Princess of Sylmar, 24" x 36" canvas
Collection of Ed & Ina Stanco
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 acting performance ends in short order. A nice painting, however, goes on a wall... and it's there, to be enjoyed, every day... for years. Later, they become heirlooms."
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.
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
301. 602. 4385
email: mgArts31 @ gmail. com