Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Solo Art Exhibition at Belle Meade Plantations Art Gallery 2011

Happily I’m celebrating the month of May with another solo exhibition at Belle Meade Plantation’s art gallery. The opening is Thursday, May 5th from 5:30 -7:30 . Belle Meade is located at 5025 Harding Pike in Nashville, TN. The art gallery is located within the visitors center. There will be a wine tasting and hors d’ oeuvres. Also… I’m excited that Walter Durham will also be there signing copies of his latest book “History of the Southern Grasslands”.
I have friends who are too far away to make it to the opening and so for that reason I am posting some selected paintings from this Steeplechase inspired show that are not yet on my website.
Look back a few posts and you will see some paintings that I’ve already posted that you will also see there……. “I’ll bring the flowers, The Lipizzaner, Zenyatta, Bubble Economy, and study of Cuse.
Last year I was in seventh heaven having a press pass to the Iroquois enabling me to take much better reference shots than I could have gotten otherwise. I was trying to stay “out of the way” of the business of the trainers and grooms while still gaining access to some wonderful shots. When I arrived in the morning , one of the first horses that came into my view at the barn was “Birthday Beau”. He was grazing with his handler, had finished a bath and was drying off in the sun back by the tents. I have loved and observed horses all my life, but the sight of a thoroughbred glistening in the sunlight will always take my breath away every time. His owner, trainer, Michelle Sanger could not have been nicer to me chatting for a few minutes despite the activity of race day ! No wonder Beau looked so content and happy that morning. So, here is “Birthday Beau”, oil, 9 x 12.
Also shown here is “Vine Hill Flying” Oil, 18 x24. I made my way to the backstretch and realized that I was not in the best place with a lot of late afternoon backlight ….but then I snapped a shot of Vine Hill looking like he was defying gravity. A beautiful rich chestnut horse, the light glowed on fire through his mane and tail as it was caught suspended in mid jump. I couldn’t resist the way the light pierced through the yellow jockey’s silks too. Continue to scroll down to 2 more posts with more selected work from the show.....

Belle Meade Plantation Art show continued…..

If you saw my show announcement that came out …you saw the painting of “Chess Board” oil, 9x 12 on the front in black and white. Here’s the real thing in color. Again it was late afternoon and the sun was shining on the horses cooling off back at the barns. Chess Board’s groom was giving him sips of water every turn around the paddock and whenever he would take a sip he would swing his head up and look into the distance as if there was something really interesting out there. I would love to know exactly what was in his mind.

“Shade at the Barn, Iroquois Day” oil 9x12. The ultra activity over by the race course
was balanced by a wonderful shady calmness back at the barns in the afternoon.
That’s what drew me to paint this little landscape of the view from that spot.

“Houghland and Naylor Silks” Oil , 9x12. These two horses and jockeys were headed to the start of the Iroquois. I wanted to feature the afternoon intense color of their silks and opted for this unusual view to do just that. Although the horses are not the stars in this painting….they were “Tax Ruling” and “Chivite”. Tax Ruling turned out to be the winner that day. I’d like to do another painting of these two horses together and have it on my must paint list ( my must paint list is very long….. )

Belle Meade Plantation Art Show continued.....

Belle meade Plantation Art show continued…..
Okay…a little departure from the horses for a minute…. “Sunshine Fox” oil, 8x10. This was one of my fox friends that lived outside our fence last year and sometimes would venture out in the full sunlight and lounge around our yard right outside my studio window ! I think this was the split second before he realized that someone was watching. I loved the light on that ochre/orange color coat.

Humans deserve a little attention for Race day and here is a painting entitled “The Starter” 10 x 8 oil. I asked his permission to shoot his picture with the idea that he may wind up in the show this year. His demeanor exuded experience and confidence in the job at hand. The red starting flag rests under his chair as he looked so very calm and relaxed amidst the frenzy of activity all around. I couldn’t help but think that nothing happens on race day without him .

My last selected painting to post here is “Sunshine Numbers Cooling Off “ 9x12 Oil.
Wandering behind the scenes that day I caught a glimpse of Sunshine Numbers having a cooling drench behind the barns. I wanted to capture the water spraying and the reflections on his coat. The fact that it is downright cute that he is catching a few drops to drink was irresistible. I know horses do that all the time but I never get tired of seeing it.
If you have a chance to swing by the show sometime in the month of May, many thanks for your interest. Try to leave time to take a tour of the mansion….. the artwork in there is to die for and as a history lover, it’s my favorite historical site in Nashville….( yes, I admit a prejudice because of it’s thick horsey history ! )
See you at Belle Meade !