Head in the Clouds

Lately I have been painting and drawing clouds.  I thought it would offer a different perspective and fun change.  However, it has proven to be more challenging in oil paint using my knife.  The hard, rough, and aggressive surface created with the painting knife contrasts with the assumed feeling of soft fluffy clouds.  I am going to try to work with this conflict and see what I can make of it.  I also suspect I will be pulling out the brushes soon.  The pastels, on the other hand, are quite easy.  As seen in this recent pastel drawing, the pastels blend and soften easily into representational forms.  Is direct representation my intent?  I would still argue that it is not – though I enjoy making the more representational pastels before taking liberties in the oil painting.  This also give me a clearer sense of what I am doing when I manipulate, simplify, or translate in oil.