We had a bit of a rough roll through central-western NSW recently. Something was wrong with the car, and a queue of different mechanics each failed to diagnosis and fix it. So there was a lot of swearing and sadness in the front seats, fraught phone calls, and tense road-side waits.
One such road-side wait was halfway between the drought-racked towns of Gunnedah and Quirindi, a road lined by cotton fields, with their rows of ghastly, seemingly-dead brown bushes, spilling forth unbelievably white, fluffy crowns. And in the golden afternoon light, as we tried to make it from one town to the other beneath a gently merciless blue sky, the fields were creamy, blushing, soft. The perfect palette rolled orderly and straight out into the night.
So when I started to draw the rain pony, I thought about that light, those colours. I thought a little bit about the sad, tense frustration of those little everyday-life setbacks, held against the backdrop of harrowing, desperate drought. And I thought about the big and small things that ebb around us and distract us and remind us. And the hopefulness of making a wish, of trying to will something to be, to draw up a spell or a summoning or an acknowledgement of what is at the very heart of the thing.
I hope the rain pony brings you some magic.