When I first met Sam Robinson, many years ago, he was the president and founder of a company called Valley Craftsmen, who did faux painting (remember, this was many years ago) and other decorative painting. I thought Sam was terrific then, on a slight acquaintance, and now, many years later, on a nice friendship, I think he’s even more terrific.I was kindly invited to an opening of his wonderful art works, much of it done over the last few months… during the spring races. For a certain segment of Baltimoreans, spring hails the arrival of steeplechase season, picnics in the grass, excellent cocktails, horse races and good friends. Sam views it as an opportunity for plein air painting.

He approached the racing officials who let him set up his easel and paints in the midst of the paddock, where all of the action is… at least before the races begin. The center of the three paintings below is the painting drying on the left above.

His equestrian knowledge and his love of his part of Maryland, the Green Spring Valley where he lives, all contribute to his deep sense of place, which is reflected in his paintings.

Each aspect of the race is shown in Sam’s paintings. From the trainer and the owner discussing strategy,to the grooms bringing the horses in to the paddock to be saddled,to the riders making their way to the starting line,to the fierce competition over the fences,

to the announcer calling the race,

to the final run down the home stretch,

to the final cooling off of the horses,Sam’s paintings reflect the true gamut of the day.

His paintings have a light, quick touch that really conveys the highs and lows of this racing life.

Sam Robinson’s show runs through early August at Halcyon House Antiques in the Green Spring Valley.For more information on the show, click here, and for more information on Sam’s paintings, click here.

Meg Fielding writes the local interior design and lifestyle blog Pigtown Design and is the past president of the Baltimore Architectural Foundation. She enjoys dual citizenship with the US and the UK.