Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Sporting Art with Punch

Coming In for a Landing, oil on canvas panel, 20 x 16

When I look at Susan Smolensky’s oil paintings I hear horses splattering brush, I feel the jocks’ precariousness as they go airborne. Grass flies and a horse grimaces momentarily as it's snagged in the mouth. There’s not a strip horse in the lot, but the artist’s exaggerations add to the dynamics of the instant.

The Art of Foxhunting

The Art of Foxhunting, Phil & Susie Audibert, 168 pages, 11 x 11 inches, soft cover, color, $35.00,

The title of this captivating book is obviously a play on words. It showcases the photographic art of Phil and Susie Audibert and at the same time opens our eyes to the inherent artfulness of our sporting endeavor. I have used photographs by the Audiberts in Covertside, in the Millwood House foxhunting calendar, and in Foxhunting Life with great pleasure in the past, so I admit that I am not an impartial reviewer.

The photography is beautiful, not only by virtue of the artistic talent of the shooters in seeing and composing balanced and flowing images, but also because they have done the hard work in the field away from the meet—waiting in the country, sometimes in vain but occasionally rewarded by the opportunity for that single-chance shot of action and beauty. And in all kinds of weather! Some of my favorite images that resonated with old memories were dull, cold, wet hunting scenes blurred by falling snow and sleet.

I Live What I Paint

image015I live what I paint, immersing myself in my subject matter and painting the animals and subjects that I know intimately. My art training includes six years of commercial and fine art instruction. I have been a professional fine artist for thirty-two years, painting mostly horses and equine sporting scenes. Canine and wildlife subjects are also a passion.

A horse owner and rider for forty-two years, my competitive days have given way to more time in the studio, creating paintings that I hope will stir emotion in the viewer. My paintings are found in collections nationally, in Europe, and also in galleries and shows in this country.

Munnings Portrait Expected to Fetch a Half-Million montagne.smallPortrait of Harry La Montagne on a Grey, by Sir Alfred James Munnings

A 1920s work by famed equestrian artist Sir Alfred Munnings is estimated to fetch between $300,000 and $500,000 when it goes under the hammer at Christie’s in New York later this month. Titled, Portrait of Harry La Montagne on a Grey, the painting will be auctioned on October 26 during Christie’s sale of 19th Century European Art.

Munnings stayed with Harry and Beatrice La Montagne at their house, the Villa Regina in Pau, southern France, during the autumn of 1923 to paint Mrs. La Montagne’s portrait on horseback. This followed a recommendation to Munnings from Baron Robert Rothschild who described her as “a good-looking, smart, American woman. The well-turned-out lady was supplied by her devoted husband with superb horses.” (Sir A.J. Munnings, The Second Burst, Bungay, 1951, p. 100).