I am obsessed with painting clouds. They are an ongoing and epic concert which lifts my consciousness. The turbulent sky is both an arena for distraction, meditation and reprieve from the day to day, while the land and our small existence on it pull me back to the stories hinted at in a pair of headlights in the waning light. The specificity of the cloud formations in my work alludes to a particular moment in time and place and the transience of that moment in our lives.

It is this dichotomy that makes the clouds singular and evocative. My initial attraction to the storms is the way they enter into my life. Gusts of wind, lightning and changing weather insist on a certain degree of attention that blue skies do not. Watching a particular cloud formation, or a dramatic storm, I am fully present in the moment. Much like the ocean, I am submerged in the abstraction of light and color, in the negative ions of water.

I grew up in Costa Rica where the ocean felt like an extension of my body. Living in Montana I have found similar aesthetic and experiential openness in the skies. This is the land I was born in and it speaks to my soul. The vast breadth of the West gives my eyes and mind room to see and imagine. It is a land exposed, a land depopulating to the cities, leaving the diners almost empty and the imagination full of wonder. Who lived here and why? How do you hear yourself and your dreams under such an expanse of silence?

I work from photo references taped together in the style of David Hockney’s collages which capture the evolution of the cloud as it moves, morphs, builds and dissipates. The open narrative of Alexis Rockman’s weather drawings inspire me to maintain a sense of power and drama in the image while building up highly realized surfaces using the techniques of Titian and Vermeer, until the paintings are almost hyperreal.