Thursday, July 30, 2020

Utter Frustration with Blogger!

     I have worked a long time on a new post to show you another new hand-painted silk scarf. But Blogger has a new "interface" that does not work right. The new post keeps getting chopped off when I try to publish the post no matter how many times I have saved my work. 

     Is anyone else having trouble getting a complete post to publish? Do you have any suggestions for me? I will probably not be able to work on the post again for a couple of weeks, but I hope to come through with something for you then.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Orange, Red, and Gold Hand-Painted Silk Scarf Using a Shibori Technique



     If I had kept track of the time spent making this 60" x 11" scarf, you might be surprised. It was more complicated than you would guess. This is the first time I have made a scarf using the arashi shibori technique (arashi means "storm" in Japanese--maybe referring to the wavy patterns' resemblance to thin clouds). A library book called Shibori by Elfriede Moller was my guide, although I modified her technique some. Here are a few scarves I made with other kinds of shibori techniques.

     Using a chunky foot-long piece of PVC pipe, I attached the 11" end of the blank white silk scarf near the top with masking tape. The two corners did not overlap; this allowed for just one layer of the scarf to wrap around the pipe. Then, with pale crochet cotton tied around the pipe and secured with tape (this can be done with thicker string or any thread as well), I wound the crochet thread around the scarf on the pipe many times in a random pattern. After a section was wound with thread, it was scrunched up and the next section wound--until the entire length of silk was tightly gathered on the pipe. The tape had to come off so that it did not block the dyes.

Close-up detail
    Tying off the end of the thread, I then wet the silk well so that it was soaked through but not dripping wet. This helps the dye to spread, to blend, and to penetrate the folds. Then, with a dropper and sometimes a brush, I pushed a few colors of French silk dyes into the fabric. The technique allows for many variations; the internet has a number of examples if you'd like to see more. My goal was to color the entire scarf, but other artists leave white areas. The silk can also be folded and then wound onto the pipe. Depending on the pattern of the folding, the wavy stripes can run in more than one direction when the piece is completed (here is one example).
Close-up of the other side

     Once the piece is dry (24 hours or more), you can snip the string or thread and enjoy the big reveal. I used four dye colors, but found that one dominated the resulting scarf. The colors are called grenat (a brownish red), ruby, orange (a blend I made of coral and a bit of yellow), and a sort of gold (a blend of yellow and a bit of rich sienna). As you can see, the coral blend took over many areas--not really surprising since it has proven to be quite strong other times I've used it. Yet, the result did surprise me. So this project was a learning experience and an adventure that will help guide the next time I use the arashi shibori technique.

Question of the day: Do you enjoy experimenting with crafts or other projects--even when you don't know how they will turn out?

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Westward Ho! Yellowstone's Mammoth Hot Springs and Terraces

     A cabin at Mammoth Hot Springs was our second "home" in Yellowstone National Park. The cabins (and newly refurbished hotel) are part of a hub toward the northwest corner of this huge park. The hot springs and extensive natural travertine terraces formed from dissolved limestone are fascinating. Over a mile of boardwalks allow visitors to explore them safely. Our day for exploring them and other nearby thermal features was chilly, grey and sometimes forbidding looking, so my photos show a completely different reality from the gleaming, pearly look of the terraces in bright weather. Of course, you can click on any photo to enlarge it.

    






     The Mammoth region is home to some of the largest herds of elk in the park as well as a variety of other wildlife. We had seen a few female elk in meadows in other parts of the park, but we were not expecting the number of elk we could watch in Mammoth. Nor were we prepared for the degree to which we saw some of them "up close and personal". We had been as careful as possible to stay the recommended distance away from wildlife, but in our cluster of cabins, the elk came to within eight feet of us. Between six and eight does and yearlings regularly grazed on the green grass the cabins surrounded--guess it was sweeter than the sagebrush on the hills around us. A number of others settled in around the cabins--one large doe even blocking access to our rented vehicle for awhile one morning. 

      Since we visited in elk rutting season, we could hear the bucks' eerie high-pitched bugling at night. Several bucks were gathering harems in the area--one group hanging out often in Mammoth Village (cluster of ranger station, camp store, hotel, restaurants, etc.). Cars stopped, and some people came much closer than was safe to get the perfect photo--a challenge for the rangers to manage.

