Rain! Not buckets of it all day, but lots of little "popcorn" thunderstorms that dropped rain at inconvenient times. Overall, it was a challenging day with fickle sun and shadow. But despite that, the clouds were beautiful to watch. As I like to say, it was a good day for photography - but not for painting.
Due to the forecast, I headed out early to Doe Mesa. A magnificent cloud was building up over Casner Mountain. As I painted, it spread behind Bear Mountain as well, which wasn't far from my painting spot. I heard the occasional boom of thunder but kept painting. About two hours in, as I was finishing up, another cloud - complete with long veils of rain hanging from it - manifested itself near Coxcomb. It was heading my way, so I packed up. By the time I got to the car, the first heavy drops were slamming down.
I retreated to town and took my broken frame from the first day's Main Street event to Tony the Framemaker. (Tony's prognosis was favorable.) It wasn't raining in town, but I could see showers all around, so I went to Fresh Pita for a falafel sandwich. By the time I finished, showers still looked imminent, so I started to drive home, pledging to myself that if I found an open window, I'd stop and paint. I had my eye on a forest road that I liked south of town with good views. By the time I came to the turn, sure enough, it looked like I had maybe one rain-free hour ahead of me. I set up where I had a gorgeous view of the red rocks of Sedona. The play of light and shadow was tantalizing. As I painted, a cloud built up over House Mountain, just a mile away. Thunder cracked once or twice.
Although I enjoyed the beauty of the day, I'm still not sure what the fate of these two paintings will be. They're in the studio now, up on my viewing mantle, awaiting judgement. The palette knife stands at the ready, happy to scrape them down if need be. Scraping is actually a very freeing action, as it erases the past. Everything becomes OK again.
In the evening, I attended Kevin Macpherson's lecture. It was standing-room-only, so they had to bring in extra chairs. Kevin, who spoke about his "Reflections on a Pond" exhibit, talked about how hard it is for him to find time to paint for himself. What with traveling, workshops and events, life is busy, but for "Reflections" he gave himself an hour a day just to paint his pond.
Now - it's off to Jerome for Jerome Day. As dawn breaks, I can see some thick clouds over the mountains.