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Thunder and Lightning

Colleen Cameron

Mardell Olsen

Visual Arts


When Mardell and I spoke for the Art of Conversation program, she mentioned that she was from Oklahoma, USA. She grew up in “Tornado Alley.” We also talked about her love for thunder and lightning storms. 

While I was musing about what theme I would use to represent Mardell and our conversation in paint, the concept of a thunder and lightning storm kept reoccurring. 

I started researching archived photographs of thunder and lightning storms from Oklahoma. It was fascinating to see the majesty and breadth of the prairie sky overrun by the big storm clouds. Frequently, the clouds would be illuminated by shining flashes of brilliant lightning. I was reminded of growing up and sitting on our covered porch to watch the skies during the thunder and lightning storms of late summer. We frequently curled up under blankets to keep warm while the storm rolled over the old mountains and across the valley below.

My painting for Mardell is an effort to capture the awesome and majestic power of storms, particularly of a thunder and lightning storm. – Colleen Cameron