The inside of a cloud (complete with angels).

Refractured watercolor clouds, inside a cloud.

Refractured watercolor clouds, inside a cloud.

I had been somewhat reluctant to go to the annual Art on the Lake show in Big Bear.  Last year our forecast ‘intermittent thunderstorms’, that two local friends said could happen on the other side of the street, or even if we did get rained on it would be for 10 minutes, turned out to be an hour and a half’s downpour complete with flooding.

But the forecast was good when I headed up the hill.  On Saturday the forecast was revised from ‘fluffy clouds’ on Sunday to 20% chance of showers on Sunday.  By Sunday morning that had been increased to 30% chance.  I think what that meant was for 30% of the day, you will be on the inside of a cloud.

At 2pm it hailed and thundered for about 20 minutes.  Then it paused and took a breath, while I photographed my booth (which still had a dry patch in the middle at that time) and rained until 5pm.

Caravan canopies are not designed to withstand three hours of heavy precipitation.  Blissfully though, I had angels.  Bob (I don’t know his last name) and come by on the Saturday and liked a painting.  His wife Judy wasn’t with him so they came back on Sunday.  At first they sheltered and chatted, but then Bob helped me back and stage my artwork on a table in the Art Guild booth next door, which was waterproof, and disassemble the booth, while Judy went from corner to corner pushing up the top of the booth to evict the puddles growing there and seeping through.  Then the clouds parted to brilliant sunshine (of course….) and I loaded my sodden equipment in the truck and headed home.

The good news is no artwork was damaged – I did break the frame on one due to my heavy handedness while packing, but not the glass, so that will easily be fixed with a few frame bars.  I also found that two years ago – the one time in the last four years that I missed the show – also had a similar storm experience.  Perhaps I won’t go up the mountain to cloud level for a show again…

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