     I have been puzzling over how to adequately express our awe and fascination with the natural wonders of the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. We are thankful to have had the opportunity to spend some time there. Since we were already near the Northern edge of the park, I had arranged for us to fly out of Bozeman, MT rather than drive all the way back to Jackson, WY. Oh my, we wished we had had a few more days in Bozeman as well. It's a hip, cultured college town surrounded by breathtaking mountains. After a quick lunch and stroll in town, we visited the amazing Museum of the Rockies, arriving just in time for a visiting production of Mongolian music and dance in dazzling costumes. The accompanying extensive exhibit featuring Ghengis Khan was eye-opening. I had not known that the fierce, brutal warrior became a progressive (for that time) leader. The museum's permanent exhibits include a stunning variety of local dinosaur finds and Native American art.

     Our itinerary worked well for us. We appreciated our time in Jackson, WY, and thrilled to the Grand Tetons. We were glad we had reserved rooms in two different corners of Yellowstone's expanse so that we could visit varied areas and features in a leisurely way without driving greater distances. You can view previous posts about our trip here. I hope you have the same opportunity some day.

Question of the day: Can you sometimes recall particular travel moments and experiences as vividly as if they had happened that day?

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Westward Ho! Part III. Yellowstone Thermal Feature Guided Tour

Nope, this is Fountain Geyser, which erupts on an irregular schedule
Fountain Geyser and its small twin in back
We were lucky to catch their eruption
     In Yellowstone National Park this past September, we were fortunate to get seats on the last Firehole Basin Tour of the season, which we had reserved in advance at a visitor center. On the way from Grant Lodge near Yellowstone Lake (see earlier posts) to our cabin in Mammoth Hot Springs, we saw a late morning Old Faithful geyser eruption and then took the afternoon Firehole Basin guided tour of a number of other thermal features.
Heart Spring
Microbial mats make the colors on the ground

The mineral rich waters feed the microbes
     

     
     

     
             The tour was amazing, completely exceeding our expectations. Our guide shared his passion for Yellowstone's unique bubbling mud pots, geysers, hot springs, and steam vents, providing a wealth of fascinating information about the geology of the area. Driving our group in a restored 1938 yellow White Motor Co. bus, he answered a range of questions, provided bird and wildflower charts for those interested, and entertained us with stories of events from the amusing to the tragic that had occurred in this dangerous terrain.  

The walls of the rapids came from lava flows
Falls in Firehole Canyon
     Photos will show you a few of the wonders we saw, although photos do not capture the sulfur fumes, the odd sounds, or the weird activity of each feature. If I begin to describe all that we saw, this post would be waaaay too long, but I can't resist a bit of information. Yellowstone sits atop an active super-volcano which last erupted about 640,000 years ago. We are safe from another eruption for awhile because of these thermal features that literally let off steam from the huge 125 mile deep plume of molten rock. In many areas, the earth's crust is very thin, to the point that a person walking on it could break right through. The only safe access to many sights is on the extensive network of wooden walkways built above the ground.

Our funky bus, with hubby in the foreground
Question of the Day: Are you interested in geological wonders?

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Two 4" x 5" Flower Paintings

     These small studies have served to give me a try at painting flowers. I started the 4" x 5" acrylic painting of fuchsia colored hibiscus flowers months ago, and recently pulled it out to finish. Thinking a pair of studies might be nice, I chose white astilbe for the second small piece, both for the way white contrasts with fuchsia and for the difference in shape. It has been a long time since I have attempted flower paintings; you can see a purple iris here and magnolia blossoms here.  Each of those sold somewhere along the way.

     Clearly, landscapes come more easily to me, but the learning involved in these studies was worth it. Flowers come out better, I think, when they are not over-worked--with just a few brush strokes in just the right colors. Highlights add depth, but multiple layers of acrylic paint do not necessarily add anything, rather seemed to detract. I'm sure there are countless gorgeous flower paintings by accomplished floral artists that would prove me wrong. So maybe what I should say is that in a small piece, what would work better at least for me would be surer quicker strokes than I used on the hibiscus. They say live and learn, but I often need to try something new, make various mistakes, and learn. Since no one is grading the efforts, it's fun and refreshing.

