Ridgewood Ranch Series 2010

 

Donna Stropes Statement 

for

 Seabiscuit’s Legacy Art Exhibition & Benefit Auction May 2010

 

It was an honor to be asked to be the Featured Artist for this Event.

 

Shortly after our move to Willits I became acquainted with Howard Hospital. My mother was here for a visit and had fallen and broke her wrist just before she came. Enter Dr Bowen and the history displayed down in hallway. A few years later, my mother was hospitalized with pneumonia. During that time, it was my first meeting with the Howard Foundation Hospital fundraising committee, where I was asked to be Auction Chair for the 2007 Signature  event.  With lots of art auctions experience. I realized this is something I can do, to help raise funds for a new much-needed hospital for this area.  

 

It seemed the event was always intertwined with Seabiscuit in some way. Last year when I visited the Ranch to look at newspaper articles, artwork, photos of the Howard Family and items to be used for a Seabiscuit memory box and couple of other framed memorabilia items for the auction.  In doing so I noticed how  peaceful the surroundings were. This year I have the honor to create a watercolor trying to evoke a feeling for a place steeped in rich history, especially when that history includes an animal loved by so many.  Even the people who shared his life seem bigger than life. While taking my photos for the painting, I was thinking oak tress at first. Then the minute I saw that beautiful, weathered old Mare Barn, surrounded by beautiful old oak trees, I felt this needs to be my subject! I'm drawn to it.  As I did my sketching of a study, I thought someday they will get this place all fixed up, but in a deeper sense, it's the way it looks now that draws me to it all those little holes in the back wall...woodpeckers?? the old metal horseshoe maker, even the smell of an old barn, it's all still there.