Theresa and I spent a couple of weeks in Wellington FL, mostly at the Winter Equestrian Festival. I drove down a few days early to set up the camper, do some painting and get our exhibit up. It is just great on a long drive to pull over at a rest stop, make a meal and take a nap, then head on down the road again. When I got to Wellington, I ran into Vicky Moon who told me that I ought to go see a polo match before we got tied up at the horse show. I went to the Palm Beach International Polo Club on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. What a deal, cheaper than a NASCAR race ( I assume, I haven't been ) or a hockey game here in Raleigh. And free champagne at half time out on the field. A reward for replacing divots. I don't know what I expected, after seeing the old prints and watercolors, I thought it would be like golf on horesback. More like football or rugby. I took a lot of photos and some video as refernce for future paintings. After halftime, I walked down to the end of the field where the ponies and grooms were to get some behind the scenes shots. Now speed ahead from February to April. I had been with the Lechuza Caracas team, which lost 21 ponys at one time due to a improperly prepared vitamin and mineral supplement. One of the polo paintings is completed and it features a Lechuza player and pony. Is this one of the ponys that died? I couldn't tell you.
Click on image for more
Check back for more polo paintings.
After all the fun, it was time to go to work. At the horse show. Theresa got and completed two commissions right at the show. A norwich terrier and a girl and her pony. You can see them here www.portraitsnc.com/recentworks.html
Meanwhile, I was painting the showgrounds as always and also I was asked to paint the H'nD Stable to be given as a present to the owner.
NEXT STEP: The drive to California
Here as some entries in Theresa's blog about our journey
Some of my recollections.
We didn't quite make it to Memphis TN as planned the first day, but that was alright, we missed the tornados. Spent an hour watching the weather channel for the travel weather. Never did see it. Do they have any helpful information on that channel anymore. We went driving merrily along until we reached the Arkansas Welcome Center where the nice lady told us that there was snow in Oklahoma. Not only that, but I40 and the city of Amarillo Texas was totally shut down due to a blizzard. We stopped at friends in eastern OK, only two inches of snow. A beautiful drive the next day. Remnants of snow all around but the temp was in the sixties. Got to Albequerque NM. Late, followed the GPS to the Tumbleweed Steakhouse. Drove in the parking lot. Saw various groups of people hanging out in the parking lot. Drove out of the parking lot. Found an Applebees. Next morning tried the weather channel again, no luck. But the local news mentioned snow near Gallup and that I40 was closed on the other side. Went outside to load van and gas up. Froze your buns off. Next thing we know, we are driving through a snow storm. The NM highway dept. was nice enough to install windsocks along the road so you could see which way and how strong the wind was blowing, even when it wasn't snowing. Got to Gallup, stopped for coffee and to clean the snow and ice off the windshield. I40 was now open. It had been closed due to an accident. Got to AZ, and by the time we reached Winslow (they have a statue of Jackson Brown standing on a corner there) it was a beautiful day. In Flagstaff also beautiful, with snow on the San Francisco Mountains. Stopped in Williams AZ for gas and to wash the van. It looked like it had just spent February in Buffalo, New York. Found Cruiser's Grill on Rte 66 where we ate ribs back in 2001. Stopped in for ribs. Then on to California. Flagstaff to Williams is a beautiful area lots of ponderosa pines. Westward ever westward, down, down to the desert. Kingman AZ then to CA. Whoa! Crossed the Colorado River, stopped at the Agricultural Station and into the desert. A two lane road that was the backway from Needles to the Palm Springs area. A two lane road through nowhere. I have to admit after 4 days on I40 it was a great release. We watched the sunset and noticed that there were no lights anywhere. A couple of cars passed us. Finally got to Indio. We had made it. Did the show, visited family, got sick for four days and headed home. Oh to have had ruby slippers..."there's no place like home." Theresa drove most of the way back. I was useless for two days, able to drive some the next two. On the way back, wildfires in OK burnt 60+ homes in one town near OK City. Our friends, who live near Muskogee, told us that the fires reached the back of their property. We noticed that everyone had hoses laying stretched across their yards. All the time, just in case. When we got to North Carolina it was lush and green. It looked like a place where living creatures are meant to live. Glad to be home.
Aiken Horse Show...
Our trip to CA meant I was unable to paint at the Aiken Horse Show ( the show in the woods) I had sent four fox paintings down to them to sell to help the Hitchcock Woods Foundation. They were all sold.
Thanks to Holly Houghton and Sandra Tucker for all the help with these paintings.....
Today: I am working on paintings of some old and new barns at a horse facility in Raleigh NC. MacNair's Country Acres. The old barns are going to be restored and the owner wanted to capture the character that you can only get from an old barn before work on them began....that's one of them in the painting at the top of this post.