"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Always learning, from "squatty" clouds

"Sunset Skyscraper," 11" x 14" 300 lb. d'Arches cold press paper
I don't like "squatty" clouds.
See yesterday's painting, "Far Off." Happy with the composition, I found I'd misjudged the scale, and the cloud was just "squatty." Out here in the Great Plains, the clouds soar far above us, and if in the west and New Mexico where they grow from the roots of the mountains, they make the mountains look like molehills.

"Paint to learn, not to hang," said G. Russell Case, my oil pointing teacher at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in June.
Easy to say, hard to accept for a type A former journalists, but I've found it to be true as I continue to try to learn oil painting.
Thus I retreated to watercolor, where I'm more comfortable, but then I produced that "squatty" cloud.
Today, I switched to 300 lb. d'Arches paper--up in quality and weight from yesterday. And in size, from 9 x 12 to 11 x 14. Still learning, but at least it's not a "squatty" cloud, and the colors are better. After telling my wife I'd lost my touch on clouds, she demanded I get back at it. Thus the motivation and the learning. Now, perhaps to frame.

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