Greetings and welcome,
This is my first time blogging... I am in the process of designing my new website www.horseartist.com and I thought that a blog would be a welcome addition.
I am an equine artist who has been painting the beauty and excitement of international horse racing since 1978. My earliest memory of anything artistic was in the 5th grade. A classmate named Paul Cronin brought a Mad Magazine to Palmer School and passed it around in class. When it finally came to me, what I saw would change my life forever. There was a caricature of Richard Nixon drawn by Mort Drucker. It was such a funny illustration, I was drawn to it. I never had any desire to draw before that moment but I took out my #2 pencil and proceeded to copy it. It must have turned out pretty good because I kept asking him to bring more & more Mad Mags(boy, I wish I still had that drawing). I started buying my own magazines at resale shops and actually developed a huge collection. Some of them are from the 50's. Mort Drucker was a huge influence in my career (in fact, the 3 dots at the end of my name is how he signed his). It was his drawings at Mad that taught me me how to draw caricatures, which 18 years later would prove to be very beneficial when Arlington Park Racetrack came calling.
My life at the track began on June 17, 1978. My friend, David Gonzales was having a party at his house when he announced that his dad's harness horse "Rusty Win" was in Sportman's Park's 8th race. About 20 of us jumped in our cars and made it by minutes before the race was off. The horse won by 5 lengths and all of us crammed into the small winner's circle. I was hooked.
I couldn't get enough of the track so I started calling in sick at Bankers, Life and Casualty. Eventually, I got fired. Here I was, 18 years old just out of high school. No job, no money and no aspirations. But, I sure loved the ponies.
A couple months later... I was sitting on my mother's front porch wondering what I was going to do with my life. Then Mrs. Pritzer walks by. She tells me to get off my butt and apply at AT&T. I did, passed the test with flying colors (just out of school, couldn't do that now) and promptly turned down their offer. It was for a night shift position, which of course would interfere with me going to the track. They eventually offered me a day job. I accepted and in February of this year after 30 years with the same company I retired. But, throughout those 30 years, it was a difficult struggle between my corporate job and my passion for painting horses.
My first drawing of a horse was of "Rusty Win". I used the win picture as reference and I rendered it in color-pencils. It was pretty awful, but Dave's dad bought it anyway. That was the start of my wonderful equine art career.
As Arlington Park's track announcer Phil Georgeff would say:
"This race isn't over, please hold all tickets"
More to follow.....