- Flying High Golden Eagle
- (scroll down for description)
- 42 x 30, acrylic, 1979
The sky is a great world; greater in size than the earth's surface and far more dynamic in its movements and changes.
Clouds are the signals of atmospheric activity, from the massive slabs of stratus that may blanket half a continent to the wispy little cirrus near the outer edge of the air. But unquestionably the towering giants of the atmosphere are the cumulonimbus or thunderhead clouds. Starting as fair weather cumulus clouds, they build due to rising air at the phenomenal rate of up to 3,000 feet per minute reaching heights of 75,000 feet. Sometimes the top spreads out in a wide anvil shape of ice crystals. The forces within these clouds are powerful. This power is often released in the form of a thunderstorm and may equal that of an atomic bomb.
A rapidly building cloud is far from soft and fleecy. It looks as hard and nubbly as a giant cauliflower or scoop of ice cream. Because of the updrafts, these conditions are perfect for soaring as long as the bird or sail plane stay a safe distance from the big, growing clouds.
I have flown in a small aircraft in a cloudscape such as this. It reminded me of a world of fantastic canyons. The golden eagle, master of the air, is far more at home here than any human built craft will ever be.