Original Study

The original study, done on location at Ghost Ranch.

It was one of those skies. Layers of clouds atop of clouds, with a hint of storm in the air. Storms make the best skies. The clouds morphed with edges that blurred into the next. It appeared to be raining in the distance.
Work in Progress

A work in progress of that sky.

It was a glorious view at Ghost Ranch outside of Santa Fe at the Plein Air Convention. I wrote about the joy of plein air painting with friends old and new in a previous blog. But this blog is about that sky.

Lake Michigan

That sky made its way above Lake Michigan — because why not!

I forgot to take a photo of it, because I was so busy trying to capture it in paint. And I did get a good plein air study of that sky finished. That little 8×10 study came back to the studio with me and I’ve been exploring it in various paintings again and again. Changing this or that, seeing how many ways I can interpret it, and reinterpret it. Though I don’t have a photo, the sky is pretty etched in my memory, and it was so memorable, and I stood and painted it.

Bouncing Light

Another rendition of the sky. Playing with bouncing light here.

It has become the jumping off point for artistic experimentation and learning: playing with a subject — the sky — and then doing a series of paintings trying to make it a bit different than the one before.

Large Sky

The largest of all these paintings at 30×30. I think it will be fun to do it even bigger!

This is one way we learn, and it’s the joy of exploration. It’s one of the reasons we paint: to see what else can be done. I suspect I will paint this sky again as I keep thinking of new ways to approach it.

Next week at this time, I’ll be on a plane bound for France on a vacation with my husband. He’s a gifted photographer on the side, and while he photographs the area, I’ll be painting. We will be going to Annecy and Chamonix, near Switzerland, and home of Mount Blanc the highest point in Europe. Then we will be off to the Burgundy region to meet dear friends.
I’ll look forward to sharing the experience with you all!
Fire Sky

Here I’m wondering what a bit more fire would do to this sky.