Nanton artist, Shannon Lawlor, was challenged to think big picture when asked to create the 2011 program cover for the Canadian Supreme. The result is an endearing portrait of mare and foal, representing all the time and effort that goes into producing a champion horse.
The last three covers for the Supreme featured a horse and rider competing in each discipline reining, cowhorse and cutting, Shannon explains. But in 2011 the Supreme changed its format & deciding to ask a different artist each year to produce a piece of art, saying, Think of the big picture the lifestyle that goes into the Supreme. I felt very honoured that I was the first artist given this challenge, and I put a lot of time and planning into achieving that goal.
Shannon grew up in Manitoba, and then moved to Alberta in 1988. She has spent her entire life immersed in agriculture and the horse industry. I ve also drawn my whole life, starting as a child, she says. But I actually don t have a degree in art. Instead I earned my degree by working with horses. I ve worked for an equine vet, in a feed lot, on cattle ranches, for natural horsemanship trainers and various PMU operations. Collectively those experiences have given me a good understanding of many different equine breeds and disciplines, and I can then apply this to my art.
After pondering her options, Shannon decided to paint something a bit out of the ordinary. Her acrylic painting titled Supreme Promise features a mare nuzzling her foal. Sometimes we forget how much time and work goes into producing these talented horses that compete at the Supreme, Shannon says. First the breeder has to decide which mare to breed, and which stallion to take her to. They have to care for the mare during her 11 months of pregnancy and then hope she delivers a healthy foal. Once that baby is on the ground they have the challenge of keeping it sound as it grows. It will take two or three years before it even gets into the show pen, IF it gets to the show pen. I wanted my painting to depict all the hopes and challenges that it takes to get those foals to the level of competing here at the Supreme.
Shannon will have a booth at the Supreme s Western Lifestyle Marketplace, where the original painting will be displayed. This painting will be for sale in my booth, Shannon explains. Plus we have produced a very limited edition of 25 prints that will also be for sale. Ten of these prints will be offered for pre-purchase through me directly, however the prints will not be released until the Supreme event itself this fall. The sale of these prints is a joint venture between myself and the Canadian Supreme. It will use any profits raised to help keep the event going in the future.
For information visit www.shannonlawlor.com. .