When I was a child, my sister and I would lie for hours on the hillside near our home and watch the clouds: laughing at all the shapes, finding recognizable ones and trying to predict what would come next and oh, so sad, when the shapes disappeared. I think of the Joni Mitchell song, “Both Sides Now” and I really can’t describe them any better, so I will paraphrase a bit with permission and thanks: I look “at clouds from both sides now, from up and down and still somehow, it’s clouds’ illusions….” that attract me, embrace me and spew me forth to try and re-present, re-capture, re-create this elusive, ephemeral vision that is here one second and gone the next.
I think of Sunsets as Mother Nature’s canvas and ever-changing palette. Trying to represent the awe I experience, is, in actuality, another foray into the abstract. I am challenged by the lack of precision of sunsets, as I try to recreate the impermanence of these colorful light displays. A sunset is as much a feeling as anything. Sunsets are a universal access point to wonder, melancholy, joy. Isn’t it wild that a vivid smear of color across the sky can do that to a person? A confirmation of the power of the abstract, in nature and in art.
And, like snowflakes, clouds and rocks, no two are alike. I love the lack of predictability.