Monday, July 28, 2014

A special thank-you portrait by Alli Farkas

Yesterday was the third and final performance of the Rockin’ Riders dressage quadrille and the other three of us had decided that our quadrille leader, Kim, deserved some really cool recognition for her efforts. She came up with the theme, put the music together, choreographed the entire thing, made the costumes, and put up with the three other “boss mares” in the group who all thought they knew (but didn’t necessarily know) what they were doing. The result was pretty spectacular as we resonated with every judge we appeared before, and brought two of them to tears!

We decided one of my small Aquabord™ paintings would be the perfect gift.
Now for the hard part–the logistics of getting the source photo. We wanted a nice action photo of Kim’s mare, Sydney. But it takes more than just the photographer to stage it. A “chaser” is quite helpful. But the situation of keeping it a secret from Kim, meaning she shouldn’t be at the barn, and a willing “chaser” also being available somehow did not present itself, and time was running out. Kim had mentioned a while back that she would someday like a full-size oil portrait of Sydney, but we hadn’t done anything about it. Last Tuesday we were both at the barn quite early in the morning, and I quickly thought I would pretend that I was talking about her plan for a portrait, and mentioned that I had my camera and why didn’t we see if we could get something interesting. The plan was to wait till all the mares had been sent out to pasture, then let Sydney stew in her stall a while until she was really anxious to get out there with the rest of them. I would wait at the end of the lane leading to the pasture for her to come charging at me and get as many photos as possible as she flew by. It worked like magic.

I only had four days to get the painting done, but got ‘er done in two. Some kind of record for me, but then I had never had to rush one before either. We presented the portrait to Kim after our performance yesterday and the usually reserved Kim was visibly moved. That was enough reward for us–just to know that she realized how grateful we were for all her time, thought, and efforts.
Here's Sydney racing to meet up with her herd mates

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