Mike Fox, Revisited

Mike Fox

Another one of my daily paintings for November was of Mike Fox in the post parade before his victory in the 2007 Queen’s Plate.  This is a 10 x 8 study in oil on masonite panel.  It was fun to paint this horse again, especially as the light was hitting him in the photo I worked from, which allowed me to work some colour into the painting.  I used a limited palette of colours for all these daily paintings, but it is amazing the range of colours one can mix from such a simple selection.

This painting is now sold.

Thanks for visiting!


A Couple of Oaks Winners

I’ve been AWOL from this blog for a while.  Last month I decided to challenge myself to paint a horse a day for thirty days, and I completed my task on Sunday – the 30th!  It was a great adventure, and though hard some days, I had a lot of fun.  I’m planning to sell a number of the paintings and I will be donating part of each sale to LongRun.

Most of my subjects for the month were Thoroughbreds – many of them horses on the farm here.  I did, however, do a few horses I’d photographed at Woodbine.  Among them were 2006 Oaks winner Kimchi, and 2008 Oaks winner Ginger Brew.  Ginger Brew

Ginger Brew is a 6 x 8 oil on Raymar canvas panel head study of the likely Sovereign Award winning 3yo distaff this year.  This painting is sold – thank-you!


Kimchi is a 5 x 7 oil on Raymar canvas panel head study of the ’06 Sovereign Award winning 3yo filly.  This painting is sold – thank you!

Curlin ~ The Canadian-bred Connection

6 x 8 oil on linen panel
6 x 8 oil on linen panel

As the 2008 Breeders’ Cup approaches, it seems only appropriate that I bring up Curlin.  Curlin is by Canadian-bred Smart Strike, and out of a Deputy Minister (also Canadian-bred) mare.  Just another example of the strong influence of Canadian horses in International pedigrees. Smart Strike ties into one of my previous posts – a son of Mr. Prospector, he is a half-brother to Dance Smartly;  and of course Deputy Minister is a grandson (by Vice Regent) of Northern Dancer.  Curlin is now the richest Thoroughbred of all time, having more than $10 million in earnings.  Kudos to his connections for running him as a four-year-old.  Saturday, he attempts his second victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

This painting is just a small study of the Big Red Machine – 6 x 8″ oil on Raymar linen panel.  It is a faster, looser work from most of the paintings you have seen here so far.  I used photos I’d taken at last year’s Breeders’ Cup at Monmouth Park, but made adjustments after watching him win the 2008 Dubai World Cup. I was in Dubai for the 2007 World Cup, won by Invasor, so watching Curlin’s triumph provided a little nostalgia!  I’d like to do a larger painting of Curlin – I’d give a lot to be at Santa Anita on Saturday!

This little original is for sale, framed, at $350.00.  As always, a percentage of the sale will go to LongRun.  Thanks for stopping by!

Jambalaya ~ Turf Specialist

Copyright 2007 Linda Shantz
Copyright 2007 Linda Shantz

Jambalaya’s story is the kind we’d all like to have – a modest $2500 yearling purchase who became one of Canada’s best turf horses in recent years.  I had the honour of meeting this personable son of Langfuhr a few weeks before his thrilling victory in the 2007 Arlington Million. Trained by Catherine Day Phillips, “Jambo” was sidelined after the Million, but is back in training at Woodbine.  Hopefully we’ll see him back in action at Gulfstream this winter!  For more of Jambalaya’s story, please visit Catherine’s website.

This painting was produced from photos I took of his win in the 2006 Singspiel Stakes at Woodbine. The original 18 x 24 oil on panel is sold, but an 8 1/2 x 11 collector edition print is available for $30.00.  As with everything on this blog, a portion of sales will go to LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement.

Wando ~ 2003 Canadian Triple Crown Winner

I did this painting of 2003 Canadian Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year, Wando, as a donation to the 2004 Jockey’s Barbeque fundraiser at Woodbine.  The painting was a part of the live auction, with proceeds split between three groups:  LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement, the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, and the Avelino Gomez foundation.  It can be a little unnerving, witnessing the live auction of one’s painting, but this 14 x 11 oil on panel sold well, raising $1,000.00.  Wando, now retired, stands at Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky, and you can read more about his career on their website.

Copyright 2004 by Linda Shantz
Copyright 2004 by Linda Shantz

This painting is available as a 14 x 11″ giclée on paper, for $95.00 and as a collector edition print for $30.00

Dance Smartly – Canada’s Queen

Here’s another Canadian great I’ve now portrayed twice.  The same year I did the Northern Dancer painting, I donated a painting of Dance Smartly for that year’s Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame fundraiser.  This 14 x 11 oil was based on both my own photos, as well as some supplied to me by the Hall of Fame.  My own photos weren’t the best – taken during her racing days – so I was quite happy to have the additional references.

This year, I had the opportunity to paint this amazing filly again.  When I signed on to be part of the Mural Mosaic project’s Le Cadeau du Cheval/The Horse Gift, I knew I wanted to do something commemorating a Canadian Thoroughbred.  The panel I received was decidedly purple, and after an initial reaction of “What do I do with this?”  I knew I needed to do something related to the Queen’s Plate, with that traditional blanket of royal purple and gold flowers.  Dance Smartly was on the list of horses the organizers wanted to see in the project, and after the loss earlier this year of Tammy Samuel-Balaz and Elizabeth Samuel, it seemed a fitting tribute to some noteworthy Canadian ladies.  The colour of the image of my panel has been altered somewhat on the Mural Mosaic site, so a more accurate depiction can be found on my studio blog post.

Again, while both the originals are no longer available, giclée reproductions can be purchased.  The initial painting is available either on canvas ($150.00) or paper ($95.00) at 14 x 11” as well as a smaller collector print at $30.00.

The decidedly purple Mural Mosaic panel is reproduced at 12.5 x 12.5” on fine art paper for $95.00 or as a smaller collector print for $30.00.  Canvas available by request.

In both cases, the reproductions will be signed by the artist, and 20% of each sale goes to LongRun.  As the initial painting was produced for the Hall of Fame fundraiser, an additional portion will go to that organization.

The Greatest Canadian

Northern Dancer
Northern Dancer

A while back, the CBC put on a show designed to determine “The Greatest Canadian.”  Someone, in my opinion, was gravely overlooked!  How do you do a show like that without even mentioning the name Northern Dancer?

I was fortunate enough to meet The Dancer the year before he died.  I’d spent the winter working at Payson Park in Florida and took some vacation time on the way home to visit my friend in New Jersey – much too close to Maryland to pass up such an opportunity.  He may have been old and covered in mud, but he still had a bounce in his step and that look in his eye that reminded us we were in the presence of greatness.

I did a drawing of him from the photos I took that day – I may just be brave enough to suffer through the embarrassment of showing you that drawing – but two years ago Woodbine celebrated its 50th anniversary, and the inaugural running of the Northern Dancer Stakes.  For the occasion I did a new painting – once again digging up those old photos I had taken.  The original 20 x 16” oil on linen was used as a fundraiser at LongRun’s Gala, but I’ve made it available as a giclée reproduction on canvas (17.5 x 15” $250.00), and a smaller reproduction on fine art paper (14 x 11”, $95.00).  A small collector print is also available for $30.00.  Reproductions are signed by the artist, and no less than 10% of each sale will go to LongRun.

Thanks for visiting…and comments and inquiries are always welcome.