About one hour (and a lovely drive) south of Tucson is a small town called Sonoita, a bit cooler and surrounded by rolling hills of grasslands framed by soft pastel mountains. All in all a great escape from the hot, dry desert up north!
And of course they give people plenty of reason to make the trip! It’s enough that it’s prime Arizona wine country (do we even need more than that?)…but there’s also May and the races at the Fairgrounds over Derby weekend (photos here). a popular event to celebrate the run for the roses locally. Then October brings the only local 3 day event (that I know of) at the picturesque Grass Ridge Farm (photos here and here) and to top it off, on the first weekend in November they have the Empire Ranch Round Up!
These new pieces are from my visit to the Round Up last fall (2013, photos here), which has an entertaining and informative variety of historical demonstrations. From herding dogs to cavalry reenactments, and Ranch Roping to the elegant La Familia Balderrama Dancing Horses (elaborately decked out I might add, and destined to find themselves in paint)… and so much more! I caught a couple calves (on film) bonding, and of course… the dancing horses… nuff said (and this is only the first painting to feature one of them)!