialism. Any mention to this year's Kentucky Derby must (apparently) be referenced in print media as: "Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1)". Wonder how the blue bloods feel about this. And now, any indication to the world-wide, global Breeders' Cup Classic must be referred to as: "Breeders’ Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (G1)". Where's the tradition, purity, integrity?

Those who know me are aware of my intentions to learn marketing, branding, self-publicity and promotion during this past year or so, in spite of my left-brained preponderance. It just seems cheesy for America's top races and be soooo beholden to corporate sponsors.

Okay, I'm ranting again. Humor me. This afternoon I watched a caterer win the filly and mare sprint (sorry Oprah), Nownownow do it without cobra venom (we can only assume), and the son of the giant killer carry on the tradition. I've been in the studio slapping paint on canvas all week in anticipation of an afternoon of beer and munchies tomorrow. Oh, and speaking of paint, what artist lives and breathes horse racing and is an intrepid ambassador to the sport? What artist has done more to promote horse racing, has lived the life from hotwalker to racing official more than moi? HUH? So, I'm perusing the Breeders' Cup website today and what do I stumble artist giving a painting away in exchange for publicity! Humongous publicity! Oh yeah, for charity. Is this what I have to do to get noticed by the marketing departments of various race tracks, organizations and/or corporate sponsors? One would think they'd take advantage of such an aficionada, fanatic, devotee, enthusiast, addict, groupie, supporter, admirer and...buff! And a former owner/trainer, damn it!

I'll put my work up to anyone's anytime.
An exciting and glorious day of Breeders' Cup racing to all...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Reception at Fayette Gallery

Road trips. Gotta luv 'em. You'd think I'd be used to them by now and well, I am, it's just that it takes me longer to recover from the grind.

Fayette GalleryMy reception at Fayette Gallery in Lexington, Kentucky last Friday night was lovely. Owners Jenny and Ron went over the top with publicity and the party itself.

equine artI'm pointing out details in my original "Off the Rail" which depicts morning training at Monmouth Park. Everyone has a different guess as to which race track it is. I was sure to impress that Monmouth is hosting the Breeders' Cup races but there were not bites - yet.

thoroughbred racingMichael is engaged in an intense discussion concerning drugs in horse racing to a local NPR journalist.

horse rescueMoi and Karyn Pirrello of High Adventure Farm in Georgetown, Kentucky. I met Karyn at the Little Everglades Steeplechase in Dade City, Florida a couple of years ago. She purchased one of my little gold leaf paintings. We had a great time getting caught up and she told me about all the horses she's rescued. Bless her.

art galleryMoi, Ron and Jenny in front of my painting "Blue Blinkers".

Friday, October 19, 2007

John Henry's Service

Some poignant scenes from John Henry's memorial service at the Kentucky Horse Park:

john henry's memorial serviceSam Rubin's step-son with a touching eulogy. Original PEB in frame.

horse loversEmotionally touching how so many humans love this horse.

young equestrianYoung and old paid respects. Notice the riding clothes.

great thoroughbredThe grave complete with John Henry's favorite treat, a chocolate doughnut.

Kentucky horse parkMoving, fittingly beautiful bagpipe tribute.

Chris McCarronChris McCarron, moi, and Michael

Monday, October 15, 2007

John Henry's Memorial Service

john henryUpon hearing that John Henry's Memorial Service would be held at the Kentucky Horse Park on Friday, October 19th - the same day as my opening reception at Fayette Gallery in Lexington, I had a knee-jerk reaction to the timing. Oh ____! Then, I reconsidered...I knew John Henry as a distant observer: I saw him take half an hour or more to walk to the track to train in the morning on several occasions. Stubborn, obstinate, what could you do to move a multi-millionaire champion along at a bit quicker pace when there was so much work to be done back at the barn? And then, I did get to witness the last winning race of his career at the Meadowland's Ballantine's Scotch Classic as mentioned in an earlier post. So, why not pay my last respects at the service? I'll have plenty of time to get back to the room to change before the reception.

So, if you plan to attend, I'll be there somewhere, camera in hand, choking back the realization that the last of the super champions to imprint their greatness into our memory chips are quickly disappearing. It's an elite group, something to be savored and honored.

racehorseJohn Henry in happy times.

I'm thinking of his handlers for the past 25+ years. Bless you all, this will be difficult.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Out of Hand Artists

artists salontop, l. to r.: Carlynne Hershberger, Kelli Money Huff, Jessica Miller, moi, Mary Verrandeaux, Moe Hahn. bottom: Lorna L. Effler, Nancy Moskovitz, Merrill Anderson, Margaret Watts, Jackie Shindehette

Direct your attention to the above photo to view an incredible group of accomplished artists. Some are published authors, some are internationally renown, all are multi-talented. And all are intensely working it, showing up at the easel daily, studying, networking, marketing - ever vigilant to new opportunities.

