The Grand Slam!
I know that most of you watched the Breeders’ Cup and saw American
Pharoah win the Breeders’ Cup Classic by 6 ½ lengths on Saturday, Oct.
31. Perhaps you were one of the lucky ones that actually witnessed this
phenomenal horse race at Keeneland.
Well being an equine artist my dream would have been to attend this grand
event, take a picture of this exquisite horse, and then paint this beauty on
canvas. However I knew this would never happen because I did not have a
ticket and would not be buying one. I had given up on the idea of ever
having a photo of this gorgeous creature,
Then something remarkable happened. My oldest son, Matthew, called us
and said that he had been given a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup. Oh my gosh!
This could be the the opportunity I had been waiting for! So my first words
out of my mouth were please, please, take a picture!
Well having only his cell phone’s camera it still seemed like a longshot.
However he assured me that he would try. I received a picture from him
before the race but it couldn’t be used as a reference photo because the
image could barely be seen. The race began and ended and no additional
pictures were sent. I knew that this must have been the only photo he had
gotten. Soon after the end of the race I heard my phone telling me I had a
text message. I pulled up the message and another picture was there.
However again I was disappointed because it was still impossible to see
the details needed to paint American Pharoah. I have always heard artist
say that your painting can never be better than your reference photo. In
other words you must have the details and the shadows in order to make it
work. When I saw the image I knew then that my chances were gone and I
might as well give up on the idea of having a painting of this phenomenal
animal because a good photo seemed very unlikely. I knew that Matthew
had probably sent me all the pictures that he was able to capture with his
phone. A few more minutes passed and then I heard the ting of my phone
with another text. Knowing for sure that this time the message was from
Kurtis, my youngest son, about the victory of American Pharoah! I pulled
up the text. To my surprise it wasn’t Kurtis. There in all its glory appeared
the final picture from Matthew and the one I had been waiting for! American
Pharoah racing down the stretch, 6 ½ lengths in front of the other horses,
on his way to making history! In just a few furlongs he became the first
horse to win the Grand Slam!
Although this photo is not perfect, I do think I can work with it and perhaps
have a painting of this beautiful creature named American Pharoah. I am
working on perfecting the drawing. Seeing the muscles in his body and the
details of the face are a challenge, but I’m trying. I will share the progress
with you when the painting begins. Hopefully you will be
seeing this great part of history come to life soon!!