     The individual flowers that make up the astilbe plumes are too tiny to overwork, so that piece pleases me more. There is some layering, beginning with a slightly bluish white, finishing with slightly yellowed white (for the warmth)  toward the tops of the plumes and some pure white highlights. I used a fan brush, pressed into the paint so that the bristles were nicely separated and dabbed away in a "plumey" pattern. For each piece, I had looked at photos in my husband's gardening and botanical reference books. We had a hibiscus in the back yard at the time I started that painting, so could use my own photos as well (the hibiscus was not blooming at the time, but I had studied them up close often enough to draw on memory too).

Question of the day: What new thing have you tried lately and what did you learn doing it? 

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Egg, Ham, and Red Pepper Brunch Casserole--Our Christmas Eve Day Family Celebration

     After searching in vain for an egg casserole recipe for our Christmas Eve Day brunch (I had certain flavors in mind), I decided to create my own. I relied on existing recipes for egg/milk proportions and included the ingredients that sounded good and that our family would like (I hoped--and they did!). Of course, you will vary the recipe below in any way that suits you and your family or guests. Our younger son would have liked it hotter; since he is alone in that, he'll need to use hot sauce on top. But you may want to use more cayenne pepper or to include chopped hot peppers. I think this casserole could take almost any cheese you like; this time we used Swiss cheese.

     I wish I had taken a photo of the whole brunch, but didn't. We also had Martha Stewart's buttermilk French toast, a rich tasting and yummy version with pancake syrup and blueberry syrup, bacon I made in the oven, and the fruit salad you see pictured (there were egg casserole and fruit leftovers available for their photo shoot another day). We did not have green salad for brunch; the photo shows my plate of leftover casserole for supper another day. I have been searching for the French toast recipe on-line and can't find it--sorry. I had hoped to provide you with a link. I probably have the title wrong on my recipe card, but it was definitely a Martha recipe, modified a little.

     The bacon left me wondering why I had waited so long to make it in the oven--fear of messy splatters, for one thing. It did not spatter at all, but baked up uniform and flat. My husband was kind enough to get the pans ready while I was doing other things. He placed the bacon strips on racks that were set in parchment paper-lined, rimmed baking sheets. It took 2 10" x 14" pans to bake a little over a pound of quality bacon (it's best if the strips don't overlap). The only caution is that it would be easy to burn it--it goes fast in the last couple of minutes. About 20 minutes at 400 degrees was perfect.

     The fruit salad was fresh pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and some fresh pomegranate seeds (which come all prepared in a plastic container from Pom Pom--saves lots of trouble wrestling with the whole fruit to get the seeds out). It was a delicious combination and looked festive in a cut glass bowl.

     OK, the casserole recipe, made the day before serving:

                    Ham and Swiss Overnight Egg Casserole

1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
3/4 cup chopped red pepper
2 cups cubed deli black forest ham from a thick slice
1 4 oz. can chopped green chilies

8 eggs
2 cups skimmed evaporated milk
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. black pepper
generous dash cayenne pepper

2 cups shredded cheese (delicious with Swiss)
3 cups crusty bread (Cuban bread is yummy in this) torn or cut into about 1/2 inch pieces

     Saute onion and red pepper in about 2 tsp. butter; add ham and green chilies and saute 1 more minute. Let cool a little while making the egg mixture.
     Whisk eggs and skimmed evaporated milk together well; whisk in seasonings. Stir in about 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, the bread, and the ham mixture and mix well. 

     Pour into a 9" x 13" buttered or sprayed casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese. Cover well with foil and refrigerate overnight.
     In the morning, leave the foil on and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake about 15 minutes more until it is set (it will firm up a little more as it stands).

     A word about the skimmed evaporated milk: I have found it to be an excellent substitute for whole milk or even cream in many recipes. It lends richness and flavor to your dish with many fewer calories and less saturated fat.

     I have posted other recipes; you will find a listing at the recipe index post.

Question of the Day: This is a new tradition for us; the family has traditionally joined us for an appetizer supper on Christmas Eve Day. However, this year we needed a schedule that left time for our 2 1/2 year old granddaughter to have a nap before they attended the Children's Christmas Eve service. How have your family's holiday traditions changed over the years--or do some things stay the same for you?

