Renowned equestrian artist Sharon Lynn Campbell has created three paintings for the 2019 Capital Challenge Horse Show, including original artwork for the 26th annual show poster, the prize list cover, and the newly unveiled program cover.
The program painting for the 2019 edition of the Capital Challenge Horse Show, to be held September 27 to October 6 at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, features the 2018 winners of the $50,000 World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Professional Challenge, Amanda Steege and Lafitte de Muze, owned by Cheryl Olsten.
Typically, the horse show uses the poster image for the program. Thanks to Campbell, this year's program cover is able to feature the winner of last year's anniversary edition of the $50,000 Professional Challenge. Finding the right image for the painting was left to Campbell who searches for the right combination of mood, emotion, and lighting.
“As soon as I know which horse is going to be on the cover, I start going through photos taken by photographers and going through my own pictures,” said Campbell of the first stage in the process of creating each Capital Challenge Horse Show oil painting. “I research and find photos, and I let the owner of the horse send me photos. I will look at what photos would work as far as lighting, expression, and form. Because I’m a horse person before I’m an artist, I’m not going to paint something that has bad form.”
For Steege’s cover, Campbell ultimately selected a photo, shot by Jump Media photographer Emily Riden, that depicts Steege and Lafitte de Muze sharing a special moment as they exit the ring on foot with their many awards. The painting depicts the emotion of a moment initially only able to be captured on camera but then brought to life on Campbell’s large canvas.
“That was a really intimate pose,” said Campbell. “Amanda was involved with choosing that as well; everybody loved that one. There was so much to the painting with the ribbons and flowers and coolers and Amanda.”
In creating such detailed paintings, Campbell always works on each oil piece in layers.
“Every layer of paint has to dry,” explained Campbell. “So, all year round, I typically work on a minimum of seven paintings at a time. That’s one of the most common questions that I get as an artist: how long does this take? In my studio, I have one working easel, and then I have easels all over the place and canvases all over my studio at different stages. I will work on one part and let that dry and then come back to it and work on it again. I just rotate through.”
Joining the rotation of paintings in Campbell’s studio this year were oil pieces of both Martha Ingram riding Airport 48 and Liza Boyd riding O’Ryan.
As the winners of the 2018 $10,000 WCHR Pro Finals, Boyd and O’Ryan, owned by Maggie Hill, will be depicted jumping on this year’s yet-to-be-revealed official horse show poster.
“We decided to keep the poster as an over-fences shot, and it’s beautiful,” said Campbell of the image by A&S Photography on which she based the painting. “There’s great sunlight coming in on O’Ryan’s face, and he’s in beautiful form. It’s a nice natural jump, and the background’s muted out. I typically don’t like too much going on in the background for the hunters. I just really want my subject to pop and the eye to be drawn to the horse and rider.”
For the painting of Ingram and Airport 48, which appears on the cover of the prize list, Campbell selected another Jump Media image that showcases the 2018 winners of the North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championship and the Ariat National Adult Medal Finals. Ingram also won the 2018 $2,500 WCHR Amateur-Owner 3’3” Challenge aboard Lyons Creek Bellini, and her highly successful time at the 2018 Capital Challenge Horse Show made her the perfect candidate for the prize list cover.
“It’s just such a sweet pose,” said Campbell of the Jump Media photo of Ingram. “You can just see the bond between her and her horse, and they look so accomplished.”
This year marks Campbell’s fourth consecutive year creating the artwork for the Capital Challenge Horse Show.
“Usually when I’m asked to do a show, I first of all have to know that the show is one of the best in the country. I also have to get along well with my contact people, like I do with Tracey [Weinberg], Michelle [Bloch], and Jen [Glass], at Capital Challenge,” said Campbell. “My rapport with the people that I work with is very important to me, as much as the quality of the horse show and the level of the horse show. They turn into friends that I talk to all year round, and that’s really a bonus!”
To learn more about Campbell and her artwork, visit www.SharonLynnCampbell.com.
Follow the Capital Challenge Horse Show on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates as the countdown to Capital Challenge 2019 begins, and share your own Capital Challenge-related news and photos using the hashtag #CCHS2019 for a chance to be featured on Capital Challenge’s social media and website!
Learn more about the Capital Challenge Horse Show, by visiting www.capitalchallenge.org.
About the Capital Challenge Horse Show
Now in its 26th year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show, presented by the World Equestrian Center, sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter and equitation competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, the 2019 edition of the Capital Challenge Horse Show will take place September 27 through October 6. The 10 days of competition will include prestigious equitation events, jumper divisions, the World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Finals, the $25,000 3’ and 3’3” Green Hunter North American Championships, and more, with many of the country’s best horses and riders competing in junior, amateur, and professional divisions. For more information, visit www.capitalchallenge.org.
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