The minute I saw the clouds on the beach, I knew I’d be in trouble. Shifting clouds are hard enough to paint. Shifting light has been my nemesis since the beginning. Shifting light on shifting clouds: I’m in for it. Watching a sunset can be a relaxing experience, but painting one is like trying to… well I can hardly think of anything that is equally as hectic. Bathing a ferret? Painting a puppy’s nails? I tripped out to the beach this evening with a mind to catch at least one cloud before it faded – I painted like wild, trying to catch the gold in the massive cloud in front of me, then the pink in the distant clouds, then the blue of the sky behind them, then the icy green of the waves. As the light drained away, I relaxed a little. Nothing more I could do but finish off the clouds from memory.
But as I set in to do that, I noticed that a rosy glow was washing over my canvas. Turning around, I found this massive cotton-candy pink and gold bank of Pixar perfect clouds just teasing me over my shoulder. And, wouldn’t you know it? There was a rainbow. A sunset rainbow. Beautiful. Beautiful. And I say that with equal parts admiration and consternation. Out came another canvas, out the brushes, and it was back into the thick of things. No rest for the weary. But the good news was that after the second painting, the light turned too dim to paint by. So I had no choice but to sit and enjoy the fading light and the last bits of pink.