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Blue, Green, and Aqua Impressionistic Hand-painted Silk Scarf

     This impressionistic blue blend scarf is a new favorite--in fact, one I plan to keep for myself. It is especially pleasing that it is a rescue of a scarf that went wrong (see earlier post about that mistake). The white and misty aqua background that was left after I removed the messed-up gutta seemed perfect to re-do in a scarf with a blue, green, and aqua swirling print.
Close-up of one end

Close-up of other end

     After choosing the palette and blending the colors I had tested and wanted to use, I wet the entire scarf well. Then, with a soft brush, I swirled the colors on in a sort of "planned random" way with a bit of unpainted area between many of the swirls so that the hues would flow together without too much mixing. I didn't want the colors to muddy each other or to blend too much. Once that looked satisfactory, I deepened some blue areas and quickly sprinkled kosher salt over while the areas were still quite wet. Using salt on wet French silk dyes works a kind of magic as the scarf dries, producing jagged lines, star burst effects, and concentrated darker spots. Sometimes, I do further modification of the colors or pattern after I see how the scarf looks dry. It would have been a mistake to tamper with these results; in my opinion, it is lovely just as it is. Now it's getting hard to wait to wear it; five newly hand-painted silk scarves are ready to be steam-set. One more, and I can load up the steamer and complete the finishing processes.
Close-up of center
By the way, I will have one or two more posts about our trip to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, but took a break to show you this newly painted scarf.

Question of the Day: Do you prefer defined patterns on silk, such as tulips or starfish, or a more abstract or impressionistic look?

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Westward Ho! Part II. Exploring the Southern Half of Yellowstone National Park

Anticipating sunrise over Yellowstone Lake
A doe elk spotted in a meadow at a scenic turnout
     Driving north from Jackson, WY and through the Grand Tetons again was as impressive as before. See my Part I post about our first travel days here. Because of the vast size of Yellowstone National Park, we stayed at two different locations in the park. First, we stayed two nights by Yellowstone Lake in the south. The main road through the park forms a figure eight, and our location at one of the lodges in Grant Village was the perfect base for exploring the lower loop and for making one side trip. We settled in and walked along the beautiful lake side and into the lodge pole pine forests in the area.
One gathering of bison, part of a larger herd in Lamar Valley

     The next morning, we drove north on the loop and then east to the Lamar Valley and beyond--almost to the eastern edge of the park. The broad valley lived up to its reputation as the best location for watching large herds of bison and spotting other large mammals. We did not stop where a cluster of cars surrounded a bison on the shoulder; some people were much too close to the powerful animal. Further on, the valley gave way to towering peaks and rugged cliffs. Here, some kind Yellowstone enthusiasts invited us to look through their high-powered scopes at snowy white mountain goats, one almost skipping along where the rock face had only the narrowest possible ledges for its hooves. My husband also saw some pronghorns bounding from the grasslands into the trees, but they went by too fast on the wrong side of the road for me to see.


The smell of sulphur and steam rising reveal a thermal feature
     On the way back west, we stopped for food at the insanely busy Canyon Village (I was glad we had not chosen to stay at the lodge there). Then, we followed a couple of short trails to overlooks at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. The Upper Falls area was closed to visitors that day, but we enjoyed seeing the more dramatic Lower Falls. 
Boiling mud at Dragon's Mouth Spring

     I joined my early-bird husband for a walk before sunrise the next morning to watch the color change in the sky over Yellowstone Lake-- a gorgeous display, followed by a stunning sunrise. Then, a breakfast buffet at the Lake Restaurant overlooking the water before checking out on our way to our cabin on the north loop. Although we were not yet in the area with the most thermal features, we stopped at turnouts and parking areas to walk on the boardwalks over bubbling hot mud pits, hot springs, and steam vents called fumaroles. Dragon's Mouth Spring, pictured here, hissed and made thumping and crashing sounds as steam puffed out and mud at the entrance bubbled. It was easy to imagine a dragon inside that lair.

Lower Falls in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Question of the Day: Have you been to Yellowstone National Park? If yes, what did you particularly enjoy there, or if no, what would you like to see?

Monday, September 30, 2019

Westward Ho, Part I. Journey to the Grand Teton National Park

Along the Snake River, Grand Tetons in view
     We recently returned from a wonderful journey west to the Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. I have been planning for it for more than a year--especially once I learned (from kind travel bloggers) that lodges and cabins in Yellowstone needed to be reserved a full year ahead in most cases.

