"Clouds #3" by Don Sullivan
"Clouds #3" by Don Sullivan

Cirrus or stratus? Altocumulus or just plain cumulus?

Lowell artist Don Sullivan discovered these and many other fascinating types of clouds as he prepared to publicize "Cloud Palette," his new show on view May 29-June 23 at the Arts League of Lowell's Greenwald Gallery, 307 Market St., Lowell. An artist's reception is Saturday, June 1, 5-7 p.m.

"Who knew there were so many types of clouds?" Sullivan mused. "I just know I like to gaze at them and try to pick out faces of people and shapes, like dragons, lobsters or dogs. Have you ever laid back and stared at one particular cloud until it totally vanishes? It's almost like you are wishing for it to evaporate — and it does, like magic."

"Clouds #4" by Don Sullivan
"Clouds #4" by Don Sullivan

Sullivan's inspiration for this show of cloud paintings came from vacations spent at the ocean and under the wide, open skies of Arizona and New Mexico.

"Did I try to paint as many named clouds as I could?" he asked. "Not particularly. I just painted what I thought were interesting shapes or colors."

Sullivan challenged himself with the subtle transitions of one color to the next and with the effects that back lighting has on cloud textures.


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Sullivan studied painting and illustration at Massachusetts College of Art and later took graduate classes at UMass Lowell. He has also studied under internationally known artists Charles Demetropoulos and Carlton Plummer. He has taught painting and other media in public schools and community-education classes for more than 30 years. His work is in many private and corporate collections.

The gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m., and Sunday, noon-4 p.m. Call 978-221-5018 or visit www.artsleagueoflowell.com for info.

Nancye Tuttle's email address is nancyedt@verizon.net