Lunging in the fog at Saumur
It’s been a little busy around here since I returned from France. Between photographing Dressage at Devon, processing Dressage at Devon photos, flying to multiple photo shoots and getting some painting done, well, it’s just been a normal, packed, autumn.
Sort of. Is anything normal these days? I mean, really, in the old days, if you designed a balloon to look like a UFO, the hoax you were trying to perpetrate was all about seeing a UFO, not because you wanted to be a “star” based on your bad behavior. Grow up, people!
Anyway. I digress. The strangest sight we saw in France was the parade of thigh-high, high-heeled boots on Parisienne women. And the fact that the Eiffel Tower is filled with tiny sparkling lights at intervals at night. I was sure I heard a child exclaim that it looked like a “sparkly chicken.” And the “gold ring” ruse, whereby a woman pretends to find a ring on the pavement as you walk by her, asks if you dropped it, tries to give it to you and asks for a donation to her “religious order” in exchange. We saw this one a few times around the Place Concorde.
But I’ve finally gotten to play with all the photos that I took in France, both in Saumur (even though it rained most of the time) and in Paris. I was blessed with one foggy day in Saumur, which turned the already beautiful grounds into a magical place. Even the usual sight of competitors lunging their horses prior to their rides became ethereal scenes of soft edges and muted colors. The hacking roads became gently lit stage settings of disappearing perspectives.
It was fun to play “stealth” photographer in Paris. Rather than carrying my Big Camera I stuck my “winkie” camera in my tourist purse and was able to grab shots quickly and without attracting the attention that the Mark III would have garnered.
You’ll find the France gallery here. Enjoy!
Just Grab Mane
My painting, “Just Grab Mane” was accepted into the 2009 American Academy of Equine Arts show at the Museum of the Horse in Lexington, KY.
Over 600 entries were received, and only 80 display spaces available, so I am honored and thrilled to be included in the show! You’ll find the complete show roster at the AAEA website. The show runs through November, so stop in to the museum when you’re at the Kentucky Horse Park.
The oil painting is 24″x30″ on Senso Linen (it’s clear-primed, which means that the rich color of the raw linen shows through the transparent gesso) and it’s part of a series of “water lesson” paintings that I’ve been working on. This was inspired by all those ponies who taught us how to ride: this one knows more than his rider about how to deal with jumping into water. He has the situation completely under control, so he’s told his kid, “just grab mane and I’ll take care of everything else.”
My welcome home banner
It rained in France. It rained at Devon. And against all odds, it rained in San Diego the day I arrived home. Kid you not, in the middle of a 5 year drought, at the height of a dry, crispy fire season, I flew through a rain storm on final approach to Lindbergh Field. The teenagers in the seats behind me were not pleased, because they were worried about their vacation on the beach.
However, I was thrilled.
This being San Diego, I knew it wouldn’t last for five days, like it did in France, or pour buckets at an inopportune time, like it did during Saturday night’s big freestyle night at Devon, or rain out a photo session, so I could enjoy the moment of of blissful moisture. And as we drove toward our neighborhood, a huge rainbow appeared, stretching from end to end of “my” mountain. I couldn’t have asked for a better “welcome home” banner!
I immediately set to dual tasks: recuperating from my European head cold and processing 6500 Dressage at Devon photos. And meeting deadlines for various publications. And catching up on the orders that had arrived while I was away. In other words, becoming one with my computer chair again.
All the Devon galleries, I am pleased to say, have now been posted. If you signed up for photos, you’ve already received your access information. If you didn’t sign up, take a look at the gallery list anyway, because I tried to get photos of as many competitors as I could. You may need to complete your Sign Up transaction before viewing them, but you can do so on line. And take a tour through the Highlights galleries for lots of candids, hats, leadline kids and cool dogs.