Behind the paint: SAINT LIAM
In painting Saint Liam, Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and Horse of the Year, for his owner, William Warren Jr. there arose an interesting situation. I painted his silks as they were in all the photos of the champion from all of his races; a hot pink and ice blue sash . . .only to be told by Mr. Warren that his silks are really pink and Kelly Green.
He actually sent me a set of his silks to match them to the painting. I had my daughter, Courtney, model the silks for me and changed the painting to have a deep Kelly Green sash. I only photographed the painting with light blue sash, preferring to publicly only show the painting with the silks he wore and kept the changed painting private for only Mr. Warren.
Saint Liam was named for Mr. Warren’s father and was a very special horse to the Warren family long before he became a household name in the industry after his BC victory and HOY honors. I painted Saint Liam posthumously after his tragic loss after one breeding season. I was told that the painting was received with tears through the office. Imagine a Horse of the Year that only produces one crop of foals and out of that one crop he produces another Horse of the Year (Havre de Grace); now imagine the impact that horse could have had if . . .
Mr. Warren’s quote in the book, “A Brush With Greatness” is one of the most profound comments when he says that his family labored in the horse for nearly forty years, and Saint Liam made them an overnight success in other people’s eyes!