Laura Graves – keeping the quality


Laura Graves came to Highpoint Equestrian Centre, Langley BC in the summer of 2019. Laura is an amazing clinician. We had two full days and we all learned so much. Although each ride gave us so many things to think about – what has stayed with me everyday is her focus on quality. Laura is a bit of a fanatic when it comes to quality. A simple example would be; Can you do a collected trot for an 8? Can you trot across the diagonal and keep it an 8? Can you leg yield and keep that trot an 8? if you can’t – you need to reduce the angle until you can keep that 8 quality. You add difficulty only as you can maintain the quality. I have found this really useful!

“Laura Graves – Original acrylic tonal/wash sketch on canvas 30″ x 60″ NA. 

Dressage and art both require a focus on quality

In dressage, the term quality of the horses gaits refers to their freedom, elasticity, flexibility, looseness, fluency and amplitude (expression while staying in balance I think).

For me  – this tonal sketch painting of Laura was also an exercise in quality. This was a quicker, less detailed painting yet not so quick that I have sacrificed my drawing, tonal values, brushwork and paint technique. As an artist, if you are putting your working sketches out there – they need to reflect the quality of your art.