It didn’t take much imagination to see a pony in the clouds!
A double rainbow in between squalls
I think this was the third storm of the week. Maybe the fourth, if you count the two hours of sunshine this afternoon as a break between storms. We in southern California have been delightfully drenched this week, and there is, thankfully, finally, snow on the mountain tops. The sky has been incredible, dramatic, fanciful…. so here are my favorite two photos from this afternoon.
Late last May, I painted at Malibu Lagoon with my friend, the amazing artist Cathey Cadieux. The Lagoon was scheduled, just days later, to be bulldozed and then resculpted into a form that theoretically will allow for a more free flow of tidal water throughout the estuary. There was a great deal of push back from environmental factions in the community, but the “remodel” went on as scheduled.
That day, we painted from a board bridge that no longer exists, over an arm of the estuary in which fish were jumping and herons were hunting, and mother ducks were shepherding their broods among the rushes…. which also no longer exists. I hope that the “new and improved” Lagoon will be even more beautiful, welcoming, inspiring, fecund…. but on that golden, bittersweet evening, it didn’t seem that anything could be.
The Last Day of Malibu Lagoon. Oil on Panel 8″x8″
Click here to purchase.
Tinto and Axel, beach boys
We took Tinto on a trip to Del Mar’s dog beach. It was the evening of the new moon, the tide was about as low as it ever gets, and the sky was brilliantly clear.
Although we live just a few miles from the beach, we don’t often take the time to visit, and even more rarely do we go with Tinto. He’s not a real dog park kind of a dog, feeling, as he does, that he is superior to the mere canines that gambol about in them chasing balls and the like. He’s more likely to be the “manners police”: if a dog is acting badly, Tinto will bark madly at him. I know … makes me kind of shake my head too, especially when he gives me the blank, “I have no parents” look when I call him to come. Which is the reason that I don’t let him off leash at the beach. I just don’t trust him to not put his exquisitly sensitive nose to the ground and track something fabulous out onto the road, regardless of how many cool smells there are on the beach itself.
But Axel’s brother was visiting, and we enjoy being tourists in our own town, so off we went to some of our favorite coastal haunts. We had a great time watching big dogs play frisbee, watching little dogs dash madly, and watcing their people, too. We ran up and down the beach, and took lots of pictures. Tinto, who thinks that any water source is an adventure in drinking, sampled the ocean … with the reaction that you would expect. The end result of our visit was a flat, happy and very sandy terrier.
A little beach madness
Tinto + Tinto
Axel, Uwe and Tinto
Okay, so it’s just another Friday evening in Pompadour. The dressage CDI is over for the day, and there are canapes and champagne being served on the terrace of the castle.
Riders, though unmounted, are dressed for awards. As usual, dogs are running free throughout the festivities. The light is liquid and golden, rimming presenters and winners against the backdrop of the ancient stone walls.
Me, Axel and a castle
Below the castle walls, on the edge of the track and cross country course, another scene is unfolding – literally. Two hot air balloons are being inflated. This is a Pompadour tradition: the winners get to go on a “montgolfier” ride above the Limousin countryside. And coolest thing of all, I get to go with them!
Off we go, our official photographer Bruno Villair in one balloon, me in the other with riders Anna Campanella from Italy and Vicky Smits-Vanderhasselt from Belgium. The view was amazing… I’ll just let you enjoy the photos.
We landed softly in a field beside a small group of houses. Because it was a warm summer Friday evening, everyone in the neighborhood was out in their yards, watching our approach. Apparently the balloons land here often, because familiar greetings were called up to us as we descended. When two women in shadbelly coats, white breeches and tall boots emerged from the gondola, to me it was so out of place that it looked as if aliens had landed. But the locals just came out with their children and their dogs and greeted us as if everything was normal. Just another Friday evening in Pompadour.