Hot Air Balloons and Vintage Cars

It takes a LOT to get my family excited about getting up early on the weekend and getting out of the house early in the morning. Today was one of those days. Every year, Wings of History Museum in San Martin, California has an Open House. There are free tethered balloon rides, free rides in planes and helicopters for kids between the ages of 8 and 17, lots of vintage cars, old pumps and machinery, and beautiful old planes.

These sketches are from when we waited in line. An all-volunteer team runs the museum, and we met so many really friendly balloon pilots. Jeanne Anson is a pilot who used to live in the area, now lives in South Dakota, but comes back every year for the open house. She overheard us wondering how a balloon comes down and explained how it all works, and then showed us pictures of her gorgeous balloons called watermelon Wine and Dragon Moon. Yes, all balloons have names: The bright balloon in the sketch below is named Rubik, and the one in the foreground is the Re/Max balloon that we rode up in.

Hot Air Balloons and Vintage Cars


Our balloon was piloted by David Wakefield and I chatted with his daughter and granddaughter, both part of the volunteer crew that helped hold down the tethers  and basket while people got in and out of the basket after each ride. Wings_of_history_balloons3

My daughter was old enough to go on a helicopter ride after the balloon ride, but my son wasn’t, so he and I hung out and I sketched the cars nearby. Here’s my Ford Model T and Mustang sketches.
Wings_of_history_modelT Wings_of_history_mustang2I could have stayed and sketched all day…there was old machinery, vintage planes, and so much more- I didn’t even get to sketching the planes at all- but we had to head back home for the kids soccer game. Still it was a morning packed with fun sketching and so many nice people to chat with.

You can see all my sketches from the morning here on flickr.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
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9 Responses to Hot Air Balloons and Vintage Cars

  1. Rita Cleary says:

    Wow! These are absolutely WONDERFUL subjects and sketches! How you did them so well under such circumstances, reflects your talent Suhita. You especially nailed the proportions on the cars, and the way you added color to all the sketches made them really SING! You inspire me!


  2. Beautiful! I wish I can sketch like you 🙂


  3. Nancy Armitage says:

    I just love your sketches and descriptions. I wonder how you paint with a youngster by your side?


  4. What a beautiful talent!!! Your sketches chronicles all the happy and fun filled times you have with your family, how special.


  5. Lee Kline says:

    Thanks for the point of view images on ballooning. We are headed to Turkey an a couple of days and plan to take our first hot-air balloon ride there. As always, your drawings are sublime.


  6. Suhita, I always assumed you drew on site and painted later, but from the photos, it looks like I was wrong! I so admire your ability to capture these vibrant, moving scenes on the go…


  7. Steph says:

    Wow! What an amazing opportunity!! Beautiful sketches!!


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