While in Sturgis, I saw David Uhl still working on this new masterpiece oil painting named “leading Ladies” The idea for this portrait of Cris Sommer-Simmons germinated when David joined both the start and finish of the inaugural Cannonball Run, in which Cris was the only American woman toparticipated. Her impressive 20th place finish paid tribute to her idol and the namesake of her 1915 Harley-Davidson, Effie Hotchkiss, who became the first woman to ride cross country in 1915.
As David Uhl states, “The Cannonball was like no other event I have ever witnessed. I was fortunate enough to be both at the start in Kitty Hawk and the finish In Santa Monica. Kitty Hawk was a great opportunity to photograph the anticipation and the camaraderie developing between many of the participants. I was especially interested in Cris Sommer Simmons as she has a very special passion in common with me. She happens to love the romance of the history of women on motorcycles as much as I do. Enough for her to have composed a beautiful book on the subject –“The Cannonball Diaries”– which sits next to my easel (photography by Michael Lichter) Having this lovely slice of history in common with her has inspired me to do this painting of her. She was originally inspired by the story of Effie Hotchkis, and even adopted one of Effie’s rituals, which especially intrigued me. Just as Effie did, Cris filled a small vial with water from the Atlantic Ocean and kept it with her throughout the entire journey to finally release it’s contents into the Pacific Ocean.”
With all this abundance of inspiration flowing around, David composed “Leading Ladies” with an exclusive edition of canvas giclee prints now available. Each of these beautiful prints will come hand-numbered and signed by artist David Uhl, Cris Sommer-Simmons and her husband Pat Simmons (of Doobie Brothers fame). Further personalization of your print and photo opportunities with all 3 will be available at a series of events during Bike Week this year in Daytona. I will publish, when finalized, a detailed schedule of these events that will include a special solo acoustic performance by Pat Simmons.
A total of only 103 canvas prints will be made available to the public (89 – the year Cris met Pat and the number on her 1915 H-D) prints, plus 9 Artist Proofs and 5 House Copies). Image size is approximately 30 x 20 and the opening price will be held at $1,550 unframed (Framing extra) through the end of Bike Week (March 18th) or until the edition is sold out. A special bonus: For print orders received by March 18th, you will also receive a signed edition of Cris’s new book, titled “The American Motorcycle Girl’s Cannonball Diary” which features David’s new image as the cover art. Pre-order by calling Greg Rhodes 303-913-4840 at Uhl Studios.