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Gran Gesto – Complete!

I have very good news! I finished the commission of Canadian Dressage Team horse Gran Gesto..aka ‘Sammy’, last week. The painting was dry enough to put on the scanner today, so I can finally share it with you…

Gran Gesto...aka..'Sammy',  16x16 Oil on Panel

Gran Gesto...aka..'Sammy', 16x16 Oil on Panel

I’m notoriously hard on myself (as are most artists I know) and can honestly say I’m really, very happy with this painting. I again used the palette from the Sargent workshop and the result is so soft and gentle in feeling and mood.

The subject also really connects with the viewer of the artwork.  I spent many days modelling the eye, to get it to read just so. After years of doing eye studies, I’m always amazed how subtle shifts in colour and highlights can change a horse’s expression in an instant.

Rider Jacquie Brooks input played a key role in the creating this work.  She wanted something that portrayed “Sammy” as she knows him in the barn. A horse with a puppy dog personality, who despite competing under bright lights and cheering crowds, remains calm, quiet and ready to get the job done. She wanted an unconventional pose and having done many, many traditional poses, I was happy to oblige! I’m overjoyed to report that Jacquie felt ‘I got him exactly’.

I want send a BIG ‘Thank You’ to Gary VanBolderen of Dutch Masters Construction. He is Jacquie’s sponsor and commissioned this special piece of artwork for her. It is, as always, a pleasure to work with you my friend!

I will have this painting on display at the Orangeville Fairgrounds for the Headwaters Stable Tour, October 4th, 10-4pm. I hope you can make it out to see it in person!

Links of Importance:

Headwaters Stable Tour

Dutch Masters Construction

Jacqueline Brooks


  1. Elizabeth McCrindle
    September 28, 2009

    It’s stunning Jennifer his coat looks like satin….a wonderful job 🙂

  2. Gary Van Bolderen
    September 30, 2009


    You never disappoint. Your work is wonderful. I believe an artist always leaves a bit of themselves in their work. The beauty of “Sam” in this portrait could only be done by someone as nice as you. Thanks for doing such a great job. I am never surprised by your work, but always amazed. GvB

  3. Jean
    October 1, 2009

    Beautiful! There is something bashful and sweet and friendly about it. The angle is something I’ve never seen before. What a gorgeous piece!

  4. Carol Buck
    October 6, 2009

    I just love how you do your paintings! They just glow with life!

  5. Nidal Khoury
    November 10, 2009

    Simply amazing

  6. Maggie Scott
    February 3, 2010

    You’re work is beautiful! I am so impressed with the way you captured Gran Gesto’s personality!

  7. Debbie
    May 1, 2010

    Beautiful painting, very impressed with the feel of it. It has the same quality of a painting my mother had done of me with my sheepdog Teba. The turn in the neck, the softness of the eye and the focus of the ears are all perfect. He looks like a really nice person.


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