Balloon Glow

Every February, Steamboat Springs holds a Balloon Glow Rodeo where hot air balloons gather against the night sky. The first year, I missed the event, but Dale took our boys and grabbed this amazing picture. I painted it on the plane ride back home from an artist’s workshop. Eventually I turned that little study into a larger painting, and then an even larger painting. You can see the process in these pics. I particularly like the one of my boys painting with me.

Friendship is like a hot air balloon, glowing with life and vibrance. It takes our breath away with both beauty and fragility. Just like those balloons quivering in the night sky, friendship is rare. It takes as much work as the hot air balloon masters know, rolling out the fabric and patiently pumping the air to make those silken orbs rise. This work reminds me of the ways I guard my time with friends. So much coordinating and planning and protecting to be a friend: to write one note, mail one present, preserve time for one meal. But a friend travels the distance because they know there is no substitute for the knowing, the deeper, private knowing between friends.


Original watercolor, 9” x 12”, watercolor on 300 lb Arches paper.


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