I wish that I could paint with “all the colors of the wind” as Pocahontas sings in her Disney film. There are some things that no brush or photograph can completely capture; only the living experience conveys its essence. For me, sunsets are just this way.
I see the most beautiful sunsets driving back from Costco while in Wisconsin.
As gorgeous weather as San Diego has, you don’t see such clouds there…textured billows of vapor rippling and streaking visibly in the wind through the dusky sky. Looking toward a golden disc of sun that is setting into a green bank of trees, I see clouds of fiery orange outlined by light almost too bright to look at alongside offshoots of molten light. Behind me toward the east, the sunset reflects gorgeous rose and red and purple hues upon mighty pyramids of clouds. Above me, between these two seas of color stretches another bank of powerfully rippling grey and steel blue and white storm heads. Behind them hide the remnants of the pale blue summer sky and a full moon rising to greet the night. And the wind—how it changes the structure of this living tapestry every minute. I want to fly to the nearest hilltop and let the wind course through my hair as I breathe and stretch while clouds race overhead.
Below them on the earth I am driving. The grey road, the green-and-brown fields, the vivid trees, and the red or blue farmhouses complete my rainbow of colors. I haven’t found such green in San Diego (there are other breathtaking panoramas there). But in the early days of Wisconsin summer, there are more greens than you can count and they vie with the Shire for their vibrancy of hue. The paler green of the grasses roadside are speckled with yellow wildflowers and punctuated every so often by pale purple lilacs. The dark green of lone trees contrasts as speckled branches against the fiery sky. The bright, deep green of trees along the ridges make a dividing line between the rolling horizon of farmland and the endless atmosphere. It is a breath of heaven on earth.
(Watercolor painting courtesy of Gianna Andress)