Last Thursday I was at the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation sponsor's tent (at the Rolex Kentucky 3-Day event), doing a demonstration on behalf of the American Academy of Equine Art. Here I am at the start with the Administrative Manager of the AAEA, the remarkable Frances Clay Conner. The sun was in my eyes, but people started to come around and bring me lovely drinks and appetizers... so it wasn't too bad at all.
As the new Director of Education of the American Academy (based at the Horse Park), we were so grateful to Frances Dulaney and her colleagues at the Horse Park for inviting us to showcase equestrian art for their sponsors.
I had assumed, since I was at the arena, that horses would be present and I could do my demonstration from life. Just in case, I had selected a photograph I had taken over 14 years ago, whilst I was still eventing myself. The photo had so much energy and excitement, and I thought it would be fun to paint for the eventing enthusiasts and World Equestrian Games sponsors present that day. (I had randomly selected the photo from amongst the several thousands I had.)
Pretty soon, people started to come out onto the patio and introduce themselves to Frances Clay, our President Lloyd Kelly, and myself. I was delighted to see my friends there, W.E.G. sponsors John Paul and Judy Miller, Harold, Becky, and meeting Connie and Martha from out of state, but a remarkable, I think amazing, thing happened.... People came over who knew exactly who the rider was.... At least one lady had tears in her eyes, and several people were moved. The rider was recognized as a beloved horseman of Kentucky, a Mr. Ralph Hill, who had suffered a terrible accident. I was privileged to be introduced to the First Lady of Kentucky, Mrs. Jane Beshear and Mrs. Alston Kerr who asked if the painting could be used to raise funds for their friend to aid him in his plight. Who could possibly refuse?
I am constantly humbled by the power of Art, and by the magic that happens when we put ourselves to its use. Who could have imagined I would have selected that photo, on that day? (Even the lady who owned the horse was present!) It is amazing to me that the very man whose image inspired my painting, will eventually be helped via the vehicle of Art.
I'll keep you posted as to the result. I'll let you know what happens to the painting.
AS A SIDEBAR... HORSES FINALLY CAME OUT... When the demo was over!!!
So I just grabbed some acrylic paper and sketched them romping around. (Enjoy the sketch, Dunny!)
Who are these people?
John Paul and Harold, remember we were having a giggle whilst I was demonstrating? I wonder who this dashing cowboy, the dapper horse trainer in rust suit with turquoise accents, the beautiful, talented and extraordinary blonde and brunette ladies were? Hmmmm...