It is amazing how time and space come together to lead me to make choices for the elements for a portrait. Such was the case with Sportie. Sportie is a beautiful Irish Draft and Arab gelding who became an angel in 2009. His owner, Tracey lives in England. She described him as:
“Sportie was my best friend, we had over 15 years together and he always kept me smiling. He was playful and cheeky and always ready for a cuddle or massage. Sportie loved my daughters and when there were little they often lay with him in the stable. I am so lucky to have had him in my life.
When I asked Tracey if she had a preference for which photo to use for his portrait - she said she loved them all as they were all him, and that in particular she loved the pictures of Sportie playing in the sunlight. That was my favorite photo too so that was the right choice.
As I went through a few days in preparation for the painting, I kept seeing Sporty’s image in my mind’s eye with rays of light radiating out from his mane. The painting evolved to include a dramatic starburst of green emanating from the center of the painting. It was amazing how many colors I could see in the shades of light and shadow of Sportie’s white coat. It allowed me to use colors from my pastel boxes I rarely use!
As Tracey awaited her portrait to arrive she admitted to feeling nervous because she knew it was going to be emotional seeing him again. I assured her that I believed she would feel it as a reunion rather than a reminder that he wasn’t with her.
Upon receiving the portrait Tracey’s comments were:
Sportie has arrived and WOW took my breath away, totally drew me in! I did cry a little but loads of smiling. The colours are amazing and the family all agree how beautiful it looks. My girls would both love a poster in their bedrooms! It is being framed at the moment and I can’t wait to get it up in its place.