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My Blog

Cloud Factory

Good morning to all.  Hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend. As I sit here this morning I am amazed at the beauty of the clouds outdoors.  There seems to be the softest of pink glow within them today.  Just beautiful!  It made me think about how we perceive things.  As a child, I, no different than other children, would look up at the sky and the clouds and try to see the shapes of things and people in the clouds.  We didn't think too much about how they were made or even why they were there.  We just just looked and enjoyed the possibilities.  It is funny, how when we get older...everything changes.  Oh, I still think that we look for the shapes, some of us know the types of clouds and what they mean.  We can detect whether a storm front is headed our way or whether it will rain or snow by the alignment. 
As I sit here today watching them, I  cannot help but contemplate all the times I have gazed up at them and enjoyed them, but today, it made me connect with them so some reason.  It as though the clouds tell a story.  Well...I am a story teller...so any guesses as to why I would go there?  But really!  I started to think about the colors and the moods that clouds would have.   Grey/black clouds...impending weather.  They create the sense and moods of dreariness, cold, impending doom.  Pink gives me the sense of sweetness, softness and dainty.  The puffed up white clouds are happy and playful.  I have had visions of heaven over them, especially when the sun rays stream from behind them as though there were another world beyond. 
When my daughter and family moved to Wisconsin years ago, along the highway, they told my granddaughter as they approached the borderline, that the stack that was emitting puffs of steam was a cloud factory, I thought it was pretty clever.  Each time I approach that area, even years after they moved away, brings that precious idea back to me.  My granddaughter often shared how when she was in school and looked out the window...she could see the cloud factory at work. 
When I started to paint, I never really gave clouds all that much thought.  Clouds to me, were just clouds...but now as 30 plus years have gone by, clouds are really important in a picture.  It's shape, formation, whispiness and color can make or break a picture.  It sets the tone for how one will see the rest of the picture....the same as clouds make or break our day and moods. 
There is no one way to paint a cloud...to me, they are very much like a snowflake.  Each on is different from another and the movement in the air is continually shape shifting the clouds. 
One day, after a discussion with a lawyer, giving me some final closing on what was hanging over my head with the death of my mother, I got into my car to drive to a friends home.  As I was driving and the sun was setting, there was the most beautiful sunset in front of me.  The colors of the sky were spectacular....but it was the alignment of the clouds in front of those colors that told the story.  I felt in the moment, as the clouds created a secondary shelf to another world that perhaps it was a sign.  As though in that moment, my mother was telling me that all would be okay.  That I could finally have some closure.  And so that is the way that I choose to perceive that scene.  A beautiful ending.   
As I sit here and write this it brings to mind the song by Joni Mitchell.
Bows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall

Seems to me that we all look at clouds and they connect us to something.  Whether it is love, death, fairytales.  They say behind every cloud, there is a silver lining.  Perhaps the silver ling is the pure and simple joy of our imagination.  The story it tells us or the feelings it gives us.  It tells me to keep my head looking upward.  To keep dreaming, to keep imagining...that's what makes life so full of creativity and joy.  So, my friends, I will be paying closer attention to the clouds and cloud factories....and continue making dreams and pictures...whether they are in my mind or on a canvas.  I hope this blog today, makes you stop and take a look.  Whether you look up or back in time...did clouds ever speak to your soul? 

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