Self-made man Larry Pfaff had an idea that someday he would have a portrait of himself painted. He told me it was fifteen years ago when he thought it might be a good idea. A.D. and I had been showing our motorcycle and automotive artworks at the Railroad Pass Casino and Classic Car Showroom when Larry was introduced to us by a mutual friend as he was walking enjoying the car collection with his dog Cocoa. We struck up a conversation. Larry had told me he had been thinking of having his portrait painted for some years, but he hadn’t yet met the artist he believed could do the work. I thought, “Here we are.” We discussed what he had envisioned, and we decided to meet a week later to do a photo shoot in preparation to do the painting.
The day we met was a gray, drizzly day, and we found ourselves in a park near Boulder City, Nevada. We walked about a desert park as A.D., the professional photographer that he is, was kind enough to take over three hundred photos of Larry and Cocoa. We had a fun and memorable time, talking and kidding between us. Cocoa went on a few excursions, we had to go after him, and even though he is an exceptional dog, he did not take direction well and was too modest to look at the camera. Mr. Pfaff was an excellent model and soon took to his relaxed style of conversing as A.D. fired off great reference photos, one after another.
In the park were massive sculptures of lizards, snakes, turtles and jackrabbits ten times larger than life, maybe even more. A.D. shot an excellent photo of Larry with the Jackrabbit sculpture behind him as he posed with his Dodge Hellcat. That is a story of itself, as Mr. Pfaff had later shared with us that when he was just a young teen, he had run away from home and lived off the land. Jackrabbit is quite edible, he said to me.
His dream was to have a traditional painting created of himself to pass on to later generations. He shared with me that photos come and go, but great art is something the family keeps. After all, he wants his granddaughter to have something from him that he created especially with her in mind. He knows she will appreciate it.
Personally, I look forward to hearing more of his stories and adventures. From what I hear, his adventures are continuing. About the painting. If you look closely in the sky, you will see something that represents and sums up his life story.
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See more of Beti’s art at BetiKristof.com