     Traveling from flat, hot coastal North Florida to cool, dry mountains was a treat. We love our home, but a change of scenery and climate at the end of the summer was (immensely) refreshing. It is difficult to find words to describe these breath-taking national treasures, as you know if you have visited there. And photos cannot begin to convey the magnificence of the mountains, valleys, meadows, and animals we saw. However, I'll try to share some of what we experienced.

     We landed before noon in Jackson, WY on a chilly, rainy day, tired from getting up at 3 AM (1 AM mountain time!) for our flight. I had booked a room north of busy Jackson, but we first headed into town for lunch and exploration. Extra-large crowds of people clogged the streets, partly because we happened on a major--and delightful--art fair, and partly because it was too nasty a day for most hikers and outdoor explorers, so they came to town. 

     Foggy, but gradually clearing weather cheered us in the morning, and we drove north on US 89 into the Grand Teton National Park. Low clouds hugged some of the highest peaks, while others stood proud in their jagged glory. For our first day, we drove north as far as Moran Junction, then west to the sparkling, bright blue Jackson Lake (I'll post photos of Jackson Lake in Part II), and south again along the lakeside, past Jenny Lake, and on back toward our Jackson room for one more night. We stopped whenever we wanted to at one of the many overlooks and just drank in the crisp, fresh air and awe-inspiring views.

     Finally, we stopped at a trail head to do some hiking. Our Lonely Planet guide included the distance for each trail, and sometimes the elevation change. The trail we chose was fairly challenging, and we found exertion at that altitude exhilarating, but tiring. I loved using my Pacer Poles for walking--very helpful for my back problems--and was able to walk further than I would have without them. The trail wound through meadows, forest, along and over a rocky, bubbling stream, past a park horse and mule corral, and up some steep rises. It was all too lovely for words. The first full day of our adventure was simply amazing. Stay tuned for more.

Question of the Day: What journeys have taken you to a very different place from home?





Friday, August 30, 2019

"Castaway Island Afternoon", an Acrylic Landscape Painting

     One of the many preserves in our coastal North Florida area is relatively small, but is a favorite of mine. Castaway Island Preserve is on the Intracoastal Waterway with residential neighborhoods on both sides. It's an easy drive from our home and has yielded lots of painting reference photos over several visits. Part of the preserve is salt marsh with raised walkways that allow visitors to access the wetlands. I love it there and have made several paintings from Castaway scenes; I'm sure there will be more to come.

     "Castaway Island Afternoon" is a 24" x 18" acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas, designed to be hung as is or to be framed--either way looks great. Apparently my camera was tipped a bit when I took the photos (the reason the cedars look as though they are slightly leaning toward each other). Whoops. Since I have now signed the piece and given it a protective coating (for which I use a combination of matte and gloss acrylic medium), it is more difficult to take a good photo. Now it shows a bit of a sheen in photos, so I'll be content with the one I have.

     There is more than a little artistic license taken here. The hues are punched up from the actual scene, and, as usual, I had to clear out lots of vegetation and plant debris from the exuberant growth we see in coastal North Florida. So, the initial planning of the composition was crucial and involved several tonal sketches (using a range of artist's grey-scale markers) and various arrangements of the elements in the scene. 

     I also experimented with a few possible palettes and finally chose: cerulean blue, ultramarine blue, Paynes grey, lemon yellow, yellow oxide, Indian yellow, burnt sienna, burnt umber, buff (unbleached titanium ecru), and titanium white. The result is lighter and brighter than some of my other Castaway Island paintings, such as "Castaway Island Cedars" and "Castaway Island Palms". A side note on those two: although I used the same palette and canvas size so that they could be hung as companion pieces, they have ended up apart--which is just fine, too. The smaller cedars piece turned out to be a personal favorite and hangs in our home, while the palms piece was a perfect fit for the home of our older son and his interior designer wife. I was honored when she requested the painting and happily made a gift of it.

Question of the Day: Do you have favorite places in nature that you revisit to recharge or for creative or spiritual renewal?

