Before the Storm

Oil painting, Before the Storm, by Bridgette Guerzon Mills
Bridgette Guerzon Mills | Before the Storm, oil, 16×20 inches

I painted this a few weeks ago and I am actually itching to get back to my oils and painting a landscape. I equally love creating my mixed media piece and my landscape paintings…they just require different head spaces/mental states for me. I have been painting from my photos for the landscapes and I remember this afternoon so well.

I pointed my phone camera up towards the hill above me because I wanted to capture the sky before a storm erupted over us. I knew the storm was coming because of the clouds. They were huge! Magnificently huge. The clouds were moving quickly as the winds were picking up. And the sun was shining so brightly. Like it knew that soon it would be obliterated by the clouds. And it was HOT. That type of hot where you feel the sweat gathering on your forehead and puddles forming in any part of your body that is touching another part of your body. And every sense was heightened. I remember the grass smelling particularly grassy. That’s the only way to describe it. And the sky grumbled low and ominously even though the sun was still out.

And there was a moment where the horses surrounded me. Their hooves stomped the ground, impatiently and a velvet nose nudged my shoulder. I wonder still to this day what they were trying to tell me.

I tried to remember every detail because it felt like such a dramatic moment. I knew that one day I would want to paint the moment before the storm came. I wanted to remember this moment.

by Joy Harjo
Remember the sun's birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence 
her life, and her mother's, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
are you.
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.


  1. I enjoy the commentary linked to your FB posting. It’s nice to see the work without commentary and then read the blog after experiencing the piece. I also have been posting artwork on FB and enjoy reading how others respond but don’t want to curtail their comments with an explanation. This is a wonderful way add depth to the experience of the piece without dominating the discussion. I think your work is lovely.

    1. Thanks Joan for visiting here and your comment. I like this way better as well. I don’t even know if people come to read except for the people who like to read more about the artwork. FB is more of a scroll through type of exchange.

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