In November 2009 a client & friend commissioned me to ‘paint anything of my choosing’. At first this seemed like an easy task, but it wound up being one of my most challenging journeys in the studio to date.
While I was given the opportunity to paint ‘Carte Blanche’ – I wanted to create something that my client would truly connect with. I knew he liked landscape artwork, he had also recently traveled to South Africa with his wife. They both spoke about the stunning sunsets. I knew he was a fan of my older detailed works and not so much a fan of my newer colourful diversions from realism. Slowly I built my criteria of what would make this a great painting for him. At the same time, for it to be something truly from me, I had to love the painting and the journey to create it as well.
I started with a landscape of two horses walking through a field on a foggy morning…It wasn’t me and I never connected with the image. I abandoned it about two months in. Then I began with a challenging image of a herd of horses galloping in a field…that painting died a slow death too.
Back to square one a little over a year later and one patient client. I returned to my archives to find an image I had always wanted to paint. The reference was taken from a farm shoot in Mulmur, Ontario. It was Autumn, early evening, long light. It was a spectacular night, the colour of light was warm and glowing. A light wind was enough to inspire the horses to be alert and fresh.
I think this is a ‘happy’ painting. It captures a joyful exuberance and many of the qualities of my client’s tastes and experiences. Yet, the unusual cropping and landscape format satisfies my desire to produce something unexpected.
My client turned friend picked up the painting yesterday. I hope he would say it was worth the wait 😉