The Making of "Like Father, Like Son"
It was a year before Deborah met the horses in "Like Father, Like Son." Under ideal circumstances this artist spends time visiting with the owners, interacting with the horses, photographing, sketching, and observing their mannerisms and personalities. However, she did not actually get to stroke the horses and talk with their owner until a year after they were photographed and painted. A lifelong fan of the Cheyenne Frontier Days, Deborah returns every year and photographs the horses in the parades and events. After returning from her photo session in 1998, she knew she had to paint the distinctive pair who appears in "Like Father, Like Son." It was especially the rounded posture and "grizzled" gray mane of the horse in the foreground that had to be captured. The background horse offered an interesting high-headed contrast.
Deborah returned with her husband to Cheyenne in 1999 with the outside chance that she would again see the draft pair in the parade. She and her husband kept their eyes open for the rig. Coming around the corner was the team that is her favorite. After hours in front of the easel painting every detail, there was no doubt in her mind. She handed the driver a brochure and card saying, "Those are the horses in my painting." Then heading for the end of the parade route she was able to introduce herself to their owner and visit with him. A rancher from Carr, Colorado he was gracious and sharing in telling the real story behind this unique team.
He bought a stallion about 10 years ago and acquired one of the stallion’s offspring as soon as the foal was weaned from its mother. His two Belgians have been teamed up ever since, "Fritz" and "Dolly." The cat's out of the bag. It's actually a father and daughter. Better than that! The one with the "grizzled" gray mane and rounded posture is the daughter!
But this turn of events only makes the reward in the creation of "Like Father, Like Son" that much sweeter. Thank you Lloyd Thomas for your wonderful team of Belgian horses. They remain the inspiration and will always be, "Like Father, Like Son."