Passion for Painting Clouds ~ Retreat Discoveries

Inspired by my Tuscan retreat…

I came home with a deep connection to my passion for painting clouds.

large cloud painting
This painting has rich, textured surface with lovely contrasts between translucent glazes, rough weave of Russian linen canvas, and bits of impasto paint. April Morning, oil on linen, 30″ x 40″, PURCHASE PAINTING>   PRINTS>


Though I have painted clouds for many years, I never felt truly passionate about painting them before. I think you can see the difference in this painting.

Can you feel the fresh air? Do you feel the cool breeze moving the clouds? Do you feel lifted up?

When I returned from Italy, I brought home half a dozen small cloud paintings. I was itching to swing a big brush on canvas grande!

This 30″ x 40″ Russian linen canvas was my ticket. I blocked in layers of translucent clouds with a large spatula-shaped palette knife. Then I waited.

A week later the canvas was dry. I’d been working on other cloud paintings and had new ideas about glazes. Mixing up some very thin, transparent colors ~ I scumbled atmospheric clouds and sky into the rough woven texture of the linen.

Passion for Painting Clouds ~ Retreat Discoveries

Signature Style & Passion

cloud paintings
April Morning, oil on canvas, 30″ x 40″, PURCHASE INFO> PRINTS> The sofa is available on Wayfair>

Scumbled is a painting term that refers to light over dark, with a scraggly brush marks. The calligraphy of a painting is very important, like a signature. This is an extension of how one would sign their name ~ without thinking!

During my retreat I had focused on painting this way. Thinking about my painting being an extension of my signature, I sought to release any idea of trying to control it. Similar to a signature, while we might wish to have it be legible, most often we simply make our mark and move on.

What if I could paint this way? I wondered.

This painting is the answer I received.

I rather like it! I’m glad I asked.

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Silver Lining

What does a silver lining mean to you?

When I started this painting, it was not a sunset. I don’t even remember what it was, now that it is finished.

sunset oil painting
Silver Lining IV, oil on canvas, 24″ x 30″, Purchase Info>

The title was already penciled on the back of the canvas and this got me wondering. What was it that got me started on this painting?

It was rolled up with some other paintings in the studio. When I returned from my retreat in Tuscany, I found myself thinking about it. I’d done some small cloud paintings in Italy and wished to explore the idea on a larger canvas.

“Painting dreams feels like layering thin veils of color ~ all sparkly inside.”

Unrolling it and another along with it, I clipped them both on boards and set them on easels, side by side. Like a dream, I don’t really remember the middle part. I only remember painting very thin veils of color, one after another, until the painting looked like this.

That’s the way dreams seem to me ~ very thin, translucent veils, wavering in my being. Only the present one is clear. Then it is replaced by the next, and so on.

Until finally, I can see them all like a prism ~ and I feel amazed and sparkly all inside.

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