Lesley Humphrey - Official 2011 Kentucky Derby Artist
British born artist, Lesley Humphrey, grew up riding ponies over the rugged Perrine Chain of England. Her father was a graphic artist and she began to develop her artistic skills by using her beloved horses as inspiration at a very early age. A quote from Ms. Humphrey's book titled, The Horses Of My World reads "my love of all things equine has permeated my entire life." From Welsh ponies to Andalusians, from Thoroughbreds to American Quarter Horses, I have owned and loved them all..."
Former Executive Director of the American Academy of Equine Art, Julie Buchanan, states "Lesley Humphrey is an artist's artist...she is focused solely on producing the best artwork she can..her perspective comes from "how can I tell this story and "what will engage my viewer". Ms Buchanan adds, "I believe her aesthetic rivals that of well known artists such as Leroy Neiman and Alfred Munnings."
In 2005, Lesley's art style took a significant turn as a personal loss, drove her to "seek beyond the surface image." Her work took on a more expressive quality than earlier imagery, that while exquisite in their realism and form, did not contain the emotional overtones that embue her works of late. Humphrey art is heavily influenced by the Glasgow Four: Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Margaret McDonald Mackintosh, Frances McDonald, Herbert McNair and all things connected with the Glasgow School of Art in the late 1800's to early 1900's.
Chosen to represent the 2011Kentucky Derby and Oaks posters, prints, tickets and program covers, Lesley Humphrey's creations embody the key elements significant to the "Greatest Two Minutes In Sports," the Kentucky Derby. Her oil painting commemorating the Kentucky Derby winner, titled Victory, shows a dappled grey horse of majestic stature; the jubilant jockey is fierce in his winning expression. Wrapped in a blanket of brilliant red roses that appear to turn into the colorful crowd, Ms. Humphrey has captured the moments just after the race with magnificent colors and an energetic composition.
The Kentucky Oaks painting is a festive glance at what has come to be called "Ladies First," which occurs the first Friday in May. While the dapper gentleman is prominent, the ladies are the stars, seeing and being seen.
In 2005, Lesley Humphrey was presented to H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace following a commission by the Grenadier Guards of the Grenadier General. After her appointment as the Official Artist of the 2011 Kentucky Derby, Lesley stated that she was "as excited about this opportunity" as she was to have met "The Queen".
- SELECTED EXHIBITIONS, INVITATIONS, ETC.
- 2009 Work featured at: BBC, Saatchi Gallery, London & Lancashire Life Magazine, UK.
- 2009 Ex Arte Equinus International: Horses In Art Magazine's publishing exhibition. Winner 1st prize for painting, 3rd for drawing.
- 2005-2008 The Horse In Fine Art AAEA Traveling Exhibition: Various venues including International Museum of the Horse, Kentucky, Wildlife Experience Museum, Colorado, Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame Museum, North Carolina, U.S.
- 2008 Master of Foxhounds Association Centennial Invitational: Various venues throughout the U.S.
- 2006 & 2007, SEA Annual Members Exhibition : Mall Galleries, London and Palace House, Newmarket, England.
- 2006: Presented to H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, London, England.
- 2004: Guest Artist/Lecturer: Amon Carter Museum, Texas, U.S.
- 2004: Silver Jubilee Invitational Exhibition: SEA, Mall Galleries, London,England.
- 2003, 2004: Women Artists of the West: Nancy Raegan Museum, California, U.S.
- 2003: Queen's Jubilee Invitational Exhibition: SEA, Christie's International,London, England.
- 2002: Salon International: Museum of Contemporary Masters, Texas, U.S.
- 2000: AAEA 20th Anniversary Exhibition: National Sporting Library, Virginia,U.S.