One of the most challenging things about recording the pageantry of the Blessing of the hunt held every Thanksgiving in Gyndon, Maryland is the intermingling of the hoi polloi and the hoity toity. The bucolic landscape of the valley is littered with petters in sweaters, mothers with strollers, teens with their iPods and photogs with tripods. Trying to get a clean shot is nearly impossible. Thankfully, as a painter, I can often just edit them out in the composition. While it might have been nice to include the quaint St. John's Episcopal Church in the background, there was something pleasing about the simplicity of this painting. The focus is on the magnificent beasts and the intricate harnesses and not the scene wherein they play in. I chose to use a simple blue into green gradient although not without trepidation. I had a back-of-my-mind fear that it may come off looking like the colored tissue paper that folks in the 50's put over their black and white TVs to simulate color; blue for the sky, red for the people and green for the grass. My fears turned out to be groundless, no pun intended, and the gambit paid off. The tack and harnesses proved to be much more labor intensive than I first imagined, but I always look at my reference and think I can lay it down in an hour and 6 hours later I am still pushing paint around. I may have to paint some fruit or oysters tomorrow just to prove to myself that I can paint a sketchy painting.