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Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Hurdler

Being part of the community of artists from all over the country, who have been painting panels for the Canada Summer Games mural has been an honour. This is the third mural that I have participated in led by co-creators of Mural Mosaic, Lewis Lavoie and Phil Alain. 

When I first accepted the invitation to paint a panel for this mural I really didn't know anything about the event, but I knew it was sport themed.  I had a great photo of my son Braden snowboarding that I used for reference for the first panel. When Phil picked the panel up he asked me if I would paint a second panel. The only problem was coming up with an idea and having a photo reference for said idea.  A friend of mine, Laureen King offered up a suggestion and mentioned track to me.  Her son, Garrett was a track athletic and she had tons of photos that I could choose from; I was game and we proceeded to find the perfect photo.  The one we chose was taken by her husband, we thought, and had never been published....this would be perfect!

Garrett has been competing in track and field since he was 10 years old, starting with the running club at his elementary school Neil M Ross in St. Albert, AB.  Once he left his elementary school for junior high he continued to help coach the running club for the next 6 years.  He is now on the Varsity team with University of Calgary.  Garrett's skill, dedication and determination along with his training, which takes place 5 days a week all year long, has paid off as he has competed for Team Alberta in the Alberta Summer Games and the Western Canada Summer Games.

The absolute best part about painting this particular painting was to find out that Garrett was actually trying out for Team Alberta, which would be representing Alberta in the Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Quebec!!  How exciting is that!!!!!  Garrett, being the great sport that he is, agreed to let me paint him whether he actually made the team or not, which was amazing in itself.  So we knew, no matter what, that he would be going to Sherbrooke, either as a participating athlete or as a painting!  I am so extremely pleased to tell you that I have just found out that he is actually going as both - an athlete and a painting!!  CONGRATULATIONS Garrett King for making Team Alberta!!!!

This has been such a fun panel to paint and keeping tight lipped while Garrett was in tryouts made it a little more fun and a little nerve wracking.  Also trying to fit it into the mural with the same colour tones or values is always a challenge, but that's what makes it fun painting for Mural Mosaic; I always love a challenge. There was one glitch along the way though.  As I was half way through, Laureen called me and explained that although she had thought the photo was taken by her husband, after checking it out she realized it was actually taken by a newspaper photographer.  After my initial panic, she reassured me she talked to the photographer and all was well.  I also called him because I have always been very careful to have contracts signed with the photographers I have worked with and the people I paint.  Chris Colbourne of the St. Albert Gazette was very gracious when I phoned him and both he and the St. Albert Gazette gave me permission to use it as a reference.

This has been quite the collaboration, I may have painted the panel, but everyone involved had such a huge part in it.  I want to say a special thank you to the following people: Phil Alain for inviting me on this project, Garrett King for being the absolute best sport and agreeing to be the subject of this painting, Chris Colbourne for graciously allowing me to use his photo as reference, to the St. Albert Gazette which also gave their permission and to Laureen King who has been such a great support and has such good ideas!!!

Good luck in Sherbrooke Garrett, you have already made us proud!!

Links to check out:
St. Albert Gazette:
Laureen King - Art in the Kitchen:

Canada Summer Games:
Facebook Art Page - Memory Roth Artist - Painting Memories:

Original Panel
Original Photo Reference - Chris Colburne and St. Albert Gazette


Denise said...

What a wonderful background story to a wonderful piece.

Laureen King said...

Memory, you did such an amazing job capturing Garrett's spirit as he chases down those hurdlers. I can hardly wait to see your painting when we go to Sherbrooke in August.

Karen Blanchet said...

You are getting better and better! This is not an easy piece. Love it!