Thursday, February 4, 2010

Flying Low in Santa Fe

My husband and I went to Santa Fe this past October. One of the highlights was the Georiga O'Keefe Museum. I loved seeing so much of her work together and hearing about her life. We spent our time going from one gallery to another. The main highlight for me was going hot air ballooning! Unfortunately, this is an early morning activity. It is necessary to go in the morning before the sun starts affecting the earth's surface so that you have a smooth ride vs. experiencing a lot of turbulence. Flying low is because, we did contour ballooning which is flying low to the earth right along the contours of the hills. If you ever go ballooning, ask if they are contour flying otherwise, you just go straight up, maintain one altitude, then straight down. On our ride we went up and down, felt the ever so slight wind changes, touched ground a couple of times and glided right beside these gorgeous vertical ridges.

It is absolutely amazing when you lift up off the ground and right before your eyes the ground is shrinking away and you see a very fast changing perspective. It is so peaceful and like floating. It was almost like time stopped only because it was the quietest quiet I have ever experienced. I wanted to stay up there all day. To be gliding smoothly and quietly over the earth so close to see wild rabbits.

When it was time to land, the wind and changes in air pressure had already been affected by the sun. Our speed was high, it was pretty bumpy skimming the ground for so long and the balloon wanted to keep going although the land crew had hold of our basket. With this balloon company they always end every ride with a champagne toast to remember the first balloon ride in France. When the first balloon landed on some farm land in the country, the farmers were so frightened and wanting to protect themselves. The pilots proved that they were harmless and flying the king's balloon by sharing a bottle of the king's champagne with the farmers.

The painting, Santa Fe House is probably one of the most photographed houses in Santa Fe. I thought I had found some little gem. Painting the adobe structures is very similar to painting the Mykonos structures. Very thick walls that you can catch the light on or some creative color play in shading. I used several very soft, pale washes on the adobe. I enjoyed seeing all of the light blues, lavenders, oranges and reds in the wood shutter to the side of the door. The wood door had some of these colors, but, the shutter for some reason had so many more. As you can see, I found several colors including blue and lavender in the adobe.

11x14 original watercolor, sold.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful painting! Your baloon ride sounds wonderful. I've only seen them from the ground. Mary


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