I just finished this painting for the second time. I painted it last year, but I wasn’t satisfied with it. You know how something is wrong with something but you need someone to tell you what it is. Well, my photographer was out last July, a year ago, and he said that Elise and the professional bucking bull (Brahman) looked detached. I said I noticed that too. You know how you can’t follow a photo and as an artist, you simply have to make things “right”.
Anyway, I painted Elise out of the painting and started over two more times. Aside from putting the light up at the very top of the bull’s eyes, which I had not done previously, between softening the arm, and other tweaks, I finally had my painting. Elise was 5 years old in this moment in time, and the daughter of a wonderful friend, Shawnna Tarplay.
Elise is all grown up now, and you can bet she is just as fearless now as she was then. Both grew up on ranches, rounded up cattle, lassoed them, branded them, castrated the bull calves. I know Elise won many championships at rodeos with goat tying. I’m not going to go into that here, but look it up. It’s fascinating!!! Hail to the mighty “girl power”.