     

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Hand-painted Tropical Leaf Silk Scarf with Varied Greens on Blue Background

Tropical Leaf Silk Scarf in Varied Greens on Blue Background
     The idea of painting a design of tropical leaves on a silk scarf has been in the back of my mind for awhile. Recently, I completed this 60" x 11" scarf in blue and varied green hues after a number of sketches finally resulted in a design I liked. I blended several shades and hues of green for the leaves, because I wanted to make the scarf more useful, more likely to look nice with different outfits. The leaf designs were inspired by photos of plants in some of my husband's botanical books and from direct observation of plants in our coastal north Florida neighborhoods.

One end of tropical leaf scarf
     I don't know why I draped the scarf on this old couch for its photos, but have decided it doesn't look too bad there. The final steps to finish the work-- steam-setting the dyes, removing the gutta outlines in a naphtha soak, washing and pressing--are not yet done. However, I thought you might like a look at it anyway.

Other end of tropical leaf scarf
     All the colors, including the blue background, are blends of liquid French silk dyes. I love experimenting with colors and color combinations and am rarely disappointed with the results of the blends I've planned--although it can take some "tinkering" to get the shade where I want it. 

     I painted a very light, watered-down blue on the entire white scarf blank first, then outlined all the leaves and stems with gutta resist (more information on using gutta in the third paragraph of this post). That way, the outlines have some color, rather than just being white. The lighter leaves are a pale green painted over with yellow (which tends to push other colors away and creates a nice variegation in hues). The large philodendron leaf is several layers of olive. The smaller vine leaves are a blend of greens, again layered until the depth of color seemed right. The heart-shaped larger vine leaves are a blend of green and blue. I gave each of the leaves one coat before "drawing" the veins with gutta resist; that way the veins would have more color, rather than just retaining the light blue of the first coat of the background. Last, I finished the final coat or two of the blue background, randomly stroking a true blue over aqua, then blending them for a watery, varied appearance. Now this will join a couple of other scarves in the studio closet until I have enough for a steamer batch to set the dyes.

Question of the Day: What sort of scarf design would you like me to try next?


Sunday, June 30, 2019

How to Create Depth in Landscape Paintings, Part III--Perspective in Skies

"Clouds Moving In", 14" x 11" acrylic painting
One of my worksheets for "Clouds Moving In"
     For Part III in this little series of posts about perspective, we will consider sky (especially clouds). Obviously, the painting of a large field with various trees both near and far, for example, will demand careful creation of depth in the ways we have discussed in Part I and Part II. But what about the sky in that painting? I do know that skies seldom appear just one monotone hue from the horizon on up and so often shade my painted sky from cobalt, ultramarine, or even slightly purplish blue at the top of the canvas to a slightly more aqua and lighter tone toward the horizon. This suggests distance in the sky.

     But I hadn't considered cloud perspective much until my painting mentor, Linda Blondheim, was providing feedback on a work in progress. She pointed out that clouds usually appear larger when they are closer and are smaller (and often flatter) in appearance toward the horizon. Linda encouraged me to make a grid with a vanishing point at the horizon to refer to as I painted a cloudy sky. Sounds obvious, I guess, but I was not observing the principle consistently in my work.


     I used that tip in the 14" x 11" acrylic piece, "Clouds Moving In", pictured above. I wanted to show clouds building over the Atlantic from the Northeast, as they often do here in coastal north Florida. So, the vanishing point is left of center (north) in the reference grid at the top of my worksheet (pictured above, left).


"Spring Breeze",  24" x 18" acrylic painting 
"Sea Oats", 16" x 12" acrylic painting
     Of course, real clouds are various sizes at various distances, but I have realized that my painted skies are most convincing looking when I follow some logical perspective rules for clouds. The 24" x 18" piece, "Spring Breeze" illustrates the principle as does the 16" x 12" painting, "Sea Oats".

     Rather than more words today, I will simply share some of my photos that include clouds. Some are from my home area, some were taken for painting reference (not necessarily because they are stunning subjects in their own right), and some are from places we have traveled. Of course, you can click on any photo to enlarge it. You can draw your own conclusions about perspective in actual skies and how to create realistic depth in paintings that include clouds.
Jacksonville Beach, FL photo
Hanna Park, Jacksonville, FL photo



John C. Campbell Folk School, NC photo

Nova Scotia, Canada photo
Nova Scotia, Canada photo


Region of Tuscany, Italy photo
 Question of the Day: Have you ever thought about how clouds appear as they recede into the distance?