Dark skiesNear Hillsboro, ND, five miles west of the Minnesota border

Prairie storm sketch by Chandler O'Leary

One of my very favorite things about the Red River Valley (of the north) is that the land is so perfectly, endlessly flat that you can see entire weather systems grow and unfold before your very eyes.

Then again, it’s not so fun when that weather catches up with you. I did this painting in the passenger seat while the Tailor drove, and not ten minutes later those roiling clouds went from pretty picture fodder to terrifying death trap. It rained so hard we couldn’t see past the end of our windshield, and I had to put my paintbrush down in order to cross my fingers and hope the storm didn’t come equipped with car-crushing hailstones.

Then it was over, just as quickly as it had come—driving home the point that no matter how quick on the, er, draw I think I might be, nature will beat me every time.

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Comments (2)

  1. Kate B

    That’s a wonderful painting. I’m amazed by the cloud effect. Even more amazed as I know how hard it is to paint on that Moleskine sketchbook paper!!

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