Cinderella, Cinderella…


Last year, Woodbine Entertainment initiated a contest to select “The Official Queen’s Plate Artist.” I did enter, what I thought was a beautiful painting of 2014 winner Lexie Lou, and was disappointed when it didn’t make the top five – after all, painting Canadian racehorses is what I do! Anyway, such is the life of the artist – we have to know how to handle rejection, because we don’t always fit with that the powers that be are looking for. I decided to enter again this year, and went with something much more generic – a horse in the walking ring, rider up, groom leading her. I had taken the reference photo last summer at the races, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I needed to paint it. When they announced the 2016 contest – late enough that I’d been convinced they weren’t going to run it – I didn’t have a lot of time to contemplate what I was going to paint, and picked up the reference photo, already printed. I managed to get the painting done and entry made a week before the deadline, as I was travelling to San Francisco!

The notification date for the five finalists came and went, and I figured once again my work had been bypassed – though last year they’d sent out an email passing along that information. I went to check out the Plate website, and there was the announcement. Clicked through to see the top five…and there was my painting! That was a pleasant surprise! Now, the painful part begins – the winner is determined by a voting process, and shameless self-promotion is NOT my strong suit. Popularity contests are not things I win. I’d rather see work chosen on merit than on who has the most friends. That said, I’ve been humbled by the show of loyal friends who have shown their support in my Facebook posts!

Now…the title of this post doesn’t mean what you think it might. The grey filly in the painting, named Letter Fly, was bred by a friend of mine. Due to unfortunate circumstances, my friend had to sell her at the yearling sales. She ended up making her first start as a three-year old in Iowa, of all places. After showing little in those early races, my friend was able to buy her back and return her to Ontario, and she was christened “Cinderella” by the trainer’s granddaughter. Here, she’s gone from a cheap maiden claimer in Iowa to an allowance winner. She is sound and still racing as a five-year old, but when she no longer wants to be a racehorse, she’ll be safe.

So, I hate asking for votes for myself, I really do. Cinderella, on the other hand, is very deserving of them! To vote, visit Woodbine’s Queen’s Plate website, and scroll down to follow the link that will take you to the voting site. There has been a bit of confusion in the voting process – you will need to rate the options given from first to fifth. I hope you enjoy all the artwork that has made the finals!


To see the original post, please visit my studio blog.


“Inglorious, 2011 Queen’s Plate”


This painting of 2011 Queen’s Plate-winning filly, Inglorious, recently sold at the CTHS Alberta Art Show and Sale on September 29 and 30, 2014. I was honoured to be juried into this show, the first year artists outside of Alberta were invited to submit work for consideration.  The painting is 16 x 20 oil on Raphael linen panel.

December Studio Celebration!

Thoroughbred Stallion Alphabet Soup
I’d like to invite you all to my online December Celebration. Until December 18th, I’m going to give 25% off the paintings found on my Thirty Horses, Thirty Days blog, and on my Red Willow Gallery blog. In the next few days I’ll also introduce a similar celebration for 10% off reproductions and other items in my Etsy store – stay tuned! I will be adding other work to the Red Willow Gallery blog, so be sure to check back.

Original artwork is a great gift idea! Whatever you celebrate this time of year, I hope it’s happy!

~ Linda

More work can be seen on my website and my studio blog.

Dancethruthedawn: 2011 Hall of Fame Inductee

Dance Smartly has already been featured on this blog, and this year,  daughter, Dancethruthedawn  (by Mr. Prospector)  joined her mother in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.  Champion two-year old filly during her juvenile season, at three she won both the Canadian Oaks and the Queen’s Plate.  In total, she made $1.6 million in her three-year career.  She is now part of the Sam-Son Farm broodmare band.

The painting is 18 x 14 oil on Raphael linen pane, createdl for the 2011 Hall of Fame fundraiser.

2001 Canadian Oaks and Queen's Plate winner


This is the finished version of the painting in my banner, above.  The painting  is a 15 x 28 oil on linen of the first time past the grandstand in the Canadian Oaks a few years ago.  I love the interaction of the riders as they find their positions early in the race.

This painting is framed and available for sale, for $1950.00, including shipping in North America.  Just email me if you’d like more information.

2008 Queen’s Plate ~ Not Bourbon

Here’s a smaller painting that I just completed.  This is an 8 x 10 oil on Signature linen panel of the finish of the 2008 Queen’s Plate.  Not Bourbon, on the inside, just held off the filly Ginger Brew to win the mile and a quarter classic in a thrilling stretch duel.  I’m pretty sure it was probably his tongue sticking out that made the difference!

This painting is available for sale.  If you’re interested, drop me an email!

2008 Horse of the Year, Sealy Hill

original oil by LindaShantz

I apologize for the long time between posts on this blog!  Seems my studio blog has been keeping me busy.  This is a 16 x 20 oil on panel that I completed last summer of 2008 Canadian Horse of the Year, Sealy Hill, one of the best fillies we have seen in recent years.  By Point Given out of Boston Twist, by Boston Harbour, she is owned by Eugene Melnyk and was trained by Mark Casse during her career.  With her in the painting is regular rider, Patrick Husbands.

Please email me for more information!