To Paint the Sky

Those beautiful cloudless days, when the sky is as blue as it can get, put such pressure on me.  Those are days that cannot be wasted with indoor chores.  Go outside, play, find some constructive activity but don’t hide under one’s roof.

In Western PA we don’t get many of those beauties so they are treasured.  But truth be told, I like a good cloudy day just as much because I really like clouds.  I am seemingly always looking up at them .  What/who do they look like, is it going to rain or snow,can you float on them, what will the weather be like tomorrow.

I am not alone in the love of clouds.  John Constable, the famous British painter, was fascinated with them as well.  Rarely do you see a landscape painting without clouds.  Getting them right is the sign of a great artist.  The depth of field, the lighting, the shadows cannot be given up to artistic license (unless you’re Van Gogh).

Often in art, clouds are used to shield or diffuse the focus from harsh light .  In that way, the cloud acts as a means of protection.  In other paintings, clouds are used to reflect the light of a bright sunset.  American artist, Winslow Homer used clouds to create a omenous feeling upon the stormy seas so realistic you can almost feel the spray upon your face.

Artists of the written word have revered the cloud as well..  Shakespeare wrote in Anthony and Cleopatra, 

“Sometime we see a cloud that’s dragonish

A vapour sometime like a bear or lion,

A tower’d citadel, a pendant rock,

A forked Mountain, or blue Promontory,

With Trees upon’t, that nod unto the World

And mock our Eyes with Air.”

Samuel Coleridge wrote,

Ye Clouds! that far above me float and pause,/ Whose pathless march no mortal may control!”

Maybe it is not that postcard perfect day we should revere, but the cloud filled sky of everyman’s day.  Those clouds may bring us rain or snow or destructive storms.  But mostly they deflect the harsh light and represent the ever marching of progress across our world.

Clouds

 

Up, Up and Away

 

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