MALIBU SEEN

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Artist Cheryl Kline at the opening night of her show at the McLean Gallery.

ON CLOUD NINE

By Kim Devore/ Entertainment Writer

Just like Joni Mitchell, artist Cheryl Kline has looked at clouds from both sides now, from up and down and … well, you get the picture. Cloud illusions are the subject of her latest exhibition at the McLean Gallery, called “A Walk in the Clouds.”

It seems extraordinary that someone can paint the same subject over and over again with such variety, but she manages, and the results are breathtaking.

There is “Luna,” with its dreamy full moon hovering above an expansive landscape of scarlet, crimson and tangerine hues, as well as “The Doorways of Summer,” a pair of skinny 84″-by-12″ canvases that stand like majestic skyscrapers in muted shades of silver, turquoise, gray and chocolate.

The artist cranked out 30 of these impressive paintings in just nine months. “I’ve been working 12 hours a day, six days a week,” she says with glee. “And I just love it.”

Her creations capture the elements of earth, water and air in every imaginable way. They reflect the various times of the day, times of the year and rapidly changing weather conditions, from a tranquil sunset done in brilliant blues, soft lavenders, mauves and pinks to a brooding cumulonimbus ready to break loose. “All of these are inspired by the coastlines of Malibu and the Palisades,” says this fourth-generation Californian on opening night. “I look out my window and that’s what I see. It changes every day.”

From coastal fog to thunderstorms, Kline says there is something about our outer world that reflects our inner world. “Clouds are a way to see the projection of our own emotions,” she explains, “the intensity, the drama, the way things change.”

This is Kline’s second exhibit at the gallery and once again, she seems to be making quite a splash.

“Some of these are really quite spectacular,” marveled Peggy Shapiro. “It reminds me of Turner.” Not a bad compliment considering that Shapiro hails from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

No doubt there will be many more of these creations in the years to come. Kline says she likes nothing more than spending countless hours in her Mar Vista studio with like-minded souls. “I could paint till I drop,” she says. “I get up every day and I’m absolutely covered in paint. I get to work around all of these wonderful artists with all their wonderful, creative energy and I could never imagine doing anything else.”

The exhibition continues through Oct 13.