“If a story seems too random, or perhaps too brilliant, for a “madman” to have conceived of it himself, then consider that the “author” might be reality and the “madman” just the reader. After all, only reality can escape the limits of our imagination.”
From Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen
Creative exercise: Spend long periods of time contemplating tea stains on a napkin or clouds in the sky. Imagine magnificent creatures and landscapes, let your imagination run wild!
“I love the clouds… the clouds that pass…
up there… up there… the wonderful clouds!”
[The Stranger, Charles Baudelaire]
And if you’re a hard-core cloud lover, you might even consider joining the Cloud Appreciation Society!
Here’s a peek from their manifesto:
We pledge to fight ‘blue-sky thinking’ wherever we find it. Life would be dull if we had to look up at cloudless monotony day after day.
Now let’s look at some Clouds in Art:
Dutch artist Berndnault Smilde is known for his man-made indoor clouds. He makes them from a combination of “frozen smoke” and moisture and he immortalises them in photographs.
Clouds have featured in many of this Californian artist’s work. He’s represented the cloud as a brain, and he’s tried to mimic the shapes of clouds using cigar smoke.
Brazilian artist Vik Muniz created the wonderful series, Equivalents, where he photographed cotton wool clouds in various different shapes. Can you picture them in the sky?
And, of course, there’s the Belgian Surrealist artist, René Magritte. Clouds were a recurring theme in his work and are said to represent the unconscious mind. He was known for his witty and thought-provoking images which challenged preconditioned perceptions of reality.