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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!!

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