This is the current painting that I am working on. I have been invited to participate in an exhibition at Belmont Park on Long Island, home of the famous Belmont Stakes. It was suggested that I do images of horses. Well....I don't do that. So I decided to do ladies in hats. Which one could argue is as much a part of horse racing as the actual horses.
I had a friend from Kentucky, who while not a hose racer was very much into the horse race culture, that celebrated the Kentucky Derby every year. He even threw derby parties. This is where my initial knowledge of ladies in hats during horse races originated. In researching this topic, I learned that it is not just ladies in hats. But almost an informal competition to see which lady can don the most outlandish and original hat. I then came across this image:
I was very drawn to this image and used as an inspiration point. This first image I created based on this photo was this:
I wasn't completely satisfied with this image, so I made another:
This image was also unsatisfying to me, but it made me stop and think. I decided I would paint not just ladies in hats, but three different ladies in the same hat! This would fly in the face of why the hats are worn, and give the viewer pause to reflect on originality, creativity, and the nature of aesthetics. These ideas would then not only apply to me and my work, but to the individuals in the paintings as well. I then created this image:
With this image I began to play with composition. I liked where the images were going so I next I tried something totally different:
This image moved away from the figure and brought the attention of the hat forward. I decided I really did not like this image, so I put together the one shown at the beginning. Here it is again, so you don't have to scroll:
I don't know which three will make it to the show. There's still time so I plan to create some others. I'll select the best ones and send those on.