We were living in Indiana when my brother-in-law sent us a book of Maynard Dixon paintings. Ohhh, how those colors and shapes invigorated and tormented me. There are hues that exist in the west, you see, where there is no humidity to diffuse the color, that never showed up in seven years of midwestern sky. Sometimes I would look through the book and think the clouds were borderline cartoonish, nigh unto absurd. And the swaths of rock on sky, the miniscule scale of humanity -- these paintings seemed like a dream of a place, the painter just a few steps beyond melodramatic.
But I don't think I've gone one day in the past year and a half without being floored by the clouds around here. They really are cartoonishly spectacular. Bold. Intense. Frothy.