Followers of my work know how much I love animals and often include them in my work. The kangaroos, the birds, the dogs. I also try and draw and paint horses when I can. Many years ago I would get up early and go to the racetrack to draw the horses at training sessions.
These new paintings are part of my Brisbane series "Paradise Found - Close to Home" . I spent several Saturdays at Eagle Farm Racetrack on Tattersalls Race Days and others to soak up the atmosphere and get material to use.
To my knowledge no one is painting the racetrack in Brisbane. I have always had a love of George Stubbs's horses and of course Edgar Degas has made some great works of horses and jockeys.
In my work I have tried to include everything, the vista of the track itself with the little houses beyond, different moments of the race, and some of the individual characters one finds at the track, from the dressed up girls, to punters and drinkers. I had a great time doing these. No doubt I will be doing more of them.
This is first one in the series. I have taken liberties with scale and point of view, varying things a bit. I particularly enjoyed the group of girls seen from the back in the middle distance. This is a big painting about 153 x 91cm and when you see it in the flesh there are lots of small details that become apparent.
Another large one, maybe not quite finished. This one has more of a pattern feel about it. The composition is simple in an abstract way with the semicircle and triangle but I wanted a richness in the design of the horses and jockeys on the green grass. The people on the right are real individuals and add a bit of a narrative about the "Day at the Races" and all that can entail.
This one is smaller, about 61 x 51cm. It shows a couple of different moments before the race and the landscape setting has an abundance that to me says Brisbane. The attire of jockeys and horses give me a great excuse to play with colours and patterns.
These are the first images posted from my Petrie Terrace gallery RQAS solo show coming up in March 2015. There are plenty more to come.