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Commissions ~ Having Your Horse Painted

Princess of Sylmar, 24" x 36" canvas
Collection of Ed & Ina Stanco

~ Original Paintings ~
       For their pride of ownership, depth of color, uniqueness, and lasting value, an original painting is one of the best gifts that you can give to yourself or to someone else.

       Michelangelo said,  "A painting is the best of all the Arts because it 'gives' every moment of every day.  A favorite book gets read and shelved away; a song stops and an acting performance ends in short order.  A nice painting, however, goes on a wall... and it's there, to be enjoyed, every day...and for years. Later, they become heirlooms."  
All true.
      I'm a representational artist.  When I paint something, you know exactly what it is.  I'm well-educated and well-practiced at my craft.  I've been a full-time professional since 1988.  There isn't a person, place or thing I can't paint, and I'd be honored to paint for you.   
      Due to time constraints, I can usually do no more than 4 paintings a year.  I often have a waiting list, so please check with me on timing. 
      If you hire me, I'm confident that I could give you the painting you envision.  I'm just as comfortable with human portraiture as I am with animal depictions.
      Unlike many artists, when you commission me, you're welcome to dictate virtually all aspects of the painting.  You'll approve the composition in advance and I'll guide with any professional recommendations.  
       Among recent commissions, paintings have been done for winning owners of many Breeders' Cup events, such as Dr. Steve & Barbara Laymon, as well as Bob & Kristine Edwards (of e5 Racing Stable); and winners of the Kentucky Oaks and Alabama Stakes, like Ed & Ina Stanco; Winners of the 2017 Preakness Stakes, Cloud Computing and 2019 Horse of the Year, Bricks & Mortar for Bill & Gloria Lawrence; Winner of the Haskell Invitational, Girvin, for Brad & Misty Grady; and Vekoma for Randy Hill winning the 2019 Blue Grass Stakes.
~ My Style ~  
      I strive for total accuracy, but not photo realism.  My originals always retain a traditional, painterly look.  Throughout my career, it's a style that's been very well received.  
      In your home or office, you'll be surprised at how the painting becomes the conversational piece of your collection.  For some reason, people are drawn to the history, excitement and romance of the Thoroughbred racing game.  
~ Your Composition ~
      By far, more people have come to me for action scenes than anything else, though I occasionally paint the traditional, standing conformation scene.  Compositions are limited only by your desires and imagination. 
      To get started, the process is easy.  Simply explain by phone, text message or e-mail what you have in mind, and I'll send you an actual-size, detailed pencil sketch of the composition.
      An original painting requires a minimum of 2 months to complete--but typically 3 months.  My price ranges between $8,500 - $18,000, depending upon overall size and complexity.  By example, I charge $15,000 for the popular 24" x 36" canvas size.
To learn more about my technical procedures, read below.
~  How I Make a Picture ~

       Over the years, many were taken aback to hear the process.  Like all well-schooled representational artists, I have a distinct and disciplined formula.

      The erroneous assumption is that artist's are born with a certain "gift from God," and can magically turn out paintings without an effort.  There are certainly abstract artists who work on flights of inspiration, but for a "representational", or "realistic" artist, such as myself, to be spot-on, nothing could be further from the truth.

    My paintings are labor intensive; I affectionately call them enjoyable misery.  Each is a blend of sound draftsmanship and precise, academic painting techniques. 

      I'm a narrative (storytelling) artist, and as such, rely on photographs as a reference tool.  Most of my work documents riveting and often historical moments in the sport, and many times it includes people.  As such, it's impossible to not use photos for reference.  It would be negligent to take liberties with the likenesses of my subject matter - human or horse.  But this stated, I rarely paint verbatim from a photos.  I use pictures only for guidance and historical accuracy. 


~ Anatomy of a Painting ~

      When possible, I prefer to see the horse in person.  Reason being, from a true color standpoint, pictures have a tendency to lie.   Color can easily be affected by ink fluctuations during printing.  What's more, any leg and facial markings can be covered up within ten strides by racetrack dirt.  It's always advantageous to visit a horse when possible. It's the best way to capture his total personality.

      When portraying a racing scene, I also prefer to see a video of the race and all pictures available at the wire.  This helps me comprehend the "action" and stride pattern of the racehorse.  It also allows me to recapture the background and weather from that day, as well as other details. 

      Final Word on Photo Reference:   If my visiting your horse is not practical, I can work from your photos, providing that they're clear and high-quality shots.  If the pictures were taken by a professional, contact me, first.   Though I never paint directly from a photo, everyone owns the copyright to their shots. Photographers are artists too, and I hold the highest respect for their efforts.  I'll describe for you how to procure a letter of release from the photographer. 



     If you've read this far, please know that I'm flattered by your interest.  If you'd like for to me paint for you, just e-mail, text message or call me directly.  We'll discuss timeline and all details as they pertain to your desires. 

- Michael Geraghty
Laurel, Maryland
301. 602. 4385
email: mgArts31 @ gmail. com