After the race
*61 x 51 cms
*Acrylic and pastel on canvas
*Ready to hang
Wildcard heat winning painting at Royal Ascot, 15th June 2022 for Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year.
Painted plein air with 49 other Wildcard Artists in 4 hours at the picnic area of the racetrack looking onto the track, the royal enclosure and the picnic areas at Royal Ascot. Booth artists were situated just behind us and some captured us and our art in their artworks.
'It was a beautiful sunny day, full of excitement, colour and parade. I kept being drawn to the tall, dark trees beyond the enclosure, who seemed to offer me an anchor of sense and beauty that I could use to explore the strange delights of the day from.
I'd never been to Ascot before, I quickly realised I felt much more suited to the stables than the trackside glamour we had surrounding us. But I was fascinated by the horses and their riders, the connection, the dynamics and energy they brought to the race.
Our painting time started long before the races were due to run and although I could work on most of the painting in the lead up - I wanted to take the gamble and include the racers before finishing my painting.
As it happened this race, was the Queen Anne Stakes (a mile long) which resulted in us seeing the horses come past us, after the race had been run. We were viewing the stretch after the finishing post where horses and riders were running off the tension, visibly relaxing. Riders were standing in the saddle or had loosened the reigns while the horses were playful and exuberant, heads high or tails flashing playfully in the air.
Although unexpected, I found it quite a fascinating story to tell, with a different and recognisable feeling, particularly set against the distant people in the Royal Enclosure leaning against the rails, having won or lost or like me, just revelled in seeing the racers, flying by with freedom, target past.
I had such a wonderful day, not least because I was able to paint and meet some other amazing artists, but to get such great feedback from the judges and to win the day's painting was unforgettable and a real inspiration.'