We’ve Been Having the Most Amazing Clouds

July 20, 2015


Above: Clouds floating over Menards. I stood outside the car, paints sitting on the hood, and sketched. Staedtler Pigment Liner for the large cloud, then just painting with the Niji waterbrush and watercolor. Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Paper. 7.75 x 9.75 page size.

Lately I go our for my bike ride and when I get to my turn around point I do my shoulder stretch and look up in the sky and see the most amazing blue sky with delightful clouds. Or I'll go on a walk late in the afternoon and off in the distance peeking between two trees is the most adorable cloud.

Dick would probably like it if I stopped telling him how much I love living on a big blue marble.

My friends would probably like it if I didn't interrupt conversations by yelping and pointing at clouds, the way some people point at cute babies (I know, that's so rude, pointing at babies isn't it?).

I've been catching up on work this past week and not been out much, except for my bike ride. So I think I enjoy seeing the clouds more than usual.

I just love living on a big blue marble.

    • Christine K
    • July 20, 2015

    Speaking of clouds…. Up here in the middle of Saskatchewan, we’ve finally had enough rain and work by firefighters to put out most of the forest fires – and my eyes have stopped stinging from the smoke! We had heard that the smoke drifted as far as Kansas so I’ve been wondering if you suffered any ill effects from it.

    • Deborah
    • July 20, 2015

    Do you know Constable’s cloud studies? They are superb.

  1. Reply

    I love clouds too! Beautiful job here. At this very moment my screen saver has puffy cotton ball clouds drifting across with the sun just on one side.
    On another subject. Can you remind me of the brand of brown watercolor paper you liked? I tried searching but couldn’t find that post.

  2. Reply

    Lori I don’t know of a brown watercolor paper. Ihave these options for you:

    Nideggen—you can see one of the pages from my 2012 Fake journal here with CLOUDS of course, the entire book was clouds out the windows.

    It’s a light weight paper but I love working on it in gouache.

    A heavier weight paper that I like to paint on, that’s brown-ish, is Magnani Annigoni Designo. It comes in pads, but don’t buy it in pads. The surface is flattened in the padding process. But it in sheets. Lovely paper to work on. Can work on it too strenuously, but it is sized to take wet media.

    Stonehenge comes in a Kraft brown now and I love to paint on it. You can’t make it into books as you can see from this post below, it cracks when FOLDED WITH THE GRAIN. And boy does it crack.

    But it’s great for painting on with gouache.

    In fact I did my fake journal this year on Stonehenge Steel grey and those are almost all gouache. (also can’t fold this color for binding. Some other colors you can.) You can see the flip through here.
    There’s a little bit of chatting, but then I get to the flip through, some of my favorite recent paintings.

    And then there’s Rives BFK which comes in a buff/tan color and you can paint with gouache on it. It’s a little soft, and obviously a printmaking and not a watermedia paper, but great even so.

    And finally, off the top of my head, You can always tone great wet media paper like Strathmore 500 Series Mixed media paper and then paint on top of that.
    You can get something like this

    Oh, and I almost forgot there’s that watercolor paper that comes in 4 colors it starts with a B. Bockinford I believe. I haven’t used it in years. I have a book made of it on the shelf. Maybe soon.

    So I hope that gives you options.

  3. Reply

    Yes, the only good thing about Dick getting food poisoning on our honeymoon in England was that I could stand all day in the museum and look at Constables and some very lovely little portraits by miscellaneous artists on ivory!

  4. Reply

    Christine, we got some of your smoke down here! Friends up in Grand Marais really got it.

    I have had some intense work projects and except for my bike rides in the a.m. I haven’t been out much. There was only one day when I could feel it and I thought it was allergies, until a friend told me about the fires and I realized what it was. Then they warned us one day, but the wind shifted and we were fine.

    Sorry you’ve had to deal with all that loss and danger, and irritated eyes.

    • Dana
    • July 21, 2015

    Christine, we’ve had the most amazing red fireball sunsets here in New England due to your fires. As lovely as they are I never could forget that you all were suffering. I’m glad to hear that they’re mostly out… bless those firefighters!

    • Christine K
    • July 21, 2015

    New England! Wow! I never would have thought it would drift so far. We too have had a big orange ball for a sun. Great to paint because you can actually paint it orangey- red! Yes, bless those firefighters as well as the plane/helicopter pilots and crew.

    • Christine K
    • July 21, 2015

    I really shouldn’t complain – 10,000 people were evacuated from their homes, down to about 900 now. A lot of them will have gone back to smoke and fire damaged homes, not to mention incinerated forests. We had smoke, falling ash and black rain water. My evacuation kit consisted of passports, important papers, pics of our dearly departed and my art supplies, including all my journals. I figure everything else could be replaced. It’s raining again as I write.

    • Joan
    • July 21, 2015

    I have a sunset photo taken two years ago during the Carpenter fire in our local Spring Mountain range. It’s all orangey-red. looks like the sky is on fire. Breathtaking, but caused so much damage, flooding, loss of forest, homes, etc.

    Did you know there’s a cloud society online? For real! People send in their photos to post on the site.

    Where I live in the intermountain high desert (Mojave) we seldom get clouds. Lots of bright blue sky. But when it’s Monsoon season (July-Sept) we get wild thunderstorms with gorgeous clouds.

    I tried to paint postcard size sketches of clouds using watercolors, certainly a challenging thing to achieve

    Love the clouds, Roz. I’m off to paint some again.

    • Julana
    • July 22, 2015


    Read about a new movie and thought of you.

    “Many Beautiful Things” —about Lillias Trotter, a 19th c English artist whom the critic John Ruskin thought had the potential to be “the greatest living painter.” Directed by Laura Hinson.
    Opened over in England a couple weeks ago.

  5. Reply

    Joan, thanks for the heads up about the cloud society! Glad I’m not alone.

    Keep sketching those postcards size clouds!

  6. Reply

    I didn’t know they were doing a movie. I will look for it with interest! Thank you so much Julana for the heads up!

    • Julana
    • July 23, 2015

    You’re welcome!

    • Jennifer
    • July 31, 2015

    Yes to clouds! Just read this quote in a book today:

    In my room, the world is beyond my understanding;
    But when I walk I see that it consists of three or four hills and a cloud.
    –Wallace Stevens, “Of the Surface of Things”

  7. Reply

    Fun quotation Jennifer! thanks for sharing it.

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