Creative photos and essays from the San Juan Islands


Jovian Jubilation

Drama queenWhat, you may ask, does the title of this sky portrait have to do with anything? Imagine you are the first human to enter the atmosphere of Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, the one with storms beyond wonder! When I look at any photo, I allow it to speak to me, rather than telling it what I think it should be. The first thought I heard here was: “Perhaps this is a mild example of what the upper atmosphere of Jupiter looks like. Big planet, big drama.”

Clouds have a way of capturing our minds and taking them for a ride. What youth hasn’t reposed in the warm, thick grass of spring and looked up at the puffy white clouds that say: “Baaaaaa” or “Roarrrr!” (That’s a lion: see the mane?) As an adult (sort of) I go beyond the obvious and see deeper revelations: This scene could be the attempted triumph of evil over good. (That peaceful patch of blue being dominated by the oppressive black cloud above.)

Since I am multi-minded, the second revelatory, quiet voice that came to me was that of the late Bob Ross the TV host of “The Joy of Painting” saying how painterly this skyscape appeared. “Cover the canvas with blue, then take white and black and a broad brush, these blowing strokes…yes, that’s it!”

My interests range from spelunking to scuba diving to astronomy and hundreds of topics in-between, so don’t be surprised if there are more seemingly subjectless cloud portraits brought forth for your enjoyment and edification. I’m still that kid in the grass…looking up.


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