Contemporary Paintings, Storms

The Storm series is a commentary on global warming and the increasing frequency of freakish, violent, weather patterns we are currently experiencing on our planet. The collision of opposing air systems wreaks havoc with a peaceful environment, endangering all forms of life. The reflection of light off the metallic surface suggests there is hope for the future.

An original seascape oil painting on metal panel by artist Cynthia McLoughlin of a huge white storm cloud hovering over the horizon of the sea.
September, 39 x 51, oil on brushed aluminum panel, Enquire

I grew up on a lake in the Adirondack mountains in Upstate NY and worked at our town beach every summer. We, (the staff), only got paid if the beach was open so we would stay and work on cold, stormy days, even though very few, if any, patrons would come. The most magical times there were when a storm was brewing in the mountains across the lake. We would watch as sheets of rain tumbled out of the clouds. When the thunder and lightening started to get close we took shelter in the car and waited out the storm playing cards. “September,” is a memory of those summer storms and the nostalgia I feel for that amazing chapter in my life. 

Super Storm

This collection of contemporary oil paintings of storms is inspired by a superstorm that blew that into Park City, Utah on February 18th, 2016. The temperature dropped twenty degrees in five minutes when the violent storm overtook the town. The dramatic sky changed from moment to moment. Many techniques are used though out this series of paintings. Some marks are more abstract, some more figurative. Exposing the reflective silver of the panels is integral to the work. Scraping, buffing, and simply leaving the panel as negative space creates energy, movement and light.

Through the Storm, oil on brushed aluminum panel, 51″ x 63″, $10,500 Enquire
A superstorm blew into Park City, Utah on February 18th, 2016. The temperature dropped twenty degrees in five minutes when the storm overtook our town. I was so captivated by the drama happening in the sky, I pulled my car over to the side of the road and took pictures of the event. I have worked a whole series of paintings around that event, experimenting with the clouds, developing my techniques, exposing the reflective silver of the panels by scraping, buffing, and simply leaving it as negative space. My work is difficult to capture in a photograph as the reflective light quality is lost in the transition to a digital format.  The best way to experience my paintings is to visit the Summit Gallery or the gallery wall at Oohs and Aah's in Park City, Utah to see my original works.
Celestial Rhapsody, oil on a brushed aluminum panel, 99″ x 51″, Enquire

Capturing Light

It is difficult to capture the reflective light quality of the aluminum panels in a two dimensional, digital photograph of these paintings. The best way to experience this art is to visit the original works at the Summit Gallery in Park City, Utah, or to catch one of the upcoming shows in a city near you.

Silver relief mountains and road brings the viewer to the horizon of a dramatic, stormy blue sky. By artist Cynthia McLoughlin © 2018.
Silver Road, oil on aluminum, 39″ x 39″, Enquire

Exposing Reflective Metal

In this contemporary oil painting, Silver Road, above, the mountains and road are in relief so the lower portion is the exposed, reflective metal. The dramatic sky is painted completely with oil paints.

Silver and white clouds drip and reflect the violence of this dramatic storm. Contemporary oil painting by artist Cynthia McLoughlin © 2019.
Moon Shadow, oil on a brushed aluminum panel, 51″ x 51″, Enquire

One of the challenges of working in a large format is getting the paint on the panel quickly as I like to work wet on wet.  I started this one with a brayer, (a hard rubber roller used in printmaking), instead of a brush to roll the paint on and define the road and landscape.  When applied on the smooth metal surface, the paint can be rolled out super thin or built up in layers with interesting patterns. There will definitely be more fun with translucent layers to come.

Words and phrases  swirl in a stormy sky over a tilted blue/grey road to infinity. Contemporary oil painting by artist Cynthia McLoughlin © 2018.
“Electrical Storm”, 19″ x 38″, oil on aluminum, $2200 Enquire


I want people to connect with my life experiences and relate them to a common experience of their own.  I like to infuse my work with positivity and in this piece I thought I would add some whimsy. Using a sculpting tool with a rubber tip, I wrote words and phrases into the clouds.  I am a huge fan of street art writers, Jose Parla in particular and wanted to use the lyrical words in a way where they were not quite so “in your face”.   I decided to put them in cursive and upside down.

I have many incredible memories of warm summers spent on the lakes of Upstate New York. We would watch as the storms progressed from the far side of the lake to our shore, taking cover on the porch or, if we were at the beach, sheltered in the car until it blew over.  In the evenings we would often take a boat out to the middle of the lake and stargaze. These paintings are some of my happy memories.
“Whispers”, oil on aluminum, 39″ x 51″, $6900 Enquire


Stillness, peace and calm; these are things I try to convey through my paintings. In this time of Covid we are all spending less time traveling, commuting, shopping, and dining out. We have the gift of time and the perfect opportunity to be still.

Oil on metal, pale moon lighting part of the sky while being overtaken by an indigo storm.
“Calm Before the Storm”,
oil on aluminum, 17″ x 19″, Enquire

Leave a Reply