At last… I am finally able to announce my big project completed last fall! It’s been hard to keep this one on the down-low, but a busy six months with many changes, including a move, kept me distracted enough to wait. The big “project”? I was commissioned to create the artwork for the label on the 2015 Limited Edition Woodford Reserve Bourbon Kentucky Derby bottle!
Woodford Reserve Bourbon, the “Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby” for 17 years and primary ingredient of the Derby’s signature drink, the mint julep,, is crafted at the historic Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Kentucky in the heart of thoroughbred country. Every year they produce a limited edition bottle just for the Derby with original artwork commissioned just for that bottle… a popular collectors item in great demand. It’s available nationwide, check local establishments for availability. Here is this years bottle itself…
And the actual oil painting (below). A pack of eager racehorses charge around the first turn, each jockey trying to gain the ideal position into the backstretch, with the Churchill Downs hallmark of the twin spires a historic presence towering above them reverently. This was a dream painting to work on, and I’ll admit I got a bit misty eyed… especially when I’d find myself subconsciously humming “My Old Kentucky Home” while painting it. But having a work of mine part of such a great tradition is truly am honor for me, one I will always be proud of.
While I won’t be able to make it to the bluegrass to join in the festivities this year, I will be enjoying the Derby at the Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona… where I’ll be an honored guest and may get to sign some prints of this painting! Not a bad alternative, and *practically no chance of rain unlike my Derby trip of 2013 (*hoping that adding the word “practically” will keep me from jinxing the event)!