cloud study1

Drawing clouds from life has been on my “to do” list for quite some time.  Indeed, if we could abolish the IRS, the Department of Motor Vehicles, bill paying, house cleaning, hamster cage cleaning, dirty dishes, and chores in general, I would have made tremendous progress in my cloud studies by now.

We’d have to abolish jazz violin music, too, I fear.  Once I pick up the fiddle, I find it hard to stop playing. 

Anyway, I had some enforced outdoor time today.  The sky was lousy with clouds.  And I finally got around to making a couple very fast studies.  Unfortunately, I forgot to look inside my crayon box.  Duh.  I had no white.  Okay, a few nubbed down crumbs of white crayon left.  So the white of the paper, which natually plays a significant role in cloud drawing, got very little assistance from an added white — to my great annoyance.  But it is my motto that one makes do.  When you’re out in the field eye to eye with Mother Nature, no excuses.  I would have bruised some grass and drawn with chlorophyll if I’d had to — that’s how much cloud time I’ve had lately! 

But, you know what, next time I’m checking inside my box!

cloud study2

As I drew (cursing under my breath, “my kingdom for a white crayon”) I noticed that my clouds were really rollin’ by.  It’s one of the great things about drawing that the very activity of it is so beneficial, notwithstanding the outcome of the drawing itself.  Of course, I’m all in favor of making a nice drawing.  I try to get one as often as I can.  But just watching these clouds in their fast changes, and this attempt to capture in my brain (if not in the drawing) these shapes is so wonderful.  Makes one feel so alive.

Truly one does not appreciate clouds nearly enough.

7 thoughts on “Head in the Clouds

  1. Wouldn’t you love to have ‘people’ to do all that stuff around the house – why do pets have so many needs! I love reading about how you go about doing your drawings and stuff – fascinating. I get stuck in the house and have to go out to give the chickens fresh water and feed and then I always think ‘why don’t I get out here more often’ because it is so lovely.

  2. These drawings have all the seat-by-the-pants immediacy and vigour of attack required for strong drawings of clouds from observation. They also look joyous, and full of a relase of pent-up energy. It’s lovely you took yourself outside your other roles to do these. G

  3. Gabrielle, Absolutely. I need staff. And my daughter, in particular, needs a butler to wait on her and a detective to find all her lost pencils and the sixteen pairs of missing scissors (and lets not even discuss socks).


  4. Thank you, G of suburbanlife. I want to gain a true understanding of cloud structure — someday — but until that happy day I’m grateful to grab as much of water vapor floating by as I can get — in whatever form.


  5. Thank you, Kevin, and actually this drawing is very abstract, don’t you think? When I had suggested life drawing, abstraction was one element I had in mind because in truth everything IS abstract. The realism of art often arises from various cues and from context as much as from the manner of rendering. An image can be very sensitively portrayed, can be a most scrupulous description of reality, and yet can appear “abstract” when various contextual elements are missing. I think that’s one quality one finds so often in, say, Matisse or Cezanne.


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