February Ocatillo

The setting for this painting is of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. The time of year is winter. I hike a lot when I’m here and was surprised when I saw the Ocatillo I’ve featured in this painting. The cactus was all leafed out and bushy which I don’t remember happening at this elevation tilContinue reading “February Ocatillo”

Desert Wash

In the desert when the sun has just vanished below the mountains the light shifts in ways revealing colors not seen at any other time. This amazes me. Fact is, color changes all day long and through the night. Our color perceptions are defined by time and space. Yeah, really…..

Ford Canyon Arabesque

This painting is of a wondrous scene I encountered while hiking. I was taken by the arabesque forms of cactus and earth. I’ve included a shot the initial layout of of the painting which I used as a guide for the painting’s progression. I’m pleased with this painting and I hope you’ll enjoy it, too.

Ford Canyon Trail, Maricopa County, AZ

I’m hiking as much as I can while I spend a few weeks of winter in Arizona. Each hike I determine to see at least one wondrous sight. Sometimes I see the rare desert pool of water, sometimes I see a herd of deer, perhaps a lizard or an early blooming of cactus. Most frequentlyContinue reading “Ford Canyon Trail, Maricopa County, AZ”

San Pedro Cactus 2

The San Pedro Cactus is a gorgeous plant. They grow tall and wide and have straight regular columns or can be quite gnarly and contorted, depending on the growing environment and genetic mutations. The one I’ve painted is of the gnarly type. It grows at altitudes of 2-3,000 ft and is a known hallucinogen. What’sContinue reading “San Pedro Cactus 2”

Jojoba and Ferocactus

While in Arizona I try to hike every day. The temperature is still below 70 degrees F. during the day, perfect for walking. I walk in one of the Maricopa County Regional Parks, a wild and varied landscape with lots of rocks, animals and plants. I’m always looking for my next painting when I’m there.

Water Plants

I painted a masonite board with QOR watercolor ground which allows me to paint on a surface that, untreated, will not absorb the watercolor pigments. After an under painting of watercolor, I filled in shading and detail with casein, a more durable water media.  Usually I use 140 or 300# watercolor paper. Comparing the hardboard groundContinue reading “Water Plants”

Cad Orange, Ultra Blue

Color theory makes my head hurt. Having said that, I used a limited pallet for this painting, using only cadmium orange and ultramarine blue, black and white and small touches or viridian and cadmium yellow. The canvas was under-painted in a light lavender. As I continue to work in casein, I’m using two complimentary colorsContinue reading “Cad Orange, Ultra Blue”

River

I’ve started a casein journey. I like the flatness of this milk-derived paint. It can be buffed to a gloss and is waterproof once dry. I use blue, yellow and white pigment to paint this, relying on an underpainting of red acrylic to spark up the image.