It started out as a recommendation and has turned into a 100-foot wide mural that will hang in the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.
Ponoka resident and artist Inge Sybrandi has been painting her rodeo mural since April and hopes to have it completed by June 2013.
When the job was offered Sybrandi was shocked and ecstatic but the more she thought about it the more pressure she felt. However, creating the mural was something she had to do. “I’d regret it forever if I didn’t do it.”
Sybrandi never thought she’d be painting a rodeo-themed mural for the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. Until she was 13 Sybrandi lived in Holland, where English-style riding is popular but western isn’t.
“I was a geek,” Sybrandi said, referring to herself at 13 years old. Coming to Canada was a culture shock, Sybrandi said. She was able to express herself best through art, something she’d never been interested in, in Holland.
Sybrandi’s talents grew as she did. In the beginning, drawing a horse was all about the technicalities, now, to her, it’s an automatic second-nature.
If there’s something not right about the horse Sybrandi is able to feel it, when she first started out she wouldn’t be able to spot the mistake.
Along the way Sybrandi has learned other lessons to keep her drawings looking vibrant. For her mural she’s referring to pictures she’s taken from previous Ponoka Stampedes. “If you just work off the photograph people can tell that you do, it’s not alive.”
However, it’s not all glory and big pictures. Sybrandi says painting for a living is mentally draining. There are deadlines to meet and more than once she’s hit painters block. “It’s tough if you’re not making money,” Sybrandi said.
There are times when she’s felt lazy because she can’t force it; and she’s had a lot of sleepless nights. “It’s a challenge, but I want to keep doing it.”