Fire In The Sky

“Softly the evening came.  The sun from the western horizon like a magician extended his golden wand o’er the landscape; Twinkling vapors arose; and sky and water and forest seemed all on fire at the touch, and melted and mingled together.” ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

To the person who first likened being unrealistic to having your head in the clouds I say this; there is nothing more real, more perfect and more original than a cloud.  To sit and stare for hours if you wish, witnessing what has never been before and what will never be again is a better use of your time by far than memorizing tables and formulas for it teaches us that possiblities are endless.

The thing that I love about painting clouds is that there is no right and wrong.  One might say that a cloud is ominous or unusual, but never ugly or unrealistic.  A couple of days ago I was hiking under the most amazing lenticular formations and I estimated correctly that when the sun dipped low to the west that they would light up like fire in the sky.  The resulting sunset brought inspiration, which manifested an application for the encaustic (wax) paints that have been sitting on a shelf for almost a year.

“Fire in the Sky” my first encaustic painting

It took a while to figure out how to apply the wax and move it about using palette knives, rags, heat gun and torch.  In the end, I’m pretty happy with the way my first wax painting turned out.  After all, I’ve never met a cloud I didn’t like.