Thursday, March 27, 2008

Gallant Fox portrait

I recently finished this oil portrait, commissioned by Christie Dennis, of her late husband Rodney. It was a very sweet project to do; I knew them as family friends when I was growing up, and had been warmly acquainted with them in adulthood, too--in Maine and Massachusetts.

Here's a little bit from a eulogy Christie wrote:

"Gallant Fox was a talented and charming racehorse in the thirties whose quirk was to be unpredictably diverted by something that caught his interest, and was known to stop mid-race to follow the trajectory of a bird flying overhead. As some of you know, I taught Rodney to drive--something I perhaps should not admit to--which brought us one day to the intersection of Brattle Street and Route 16, with the light turning green and Rodney at the wheel. The jockeying and turning of the cars and the fact that they didn't collide so amazed Rodney that he forgot he was driving and came more or less to a halt, to much resonant annoyance. I called him Gallant Fox. He liked that...."

Here's some earlier stages of the painting, and a close up: