Clouds are individuals, some cloud paintings are more like portraits than landscape paintings.
I identify cloud paintings as having more to do with painting individual clouds or cloud formations than other sky paintings. We react to clouds overhead in the way that we might react to strangers passing in the street, aware of their presence and unconsciously taking note of what they are doing, but without usually acknowledging them.
Some clouds have a pleasing shape, others don’t. Some reassure us, others are threatening. Cloud affects our mood and our daily lives in ways that we may be completely unaware of at the time.
In cloud paintings, I try to identify, define and portray these especially influential and “significant” clouds and the effect they may have on our moods and emotions.
A tiny painting begun outdoors with the aim of exploring and representing some of the dynamism seen (and felt!) within a moving sky.
Oil study of an active cloud
Long a favourite subject of mine. Backlit clouds with the sun pouring out around them and through them.
A very complex but rewarding subject for any artist.
Cloud painting – Sky Study in March
A study of clouds lying in different layers and formations at sunset in a wind.
Sunset Study 5
Small oil painting of a cloud in the evening before sunset.
Second of two small cloud studies in oil paint
Cloud Study 10
One of two small oil studies of clouds.
Cloud Study 9
Oil painting of a rainbow – One of my favourite subjects and also one of the most difficult to paint convincingly
Cloud painting – Rainbow
Cloud Painting – North Sea from the Earth House
…seeing how much large sky can fit in a tiny wee canvas.
Blue Sky and Cloud Study 2
Where I live it’s not unusual to step out of the front door into gale force winds, or stronger Wind and clouds are part of my life.
River Tay Cloud Study
“There is no such thing as a grey day” – I remember actually saying this in a fever of “vision”, a few days before I tried to paint a truly monochromatic genuinely featureless sky….and failed miserably! – see “How to paint the sunrise with no sun”
However, I still maintain that clouds on most “grey days” are more full of light, luminosity and incredible subtleties of colour than any painting or photograph can ever show.
My overiding aim in this work was to keep it bright and luminous – not always easy when painting with a range of colours that most folk would call grey if they saw them isolated on the palette!
Cloud Paintings – The significance of a moving cloud landscape….rolling past, above our daily lives and emotions…. can’t be overestimated, and when we now spend much more of our time indoors it is important not to shut it out of our lives as though these things don’t matter. Cloud Paintings – After the Greatest Clouds
“I know that I am mortal by nature, and ephemeral; but when I trace at my pleasure the windings to and fro of the heavenly bodies, I no longer touch the earth with my feet – I stand in the presence of Zeus himself and take my fill of ambrosia”
Ptolemy – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemy
Oil painting – Cloud Composition
I really wanted to sculpt the light emanating from this cloud and carve the shapes out to make sense of its complexity.
The first of a series of similarly themed small paintings, some of which may be studies for larger works in the future.
Cloud Painting – Blue Sky and Cloud Study 1
No other subject but land and cloud.
“Rose doesn’t like the flat country, but I always did – flat country seems to give the sky such a chance.”
Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle
Cloud Paintings – Light on the Hill
“I’m a person of the mountains and the open paddocks and the big empty sky, that’s me, and I knew if I spent too long away from all that I’d die; I don’t know what of, I just knew I’d die.” John Marsden, A Killing Frost
Oil Painting – Cloudscape
This small painting drove me quite mad.
I really like it now and it seems to represent the idea that the more struggle a work has within its creation, the better the final result. Read more
Oil painting – September Cloud Study
“Then what am I – the body substance which I can see with my eyes and feel with my hands? Or am I this realization, this greater understanding which dwells within it, yet expands through the universe outside; a part of all existence, powerless but without need for power; immersed in solitude, yet in contact with all creation? There are moments when the two appear inseparable, and others when they could be cut apart by the merest flash of light.” Charles A. Lindbergh, The Spirit of St. Louis
Oil study – The Thought Cloud
“The sky, I thought, is not so grand;
I ‘most could touch it with my hand!
And reaching up my hand to try,
I screamed to feel it touch the sky.”
Edna St. Vincent Millay, The Selected Poetry
Cloud Paintings – Clouds in August