Saturday, November 29, 2008

Kentucky Derby Artwork 2009

Here's the official Kentucky Derby Artwork for 2009 by artist Jeff Williams.

kentucky derby artwork 2009And here's 2008 artwork, by artist Trish Biddle.

kentucky derby artwork 2008I must tread lightly as I certainly ruffled a lot of feathers with last year's post, although I thought my opinions were quite reserved. Decide for yourself: Kentucky Derby Artwork.

I don't see much differentiation between the two pieces. Appearing as if painted by the same artist with similar palettes, there's so much...beige. Same art deco style, same fashion emphasis, same ladies hats representing the roses of the Derby and lilies of the Oaks, same wealthy-for-a day fantasy. The celebrated horse race plays a distant, insignificant role. If you peruse the individual artist's websites, you'll find lovely, whimsical, strong artwork. So, why is the Derby artwork so bland? And so alike?

Most annoying is the bored, disinterested depiction of the "fashionistas". Stereotypically turning their backs on the most exciting two minutes in sports.

OMG, is it over yet?
kentucky oaks artwork 2009As if our passion is exclusively a male bastion of cigars and bourbon. Maybe back in the art deco epoch.
kentucky oaks artwork 2008Even Britain's Her Royal Majesty the Queen will trample the poor blokes who dare stand between her and the races. Even my own dear mother would elbow those blocking the entrance to the winner's circle.

Money, horse racing and women, three things the boys just can't figure out. - Will Rogers

Friday, November 21, 2008

Art Business News Emerging Artist

This large rock resembles the one I crawled out from under this morning....down with a wicked cold...all better now, however, what an imposition! The only good thing, if any be declared, is getting caught up on all the reading material. Read, doze, read, doze. Perhaps illness is a way of the body forcing rest on those who won't...

art business newsI would have participated in gleeful celebration upon receiving this news if not for the aforementioned: I'm featured as an "Emerging Artist" in this month's edition of "Art Business News". Yeah! I'm quite honored with the distinction.

The Free Online Dictionary defines "emerging" as:
Newly formed or just coming into prominence; emergent: as in emerging markets; the emerging states of Africa.

I thought I had emerged years ago but I'll not dicker over semantics.

Its plot is loose and tortuous and will take some time for its stars to emerge.” - Alan Hamilton (how gloriously melodramatic!)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Artists Do Lunch

It was my great pleasure to finally meet landscape painter Linda Blondheim today. I've been a follower of her blog for a long time, and she is just as articulate, wise and generous with her vast knowledge of all things art in person. Joining us was my good friend, artist Jackie Schindehette. Both Jackie and Linda are Florida landscape painters, however, their style of painting and approach is so distinctly different. Check out their blogs to the right. And...both are terrific marketers of their work so you can imagine the exchange of ideas, suggestions and brainstorming that was bantered about over lunch. How refreshing to be in the company of real pros making a living with their art careers.

After lunch, we headed over to the FTBOA to view the equine art exhibit.

landscape artistsl.-r. moi, Linda and Jackie

Linda lives north of Gainesville, so we all agreed to meet again - this time in the Tally Ho wagon of the Misty Morning foxhunting club!

"When people are like each other they tend to like each other". - Anthony Robbins

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rear of the Horse

horse racing artOil wash, 18"x30"

A new painting begun. I'm inspired by the shod feet in mid stride, flinging up the dirt or turf (or synthetic stuff). Painting feet is always a challenge. Mighty little triangles offset and extremely flexible, capable of excessive angles of unnatural proportions. Supporting immense weight. I'm mesmerized by the super slow-mo videos illustrating the completion of the stride. You've seen them, when their feet wobble like ball joints in mid air.

I also want to illustrate the powerful muscles in the hind quarters. If you must, yes, I'm painting horses asses.

“Anatomically speaking, they run on their toes. That makes them very fragile. A human being would have to put his weight on his middle finger to duplicate the proportion of weight the horse hoof supports as it hits the ground". - Lawrence R. Soma, professor of anesthesia and clinical pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

Monday, November 10, 2008

Florida Cracker Horses

That little dark speck is a wild horse on Paynes Prairie, between Ocala and Gainesville. He's been hanging out very close to State Rd. 441 for several months. I've spotted him three times. Probably a stallion that's been run off from the main herd by a younger, stronger stallion.

cracker horseI chirped, yelled and waved my arms but I couldn't get his attention. Therefore, Michael thinks he's stuffed.

Paynes Prairie is home to a wild herd of "cracker" horses descended from the Spanish Iberian horses of the sixteenth century. It's believed that Ponce de Leon brought these horses to America on his second trip to Florida. The name "cracker" is derived from the sound of the bullwhips used to round up cattle. Either from escape or release, vast herds of these horses as well as wild cattle roamed Florida from the seventeenth century into the turn of the twentieth century.

The horses were re-introduced into Paynes Prairie State Park along with American bison to restore the park to pre-European conditions. Yes, while hiking through the park, it's possible you'll come face to face with bison (I have, and they are HUGE and overwhelming). Bison were actually indigenous to Florida until the early 1800's. And you thought we were just about alligators...

Here's a great photo I grabbed off Flickr of the Paynes Prairie wild horses...

Paynes Prairie"...through his mane and tail the high wind sings, fanning the hairs, who wave like feather'd wings". - William Shakespeare

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


In Siamese, it's more like mrrrrrrrrrooowwww.

Here's the dude, finally immortalized in paint. I showed him the canvas and he was downright rude. Yeah, whatever, chop up some chicken liver!

Siamese cat"Chow" 8"x10" oil on canvas

He may be a harsh judge of my artwork, but a more loyal and loving companion doesn't exist, though he'll never admit to it. See that expression? That's how he tolerates my rants, stupid ideas, depression, fears, insomnia and my general tendency to be clueless in all things important.

"There is, incidentally, no way of talking about cats that enables one to come off as a sane person." - Dan Greenberg

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Better Than HonourI was riveted to HRTV tonight watching the Fasig-Tipton's Selected Fall Mixed Sale in Lexington. While the world markets continue on a riotous roller coaster ride and global economies groan to their knees, millions and millions of bucks flowed through the better horse racing sales department. Encouraging and hopeful for a business severely affected by the economic downturn and also suffering image problems of major proportions.

I was on the edge of my couch hoping Better Than Honour (pictured) would surpass the sales record of The Green Monkey. Didn't happen but 14 mil isn't too bad for a 12-year-old broodmare not in foal. I won't go into the stats of how much or who, you can look all that up yourself and catch up on the connections who were basically buying their own horse at dispersal. My interest is much more self-serving. I'm inclined to the current "spread it around" theory, especially when applied to investing in horse racing art.

Ambition is like love, impatient both of delays and rivals. - Buddha