April has brought us MAY FLOWERS!!!!
What a joy the month of May is!
I’ve never been an avid Kentucky Derby viewer or attender; but I AM a fan of pretty hats and horses!
This was one of the scenes and locations of the American Road Trip Calendar that was decided very early on.
Churchill Downs is a beautiful and iconic Americana architectural structure, and there is no other architecture that I think personifies a month in America more.
This piece felt distinctly nostalgic because of the subject matter and history- but also very modern and topical.
I initially began this painting with vague red flowers, similar to my August painting (which was actually completed before the May painting) and decided to feature pink tulips instead. When I was little, in Connecticut, it would still snow in April, but the tulips would pop up- and I think they have always symbolized the triumph over winter.
I loved capturing the stands and the track mid action- I love the shadowy stands- and can almost hear the roar of excitement from here!
THE CLASSIC INSPIRATION IMAGES
THE ILLUSTRATIVE & DISTINCT ARTISTS
Norman Rockwell is perpetually an inspirational muse for me, and above you’ll also see Childe Hassem’s treatment of flowers at an overlook above.
The painting I relied most heavily for inspiration was Winslow Homer’s, “Flower Garden and Bungalow,” below. Admittedly, I was very much seeking paintings that had a strong floral focus in the front- because I already had an agenda about the composition of the painting, but I really liked how distinct Homer’s flowers were with the contrast of lights and darks.
I loved Laura Hildabrand’s “Unbroken” and decided, that while I’m not much of a race person, I’d listen along to her “Seabiscuit” as well. I love how she writes about American determination. Her characters are full of ambition against all odds at any price- but without the loss of integrity. I love this depiction of American spirits, “It’s better to break a man’s leg than to break his heart.”
I was working late into the night when this painting was finished, I realized that I had painted in the Power Ranges as my jockeys.
I immediately went to confirm this by googling the intro to the show- and found- I was correct. Now every time I look at this painting I’ve been humming the theme song; which seems to humorously coincide well. “Go, Go, Power Rangers!”
HAPPY DERBY! I hope your horse wins!