I really don’t know clouds at all

Saturday I took a break from painting portraits; I went outside! A rare storm was sweeping across the Bay Area, and the clouds made me want to stand up and sing. I wanted to try to paint them.

I headed into the hills to Monte Bello Open Space Preserve. It’s one of my favorite places in the Bay, with miles of trails wandering over gentle hills and into canyons under shady oak and madrone canopies. Thank goodness we’ve preserved this beauty for everyone to enjoy!

An old orchard still grows on a little ridge where there was once a farmstead, and I love to hike through those ancient lichen-covered crones. Some had unmelted snow on their graft crowns from the unusual snowstorm the night before.

At the end of the ridge I  sat shivering on the ground, a Safeway bag under my butt to keep me dry, and tried to paint.

I learn something every time I paint. Saturday I learned that, like the old song, I really don’t know clouds at all; I haven’t really looked at clouds from both sides now because we simply don’t have enough cloudy days in the Bay Area. We have mostly sunny skies, which to some is a blessing, and to others, a dreary state of affairs.