Rod Skidmore resides in Alburtis, Pennsylvania and is a self-taught artist specializing in the medium of watercolor. Before focusing his talent on equine art, Rod worked as an art director in New York City for one of the top ten advertising agencies in the world, on such accounts as Lever Bros., Noxzema Cover Girl, Revlon, etc. This background led to Rod becoming owner of his own agencies in Allentown, Pennsylvania then Portland, Maine where he was introduced to the Sport of Polo.
At the age of 57, Rod Skidmore started playing polo under the guidance of his friend and professional polo player, Eddy Martinez of Georgia. After about three years of Eddy's tutilage, Martinez refused to accept payment for his lessons. In an effort to return his generosity Rod decided to present him with a painting featuring Eddy playing Polo. Rod’s 10th painting was a commission from the President of Rolex Watch, U.S.A. after which Rod’s popularity gained rapidly in the world of Polo. Rod continued to paint gaining wide acclaim in polo circles, and in a short time received commissions from such notable clients as Andy Busch of Anheiser Busch, Mathias Guarrand-Hermes of Hermes of Paris and many more. No longer merely a hobby, he began focusing all of his energy on his artwork.
Rod's polo playing aspirations came to a halt with the loss of the vision in his right eye from an unfortunate accident while playing.
Rod Skidmore’s paintings capture the true essence of the Sport of Polo in scenes from play that put the viewer right in the midst of the game. “I have been told by professional polo players that I accurately paint the Sport of Polo. I suppose that comes from the fact that I did play a little, and I understand the interaction between horse and rider and positioning of players.”
Rod then had interest in the world of Show Jumping, he studied and painted jumpers and is now enjoying the creative flow that comes from the exploration of a new subject. The same attention to detail he displays when painting polo scenes is also evident when he depicts the sport of show jumping. He was the official Winter Equestrian Festival artist for 2006 and 2007 in Wellington, Florida and official Artist for HITS on the Hudson, Saugerties, NY in 2007.
Being a self-taught artist, Rod Skidmore describes his work as a continuing education. “Every time I do a painting I learn something new, and that makes it exciting. I just enjoy the colors and the brilliance of some of the things that happen with watercolors.” Rod Skidmore's artistic pursuits also involved him as Vice President, artistic director and trustee of the Leonardo da Vinci's Horse project. The goal of the project was the creation of Leonardo da Vinci's never completed monumental equestrian statue "Il Cavallo" - a 24-foot high bronze sculpture which much to Leonardo's great disappointment he never completed. As the artistic director, Rod had the pleasure of working with Charles C. Dent, founder of Leonardo da Vinci's Horse, Inc. and renowned sculptor, Nina Akamu (designer and sculptor of the horse) during the creation and production processes of the monumental sculpture. He also worked very closely with a host of renowned advisors, art historians and sculptors, all of which contributed to the success of the project.
The monument was dedicated September 10, 1999 in Milan, Italy as a gift to the Italian people from the American people (500 years after Leonardo's full size model was destroyed by French archers). A second full size bronze casting, referred to as the "American Horse", was unveiled on October 7, 1999 at the Frederik Meijer Botanical & Sculpture Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Leonardo da Vinci Horse sculpture is the largest equine monument in the world and was included in Time International Magazine's, Ten Best Designs in the World for the year 1999. After moving to Pennsylvania in 2008 Rod’s interest in fly fishing came to the surface and in 2010 Rod had two paintings entitled, Rangeley Boats and Brook Trout published in the Fall issue of Trout Unlimited Magazine.
To find out more about Rod's original works and limited edition fine-art prints go to Rod’s website at www.rodskidmoreartist.com, email [email protected] or you may call 610-682-1838 to speak with Rod.