Irresistible Clouds


Here in California, it’s not all that common to have a sky full of continually morphing playful shapes floating above, describing a wholly different experience outside. Maybe a little tease of rain? I just had to paint them. I packed up and got out into the wind. There is something about bracing oneself to the weather, working quickly, squinting, hearing birds, that often leads to a better painting. And, I always learn something.

Today I was thinking about an artist I admire, Quang Ho. His painting graces the current issue of Plein Air Magazine. In the article he discusses that a painter must have a concept for a painting before they start. I formally declared the concept for this painting was the similarity between the shapes made by the lights and darks which describe both the clouds and the hills, and to use paint to describe that fact. And then entirely forgot my concept as I worked to just get it down. Maybe next time I’ll keep the concept closer to the front of my brain…

The board I chose to paint on had much more tooth than I have been using, and it was fabulous! I was able to move that paint in new ways. Some areas were almost dry brushed on, really scumbled. I used my fingers and could work edges in new ways. Love the tactile approach, really working the paint into the surface. Because the surface was unique, the whole process felt new. I thought about a yoga practice I am watching that reminds one to enjoy being a beginner.

I so enjoy being a beginner.

2015-03-22 14.55.09

8 responses to “Irresistible Clouds

  1. Lovely! You capture the clouds so wonderfully.

  2. Candi, I wouldn’t worry too much about losing that concept at the front of your brain when the actual work turns out like this! I don’t even know how to plan or approach writing something (other than straight reporting) with a particular concept in mind and then sticking to it. At most, it’s a shard or two of concept, mere wisps, that then get fleshed out as the writing progresses. But that makes it more about what’s inside me regarding a topic that awaits discovery, rather than knowing what it’s about from the get-go. I admire people who have things mapped out beforehand and can then stick to it, but I guess that’s why I’m not an architect!

    • Thanks Andrew. I agree that the concept is like a scent in the air, sometimes noticed, usually ignored or more likely, gotten used to. But I very much like the idea of getting beyond just trying to represent what is in front of me. Instead, recognizing my portrait is what I choose to highlight and how best to shine that light. I want it to look like a painting, not a photograph. A concept may help me move toward the abstraction I so admire.

  3. Thank you Maury, Alta and Tricia for your comments. I do love the feedback.

  4. Your discipline is admirable!

  5. Love it! The great feeling of cloud-watching and imagining never gets old. The cloud shadows in the mountains are captured so beautifully!

  6. Well, you don’t paint like a beginner! Lovely. And I love the way you write about your process and your work. “Scumbled” I want to incorporate that into my vocabulary – I’ll find away although I don’t paint anymore.

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