I was privileged and honoured to be commissioned to produce a painting at the Cheltenham festival for Stan James. The Stan James Champion Hurdle was an honour to witness and I will be posting my completed painting in the near future of my experience. As soon as I have done this I will go into more detail about it. But till then I will keep it a mystery.
Cheltenham is a beautiful race course and the horses are the most magnificent animals I have ever seen. Horse racing is something very special particularly because of the many levels that go into creating something so unique, moving and and engaging. From what I have learned it is a very technical sport, more so then I could of ever imagined, The many people that work tirelessly to get the horse to the level it needs to be is immense. The horses are unbelievably brave, in my opinion, they are the gladiators of the animal kingdom, pure athletes with grace speed and agility. The Jockeys also are very very brave and I respect them immensely for their courage and skill. It was one of the best weeks of my life and I will never forget the tremendous atmosphere or the roar of the crowd when the horses cross that finish line. I would have to say that Cheltenham is one of the greatest sporting arenas in the UK and is right up there with Wembley and Wimbledon as a Jewel of magnificence. The natural beauty of the cotswolds gives it something different, a natural amphitheater as was described to me by Paul Halkett, a gentleman whose knowledge of horse racing is second to none.
A special mention must go to Paul, who is a quality man and true gentleman. Not only was I presented with the opportunity to paint at one of the finest sporting venues in the UK, I was given the opportunity to learn and develop as an artist within a field that is exciting and exhilarating . Paul’s enthusiasm and knowledge of the sport is infectious and it was a pleasure to talk with him and his son Patrick who educated me and enabled me to gain a deeper understanding of the sport. I was honoured to be in their company and I feel the next painting I produce of horse racing will be one of my very best. Cheltenham is full of character and I can’t wait to get that on to canvas.
I have met some quality people in the last few months. Doug McConnell being one of the very best. With friends such as Doug and Paul to work with I feel my career is going in the right direction.