The mystery: The art of a true artist is never fully realized by the viewer until you go inside their mind. Break down into words the elements and attempt to capture the mystery. The only true way is for you to see the visual end product.
Unlock your mind: Today's your chance to unlock your mind. Meet a budding young artist who will come to the Saratoga meet again this summer. Brian Fox, 44 years old, will be here at the start of the meet July 20th and again during the Fasig-Tipton sales.
Why art: The artistic endeavor has one common denominator, whether it being a dancer, a singer, a sculptor, writer, a movie director, a comedian or an oil painter: passion. The artist is driven when in the middle of his or her work, just as an athlete, is when in "the zone". All synapses firing. Creative juices flowing.
"My best work comes at night after everyone is in bed, fast asleep. This is when I truly feel the full extent of the moment as everything races through my veins to my fingertips to the canvas," says Fox. The stimulation from day works into the canvas at night.
Accomplished: That is what Fox set out to do and you can see in his just finished painting: Dubai Millennium. It is of a 4-year old Arabian stallion in the year 2000 as it is about to cross the finish line at the Dubai World Cup. The horse, now dead, comes back alive again on Fox' canvas.
The journey: Fox explains, "I'm still only crawling. One day I will walk, then, I hope to run." Fox is grateful and down to earth way, because he knows the journey is a gift.
The struggling artist: "I lived on the floor of a shed before I was married and had children. I do not want to do that ever again. That motivates me. The past shapes the future and I work hard everyday to make sure I can provide for my family as well as do my art," said Fox. ox is developing quite a name for himself. He's now entered a rarefied world of models, actors and athletes.
His support system: Fox, over six foot four inches, lives in Somerset, Mass, a quick forty five minutes outside of Boston, with his accountant wife and two boys, ages seven and nine. And, for him, the routine as well as the hard work is made easier because of the understanding of his loving family. Fox says he owes them so much. Fox gushes about the love they've provided to him so he can do his art daily. Fox feels the power of his hand to the paint brush comes from a much higher place.
The corporate world: Fox talks of how the work as an illustrator developed his daily discipline. Fox knows how to meet deadlines, market his work and create what is asked of him on his commissioned work. Fox realizes the corporate helped him take criticism, direction and how to change to go along with the workflow. Fox says he would not be where he is today if it were not for the seven years he spent in the real world experiencing that work environment. Every experience creates the present me," said Fox.
The process: He observes and absorbs. He witnesses a scene or reads a story and studies the event. Fox searches for the soul of the person or the animal he'll paint. He reckons with the force that makes the being real. Fox sketches what's his mind. He creates eighty to ninety sketches for each new ideas that soon to becomes a living, breathing work of art.
The feeling: "I'm thinking about the horse as it was alive. I watch a lot of videos of the horse in races. I try to capture the spirit. Dubai Millennium's not just a horse winning any race, it's the Dubai Millennium winning in the year 2000, the millennium year. How dramatic. That is inspiration. I get an idea in my head and for years I think about it," said Fox.
"Everyone has an opinion of your work, and that is wonderful. I aim for that emotional effect. I want to touch the soul of the subject and create an emotional connection for the audience. Whether is it a sports team, a person, an animal, I want to capture the moment and the essence of the being," says Brian.
Why Dubai Millennium: "I was inspired to paint this piece based on the story of Sheikh Mohammeds love of his horse. The story of 'Dubai Millennium's" amazing victory. As a four- year old, he crushed it at the 2000 Dubai International. He won by six lengths. That's incredible," said Fox.
A dream: Fox completed the piece Dubai Millennium this week after several years of planning. Fox says this horse was known as Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's favorite. According to Fox, the Sheikh is a man who truly cares for his animals. It must have saddened the Sheikh immensely when this beautiful stallion passed, just a short year after winning the 2000 Dubai International, from grass disease.
Fox is humble, thankful and gracious. He believes the images say it all. But, the constant stream of comments Fox receives about his art shows how his audience feels and appreciates his work..
"My favorite part of this (painting) is the veining on the head of the horse and the handling of the number two on his bridle. It gives a timelessness to the painting. I am also pretty fond of how you handled the kicked up dirt. It makes the painting move!" said Christine Hannon.
"He (Dubai Millennium) is gorgeous, Brian. You've outdone yourself! I hope that Sheik Mohammed sees this painting of his beautiful boy, you truly captured the spirit that was Dubai Millennium," said Marion Altieri.
"God has blessed you with a talent like no other I've know, my friend. Incredible!" said Todd Bettencourt.
Fox comes twice this summper to Saratoga Springs: July 20th to unveil an oil of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew at the CAPTAINS's event, a fundraiser for the youth and family services organization. CAPTAIN's is short for Community Action for Parents, Teens and Interested Neighbors. Fox will also be in Saratoga Springs during the first week of August Sales of Fasig-Tipton. Fox will also be showing at a local gallery while visiting Saratoga Springs, New York. Brian Fox understands the power of the paint brush, Saratoga!
Dubai Millennium by Brian Fox