Earlier this year, a long-time friend came to me with a request – to create a unique gift for her triathlon coach.
I am in awe of anyone who does triathlons. I ran cross country in high school and never attempted more than a 5-mile race. I tried mountain bike racing a few years ago, and I decided then that the nerves that come with athletic competition just aren’t for me.
So I admire anyone who takes on any kind of race, let alone a race involving three different sports. Jesse is no doubt a strong, talented woman. She completed an Ironman race just a year after having her daughter! In case you’re not familiar with the Ironman Triathlon, that’s 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of cycling, and 26.2 miles of running. Incredible!
Jesse wanted to thank her triathlon and Crossfit coach, JP, for inspiring and pushing her to reach her goals. We worked together to come up with the perfect gift for JP, who is of course also a triathlon racer.
Initially Jesse thought she wanted to represent all three sports in one triathlon painting, but I suggested that we do a triptych instead. This worked out nicely, because it allowed me to incorporate different color palettes representing the different times of day throughout a race day.
After several emails back and forth for swapping inspiration photos and ideas, plus one phone call, we had a plan. I also provided Jesse with computer-generated mock-ups of what the paintings would generally look like. Sometimes for a commission I’ll do a pencil sketch, but for this painting I really wanted to give her an idea of what the colors would look like and how there would be a common theme across the three paintings. The colors play an important role in depicting the energy of each sport and the mood of each event.
A few weeks later, the paintings were complete. Since she lives in California, Jesse approved the photos of the paintings I sent her via email. After two more weeks of drying time, I shipped them off and they arrived safely in a couple of days. Both she and JP and loved them!