Discipline and dogged perseverance are the ingredients to a successful formula. Showing up where needed when required. Paying attention to the subtle whispers of direction manifesting from unlikely places.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Artist Within

dishin it outMarion Cultural Alliance's "Artist Within" fund raising auction was held Tuesday evening. The project teams up community leaders with local artists. It was a piece of cake to bring out the artist within Executive Chef Randal White whom I was teamed up with. He created the piece "Fantasy Cake", an acrylic on canvas. Randal embellished the painting by actually filling a pastry bag with paint and applying it to the canvas. Awesomely creative! You can catch Chef White's weekly cooking show, "Dishin' It Out" on Cox Cable channel 21 every weekend at 12:30pm and on channel 16 on monday at 7:00pm.

The event was held at Fox View Farm inside a huge barn containing a riding ring and stalls (with horses) circling the perimeter. Baskets of carrots were available for guests to treat and pet the horses. Way fun.

mcaClose up of "Manely Motion".

Linda Ballantine Brown's horse is one of my favorites. "Horses in Motion" is a continuation of the original "Horse Fever" community project from 2001.

horses in motionNancy Ledding, the new executive director of Marion Cultural Alliance.

infrared photographyPower couple Maggie and Kent Weakley being cajoled by Laurie Menard into bidding on a diamond necklace.

Kent Weakley creates some amazing award-winning infrared black and white photography. Read his beautifully poignant account of his trip to Italy in this month's Ocala Magazine. Maggie paints wonderful, whimsical pets called "Maggie's Angels".

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Good Bye John Henry

john henryI've been blessed to witness some very cool events throughout my life. One of my fondest memorable experiences was watching John Henry run and win the last race of his career. It was the Ballantine's Scotch Classic at the Meadowlands on October 13th, 1984. I know this because I still have pin that was given away that night.

I vividly remember him jogging back to the winner's circle and stopping along the way, turning his back to a madly cheering crowd while he looked intently at the tote board. Chris McCarron sat patiently waiting until John Henry was good and ready to proceed. We all joined in on a resounding standing ovation. What a thrill.

Farewell and God bless to a magnificent champion.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


landmark aviation"Paydirt" in the Landmark lobby.

We're pleased to acquire a new business client, Landmark Aviation, located at the Ocala International Airport. After recently renovating the lobby, the former flying-related photographs were replaced with my giclees.

thoroughbred art"Daybreak" an Ocala farm-themed image.

Landmark is directly across from Ocala Breeders' Sale Company. There's brisk activity of horse people flying in and out during the sales providing exposure to my target audience.

obs"Moi" in the seating area.

I think the artwork adds a lot of color and interest to the beige walls.

hilton hotel"Walking Ring" by the men's room.

My prints seem to be appearing inside or in close proximity to public restrooms. Recently someone informed me that my prints were in the restrooms of the local Hilton. We checked it out, they were. Better than not at all!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I've been thinking a lot about an experience an artist friend has gone through recently. She created a very public piece of artwork that was very similar to another public piece, created by another artist about six years ago. She apparently was confronted by - who knows - the originality police no doubt. I won't go into details because the artwork isn't the point here.

It's what gets imprinted into our consciousness and/or subconsciousness that has me spending a bit too long in the shower. My artist friend swears that she didn't intend to plagiarize and I believe her. Creativity abounds in her paintings. So, how does this occur? I'm no psyche student, especially as I intend to stay focused on a list of personal and business priorities. That doesn't leave much room (nor desire) for pondering life's mysteries. But a serendipitous book report on NPR sparked my imagination. The book is Geary's Guide to the World's Great Aphorists by James Geary. As Geary discusses some of the world's famous aphorisms, one in particular beamed apropos:

Originality is the art of concealing your source. - Franklin P. Jones

Ha! This brought to mind the infamous Picasso who stated: "good artists borrow, great artists steal". If in fact there is nothing new under the sun as the Bible declares, then everything already exists. We as creators are SOL. So where's the originality in anything? Even in science, quarks other little quantums and parallel universes lie around patiently waiting to be discovered.

I went to Robert Genn's cool website "The Painter's Keys" for some more sage-like quotes:

What is originality? Undetected plagiarism. - William Ralph Inge

Utter originality is, of course, out of the question. - Ezra Pound

I invent nothing. I rediscover. - Auguste Rodin

Originality is nothing but judicious imitation. - Voltaire

What the world calls originality is only an unaccustomed method of tickling it.
- George Bernard Shaw

I really do not aim at any originality. - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Originality is simply a pair of fresh eyes. - Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Monday, October 01, 2007

Flagler Beach

I went shopping at Coldwater Creek in Ormond Beach yesterday. I love their clothes. I could order from their beautiful catalog but then there's the fit issue. So off I drove and I've secured the outfit for my opening reception at Fayette Gallery in a few weeks.

kitesurfingPara-kite-surfing? at Flagler Beach.

If it seems like I'm posting a lot of beach photos, I am. If it seems like I'm screwing off, I'm not. Just fulfilling my intentions to get out of the studio and re-charge the batteries. Flagler Beach is just a short drive from Ormond Beach.

kite surfingA prevailing wind and rough surf at Flagler Beach.

flagler beachRooftop lookout.

My favorite racehorse "Street Sense" got beat in Saturday's Kentucky Cup Classic. From the looks of the race, Calvin didn't beat him up for the win. Appeared to be a good prep for the big B.C.