For about a decade, I only worked on red, burgundy and indigo blue backgrounds. Then, my paper supplier started sending me the wrong color paper--tobacco brown instead of burgundy. They'd give me credit but wouldn't want me to send it back. After months of getting the tobacco brown sheets and buying my burgundy paper elsewhere, I figured I had to do something with it. As a frugal artist, I wasn't about to throw it away.
I had a show coming up in Kansas City and thought the storms would be a perfect fit. So, I did a grouping of them. In fact, I devoted a whole wall of my art booth to the Stormscapes. Patrons looked at them, commented on them. No one bought one. No one. It finally dawned on me that the people in the midwest see enough threatening skies to not want to add one to their walls. I ended up selling all of those pieces before year's end but to people in Albuquerque, Scottsdale, Denver, and Sun Valley.
As we've been experiencing a severe draught over the last decade (excepting this monsoon season), I started painting them as my 'rain dance'. I'd paint one any time I thought it just might rain. In hopes that it might help make it happen. Not because I was in a stormy mood.
That tobacco brown paper is long gone and they've restocked the correct color in the bin in their warehouse. Now I mix a colored gesso in that same tobacco brown and have scaled up my stormscapes. To think that a simple mistake started an entire series of paintings.....