In the hopes of being this year’s Steeplechase featured artist, Virginian Lee Baskerville brought a mock up of his idea to last year’s event. It was extremely well received so he was, in deed, chosen. Upon looking at his art, I could see that it was the right decision. His work is outstanding.
I was able to speak with Lee about his art and in particular the piece (pictured right) for Steeplechase. He named it “Kinetic Energy”, deriving from experience of being a rider himself. He said, “Horses know that something’s about to happen. There is an intense connection between horse and rider. You can feel the energy. I love that moment right before you set off. It’s amazing, like the release of an arrow.” Originally, the horse in the painting was going to be Arcadius, last year’s winner. Unfortunately, Arcadius died right after the race. Lee felt it was a sensitive subject and decided to make it more of a generic but timeless painting. However, the jockey’s silks and the landscape are the same from that day.
Aside from horses being one of Lee’s favorite subjects, he also enjoys painting portraits. He prefers a live subject over working from a photograph. He says that you have to really work to get a life like energy from a painting that is not live. For him, painting live is very relaxing.
If he could chose any other profession other than art, Lee would be an architect. He has renovated several historic homes and buildings and currently lives in the oldest row home in Richmond, Virginia. However, he does not foresee a future of not painting, which he does almost everyday. Lee has been very fortunate to turn a hobby that he truly loves into a successful business. He has come a long way from hustling after college doing small portraits. Currently, his work ranges from $5,000 for a sketch to $40,000 for a life size portrait. Lee stated, “If you’re a creative person and have a good work ethic, you can do a lot with your talent. Don’t limit yourself.”
Lee’s art is on display at Stanford Fine Art in Belle Meade. There will be a reception for him there on May 9th at 6:30pm, and he says all are invited. Of course, he will also be attending Steeplechase the following Saturday. You can find out more about Lee and his amazing work at www.leebaskerville.com.