“Strange though this may sound, not knowing where one is going,
being lost, being a loser, reveals the greatest possible faith and
optimism, as against collective security and collective significance. To
believe, one must have lost God; to paint, one must have lost art.” –
If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating
in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud there will be no water;
without water, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, you cannot
make paper. So the cloud is in here. The existence of this page is
dependent upon the existence of a cloud. Paper and cloud are so
-Thich Nhat Hahn
Daily Cloud explores a moment in the practice of two painters, Paul
Miyamoto and Karen Dana, as they tackle the same subject. Clouds
seem to be visible masses of water or frozen crystals suspended
over celestial bodies; we perceive them as something more than air
and less than object as they loom above our busy lives. Paint seems
to be a viscous color-bearing medium that relates to the liquid part
of our bodies but whose careful application by practitioners comes
to embody a grasping for metaphor and meaning in the world of
appearances. So perhaps the practice of painting clouds involves
wading deep into a territory where distinctions between body and
mind are relaxed. But painting and looking at paintings is actually
rather simple- probably even a strangely familiar feeling despite being
beyond the capacity of our defining mind. From this strangely familiar
place, many questions may arise and float by. For example, when we
mindfully view each drip, smear, and glistening of paint on Paul and
Karen’s canvases, do we tap into the psychological space of lived
experience in their studio practice, or has the cloud nourished a fresh
Karen Dana’s statement:
“Window of Prohibitions
On a wall in a Madrid eatery hangs a sign that says: No singing.
On a wall in the airport of Rio de Janeiro hangs a sign that says:
No playing with Luggage Carts.
Ergo: There are still people who sing, there are still people who play.”
Daydreaming simulates a nature of pleasurable experience.
I often look at moving clouds making imaginary shapes and stories;
from those encounters a state of association sparks. I tend to relate
my own history to what I perceive and then I wonder around the
possibilities of what is around me as an inherent part of my own
That daydream concerns my mythic art-world. I try to bring those
clouds to my interior space, to my studio, to my wondering thoughts.
I try to recall that game that I played when I was a child looping “light
as a feather, stiff as a board” as a conscious act of innocence. I
wish I could levitate, I wish I could fly.
My paintings portray a sense of a charged psychological place while
providing discrete spaces at their base for introspection. They give
visceral and immediate impact to abstract dualities such as presence
and absence, infinity and illusion, solidity and intangibility. Trying to
transform the familiar into delusions or hybrids, displacing meaning in
order to stimulate new interpretations.
My practice as a painter requires a very personal process. It involves
the search of meaning, communication and growth. I move back and
forward from figuration to abstraction, I realized they are two different
methods, both necessary for me. When I depart from representational
subject matter in favor of abstraction I often find myself dealing with
unconscious thoughts and emotions.
I always seek to present images that give physical presence
metaphoric transcendence. The active figurative space offered by the
grounds the transcendence in a concrete materialism that proves no
man is an island, even if his head is in the clouds.
Paul Miyamoto’s statement:
In my youth, water and weather were favorite topics of discussion
of my farm family in
events that carry away house, trees
of significant weather. The dry hot desert winds dried
directed my chores. One of my more pleasant duties was to irrigate
crops so they wouldn’t dry up and result in a low production of
I stared at clouds big or small and wondered why they were
reluctant to produce rain.
dirt under my bare feet. More importantly,
workday. Even though my persistent gaze never produced a
rain it did provide endless hours of cloud and sky watching.
very significant difference in my past 20 years in the Hudson Valley.
northern weather events bring a wide variety of conditions that
startle, astound and
vantage point on the crest of the valley
for many miles away. No single day like any other.
the notion that vernacular images can inspire emotional responses.
Thus, a cloud, a car, a river of water may connect with a universal
– Paul Miyamoto
California. Not the weather that causes dramatic
or mountains but actually lack
the plants and
Dark clouds would also cool the parched
rain meant the end of my
There is a
simply inspire me on any given day. From my
I can see clouds approaching
My work reflects
nuance, a recollection a feeling, a memory.