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Aho recalls John Constable (1776-1837) who knew the landscapes he painted so well that he painted from memory, suggesting the essence of the scene rather than recording its detail. “When you relax, the way you look out at the subject and the way your eye takes it in and the hand that makes the mark are all in harmony.” Ernst approaches clouds from the viewpoint not only of a collector but as an artist. Both he and his daughter Julia von Metzsch Ramos are painters and have paintings in the exhibition. His wife, Gail, writes about a more visceral response to clouds. Her family didn’t have art in their home but she studied art and music appreciation in college. “They opened up a new world to me,” she recounts. On one of their first dates, Ernst and Gail went to the opening of an exhibition of paintings by Jacob van Ruisdael at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. “Upon entering the gallery I was welcomed by landscape paintings of infinite Dutch skies and piles upon piles of dramatic clouds. To me they were alive. Clouds have always 4

4 Eric Aho, Wilderness (Summer 1903), 2008, oil on linen, 40 x 50" 5 Joseph McNamara, Shreveport Scrap and Salvage Depot, 20102011, oil on panel, 42 x 58" 6 Bernard Chaet, Dusk, 2002, oil on canvas, 15 x 30" 7 Paul Rahilly, The Violinist, 1980, oil on canvas, 60 x 40" Artwork courtesy Gail and Ernst von Metzsch.

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