Odette & Pedro's Wedding Painting

by Samantha Morris


How did I end up painting a horse at a wedding in Spain?!

Well, when I first painted a cow it was all because I'd met Lucinda who's passion for livestock photography and cattle showmanship was wholly inspiring and when it was her special birthday I knew it was time to dust off my paint brushes and paint "Vanessa" her favourite cow.  

This was the first time I'd picked up my paint brushes in 20 years, I was nervous to attempt this portrait and was shaking when I finally presented it to her.  Those nerves were soon allayed by laughter and tears as we both connected and understand that this was a special moment.
That was five years ago and I've had many many special moments since as I've been commissioned to paint important and much loved cattle by hundreds of customers and cow art collectors.  Each and every time it's an honour to be asked, a challenge to undertake and joy to present the final painting.

Well, when I met Odette and Pedro in Spain earlier this year, it was exactly the same I was bowled over with their knowledge, skill, professionalism and love for horses in their care.  I was lucky enough to be invited to the yard, meet some beautiful characters in the stables and watch Pedro and Odette train for a show.  At that moment in time I didn't think I would end up painting at their wedding!
I took hundreds of photos that day, close-ups of the horses, paying attention to the colours and shapes elegantly moving around in front of me and learnt of the love story between Odette, Horses and Pedro!  I'm always enchanted by the story of how people become so skilled in their zone of genius, how they naturally inspire others and share their love.
I jumped at the opportunity to design Odette & Pedro's wedding invitations.  Something I don't ordinarily do, but I'd seen such gorgeous photographs of both of them in action as they'd performed at shows, I had a few creative ideas immediately and couldn't wait to try them out.
Then the unusual idea to paint live at the wedding developed.  I tried to throw Odette off the trail by suggesting that I'd use acrylic paint and capture the wedding scene, the gorgeous view of Vejer de la Frontera and all their beautiful guests.  When really I wanted to paint her horse in oil paint, try a new style and really connect to what she loves.
This coincided with my attendance at the Norfolk School of painting for nine month diploma in oil painting.  There I learnt oil studio craft, art history, technical skills, colour theory, composition design and exercised my creativity.  This was the perfect timing and environment to develop my skills for a contemporary painting for the wedding.  Months went by with some triumphs and many disasters as I practiced my oil skills.
The time finally arrived to commit to an idea and style,  I decided to undertake an active study of Christian Hook's style that captures movement.  Then I just had to get to Spain, buy the materials and start the work one week before the wedding day .... I will let the film tell you the rest of the story x

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