A lot of excitement surrounding this painting. I was invited to have my art booth at a Barrel Racing Futurity at the McCourtney Road Equestrian Center in Lincoln last month. While there I took around 650 photos of horses. As a result I decided to paint this beautiful palomino from one of my reference photos. I spent some time deliberating about the rider. I really only wanted to feature the horse in the painting… but couldn’t really delete the rider. I spoke with my friend and mentor, Lesley Harrison, and she suggested I try this method of vignette where I fade the rider out… something a bit outside the box for me. I pushed myself a bit with this piece, but I’m very happy with the outcome. I was after the excitement I felt when I watched the horses speed around the barrels and run as fast as they could to the gate… and hopefully I accomplished that. As a matter of fact, I was so excited with the outcome of the painting that I simply couldn’t put it down until it was done!
I sent an image of the painting to the manager of the ranch, and was asked to paint the four winning horses in their summer series, which I agreed to do with pleasure… and she posted the painting to the ranch website. After discovering the horse’s name as Last Thing Smokin’, I decided to name the painting Smokin’ The Barrels. I’m really looking forward to more Barrel Racers in my near future… in fact, I believe there’s one on my easel at this moment! 🙂 Oh… and I’m happy to report the owner of this beautiful horse has purchased the painting.