Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My Friend Greig Leach: Official Artist for the UCI World Road Racing championships

 My friend, Greig Leach is a bicycle artist exemplar! An original!

I decided to ask Greig some questions.

He agreed to an interview.

Mim: What got you interested in bicycle racing?

 Greig:  Many things got me into bike racing.  I learned the joy of riding as a young kid and the freedom that came with it.  About the same time I started studying French in school I discovered the Tour de France (back then it was only covered in French magazines).  I was hooked right away.  At roughly the same time I began to race on the amateur level in the Washington, DC area.  While I don't race anymore, I have continued to ride and train at near that level of speed and distances.  I love the power, skill, color and speed of the professional peloton.

Mim: Do you attend the races you paint?

Greig: While I have seen a number of races live and have been in many large amateur races, I paint all of the races from either TV broadcasts on from online feeds.  The primary advantage as that I can avail myself of the multiple mobile cameras, helicopters and stationary camera positions to get a feel for the complete story of the day's racing.  If I were trying to paint the races on site, I would need to be sitting backwards on a motorcycle in the middle of the races.  While that sounds exciting (albeit rather dangerous) I would be limited by where I could be at any given moment.  Often there is one story in one group on the road and completely different equally important story being played out several kilometers ahead or behind.  I do paint all of the work in as close to real time as possible without knowing the results of the day, so that I can bring that immediacy to the painting.  Telling the story as it unfolds.

Mim: Will you be doing any images from the UCI races?

Greig: I will be the Official Artist for the UCI World Road Racing Championships in Richmond.  The plan is for me to use the same methodology I have been employing to capture the racing with pen and brush, but to do it live near the finishing line for each stage.  We will be doing video capture from the race video feeds and viewers will be able to watch a close circuit video of me painting the pieces (think of a typical cooking show over head camera).  As I complete each painting, we will scan the originals and print a limited edition Giclee print of each image.  So fans will be able to watch the race go by, watch me paint what they just saw on the street and then buy a print of the painting all in the span of a half hour.  All of the works that I create will then be collected into my second book on bike racing along with my annotations about the action in the paintings and why it is important.  The new book, "The World Rolls into Richmond - Art of the 2015 UCI World Road Racing Championships" will be similar in concept to my recently published, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France"

Greig's book is available on his website HERE.

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