Sunday, July 19, 2009

On Clouds

Are you a cloud watcher? I think it's really a discipline, an exercise in visual creativity, that sometimes I find taxing. I know, I'm an artist, stuff like this is supposed to be second nature to me, but like many skill sets, it is just one more thing that is a practice in keeping you sharp.
While driving the other day, I had a long, full list of rats, kites, kings, and dragons that appeared before me in the sky. My sweet, patient husband had to endure the deluge of creations I was developing since it was almost too easy to see all these wonderful things; nearly no effort at all.I remembered seeing a society on TV once whose discipline and joy it is to take time every day, not to smell the roses, but to just watch the clouds. Welcome to the Cloud Appreciation Society with their nearly 18 thousand members, an official manifesto and handbook, and whose site even features cloud artists and music to watch by.There's a scene that I love in the movie, Girl With a Pearl Earring, where Vermeer asks Scarlett Johansson's character to tell him what color the clouds are. She, of course, starts by saying that they're white...but then sees the blues and grays, and even pinks and browns in them. I often show this clip to my students when we are learning to paint white. Even white clouds have a whole rainbow in them!
Evening Show by Mark Kelvin Horton

Would you ever belong to a cloud watching society? Are you, or have you ever been, a cloud watcher? I wonder how this would cause us to slow down, admire creation, cause us to think about how small we all are...

12 comments:

A Crafty Moment said...

I must admit I'm also a cloud watcher. I usually see dogs, faces and horses in the clouds. And yes, my husband always humors me and agrees to see the same things once I point them out. Clouds are one of those things like the moon -- you wonder if people everywhere see what you see. Sometimes, as they're moving I try to make out what they'll look like if two clouds merge. I always hope to see the picture, I've received many times in a text message, of the praying hands formed in the clouds.

Dionne said...

I am not really a cloud watcher unless it's about to rain. And it's not too admire the clouds, it's more of a fearful glance, wondering when they'll break open -- but I do love this idea. I know I have caught images in the clouds before, but have never deliberately set aside time to do it. I should though. It seems like it would be really inspiring.

Reginasaurus said...

I'm delighted that you mentioned Girl With a Pearl Earring. I love that part too, and I think it's so cool that you show that clip to your students. I'm sure you're an amazing teacher :)

Gregg said...

What, look up, too? I don't remember having time to do that. I have a perfectly good desk with a telephone and a computer with two monitors that demand my attention and I can't add something so un-demanding to my work!

Kotori said...

I am a total cloud watcher - and now my kids are too! I think it sparks so much creativity in kids to be able to see abstract shapes and images in those puffs of white.

And, how ingenious to show that clip of G w/ PE to your students... I think anytime you can integrate something like that into your teaching it really grabs the students imagination and stays with them (can you tell I'm a former teacher??!!).

A Lady's Life said...

I love clouds and often watch them.
They never cease to amaze me.
It really makes you think that this world is the most amazing piece of work that can ever be created.
We can get lost in it exploring till the end of time.
xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

delaney said...

i loved this post - i am a HUGE cloud watcher! i see figures and characters in every cloud, even when im not trying. i'm even working on a cloud-themed children's book! they are just one of my favorite parts of the sky :)

lyndsey | paper girl said...

i love this post! i am always taking note of the sky, clouds, skylines, colors etc. -- my computer is full of random pictures of sky. agreed, there is so much to even white clouds -- i'm in love with keeping my eye on the sky.

Girl With The Golden Touch said...

I never thought about it that way...that they're not just white...thanks :) x

Gaia said...

I'm a cloud watcher and everytime I can find bears, tigers flowers castles
I love fluffy withe clouds they are like spun sugar
How are you sweet blondie!?reblur

julie king said...

although i don't belong to a club or society i am definitely a cloud watcher. we're having a cool streak her in ohio and the clouds have been gorgeous. cloud watching is my favorite thing to do (other than reading) when i carpool to work with my hubbie each day.

Jessie Jansen said...

love clouds. and i LOVE love love that painting at the end of your blog. so beautiful :) much like yourself.