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Cloud Paintings

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.


Oil painting of active cloud

Oil study of an active cloud  6x8ins. Oil on Canvas £110

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


Sky Painting in oil, Sky Study in March

Sky Study in March     8x10ins.      Oil on Canvas      Sold

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


Oil study of Clouds at Sunset - Sunset Study 7

Sunset Study 5     8x10ins    Oil on Canvas     Sold

A study of clouds lying in different layers and formations at sunset in a wind.
Sunset Study 5


Evening Cloud  6x8ins.  Oil on Canvas  £110

Evening Cloud    6x8ins.    Oil on Canvas      Sold

Small oil painting of a cloud in the evening before sunset.
Evening Cloud


Small oil painting of clouds - Cloud Study 10

Cloud Study 10    6x8ins.    Oil on Canvas    Sold

Second of two small cloud studies in oil paint
Cloud Study 10


small oil painting - Cloud Study 9

Cloud Study 9   6x8ins.  Oil on Canvas   £110

One of two small oil studies of clouds.
Cloud Study 9


Oil painting of a rainbow in the landscape at Sheriffmuir

Rainbow    10x12ins.     Oil on Canvas        Sold

Oil painting of a rainbow – One of my favourite subjects and also one of the most difficult to paint convincingly
Cloud painting – Rainbow


Oil painting of clouds - North Sea from the Earth House at Ardestie

North Sea from the Earth House     24×30 ins.     Oil on Canvas      Sold

Cloud Painting – North Sea from the Earth House


Blue Sky and Cloud Study 2 - small oil painting

Blue Sky and Cloud Study 2 6x7ins. Oil on Canvas    Sold

…seeing how much large sky can fit in a tiny wee canvas.
Blue Sky and Cloud Study 2


River Tay Cloud Study - cloud painting

River Tay Cloud Study     8x10ins.     Oil on Canvas      Sold

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

Oil painting of light within an afternoon cloud

Cloudscape 2    20x24ins.     Oil on Canvas        £950

“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!
Cloudscape 2


Cloud painting - After the Greatest Clouds

After the Greatest Clouds   14x16ins.     Oil on canvas      £450

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


Cloud painting - Cloud Composition

Cloud Composition    10x12ins.     Oil on canvas       £275

“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 –
Oil painting – Cloud Composition


Blue Sky and Cloud Study 1 small cloud painting in oil

Blue Sky and Cloud Study 1   6x8ins.   Oil on Canvas      Sold

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


Cloud painting of light on the Hill

Light on the Hill       8x10ins.      Oil on canvas       £190

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


Oil painting of backlit clouds in September

September    20x24ins.      Oil on Canvas        Private Collection

“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” Pema Chödrön –
Cloud Paintings – September

Cloudscape 20x30ins.  Oil on Canvas  Private collection

Cloudscape      20x30ins.     Oil on Canvas       Private collection

“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


Oil painting - Cloud Study

September Cloud Study   10x12ins.    Oil on Canvas      Private Collection

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


Outdoor oil painting of a single cloud

The Thought Cloud   10x11ins.    Oil on canvas       Private collection

“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


Oil painting of clouds in August

Clouds in August    10x12ins.    Oil on Canvas       Private Collection

“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


Sky painting of clouds and the sun breaking through.

Sunburst    8x10ins.    Oil on Canvas       £190

“The sky is a canvas, so paint your own life.” – Jada Berglund – The Mysteries of My Life
Cloud Paintings – Sunburst


Oli sketch for larger painting of clouds in September

Oil Sketch for September    6x8ins.    Oil on Panel       Private Collection

An oil sketch which was later scaled up, interpreted and used as source material for the larger cloud painting “September”
Outdoor cloud paintings – Oil Sketch for September



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