“There is a party in the sky every day, and so many people miss it.” I can’t remember who said this, but when I heard it, it stuck with me. I had always noticed the sky — as an artist, I feel like I notice everything — but the comment prompted me to look closer.
I’m super blessed to live in this amazing place up on a hill, with a expansive view of the sky. It’s really breathtaking. But as an artist, I had not yet “owned” the skies in my painting. I had fun with them, but I didn’t really dive into the sky as a subject. Then something happened … a happy accident.
I have a newfound fascination with plein air painting, and as my prior blog points out, it comes with a learning curve. So in an effort to tackle this thing — painting outside — I ordered an instructional video on the topic online. Or at least I thought I did.
What arrived turned out to be a video offering guidance on how to paint a sky. EUREKA! The video was by Brian Keeler and was a bit dry (with all due respect to his artistic genius) and, at first, I was only half paying attention as I did other things. Then Brian began to really work on his sky, and it was so beautiful: He really dissected all the layers and colors and light, not just pushing paint (which is great fun), but really making me notice the details even more. By the end, I was riveted; I found his skies taking my breath away.
I went into the studio the next day a new person. I had all kinds of energy and a mission: to attack this sky thing. And I did. I set a goal to do 100 paintings by the end of the year where the sky and light are the focus. I’ve done close to 40 already, and I’m having a blast.
As for that view out my backyard — well, it is getting even more closely analyzed by me everyday, and I’m photographing it like crazy and appreciating the beauty even more than ever before.
It forces me to slow down and be really present. I like to say that if you really want to know something, paint it. Look up every day, take a deep breath and enjoy the power and beauty of being right here, right now.
If you would like to join me on my journeys exploring the sky and other adventures, you’re invited to sign up for my email; just click here! You’ll automatically be registered for a monthly drawing for artwork, and you’ll receive great insider information.
If you’d like to get even more interactive, you can sign up for an art class where we can explore the sky and so much more together! For more information, please visit my website’s event page by clicking here.