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.

Eastern Bracken Fern

The Eastern Bracken Fern is found in the Adirondacks of New York State. It’s a deciduous rhizome that appears in spring, lives and spreads in the summer, looses its fronds in the fall, winters underground and then starts it all again when the earth thaws. This painting shows the fern in early spring.

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”

Buckthorn Cholla

The Buckthorn Cactus, botanically known as Cylindropuntia acanthocarpia, is a native of the Sonoran Desert. It’s flowers are yellow or red with shades in between that bloom in spring. The cane-like stalks are covered with thorns and grow in tangled clumps in dry, arid landscape. The flowers are quite showy and bees love ’em.

Desert Life

We go for walks in the desert. Now that spring is warming everything up, all types of desert inhabitants start to appear. Heat loving cactus are blooming, cold-blooded lizards bask in the sun and rabbits forage fallen seeds. I love the desert.

Sea Holly – Aryngium planar

A couple months ago, I got a bunch of Sea Holly from Trader Joe’s with the intention of painting the whole thing. Time went by, the flowers dried, wilted and I threw them out, saving this one blossom to paint. Here it is, still thistley blue, green and grey. I planted these in the yardContinue reading “Sea Holly – Aryngium planar”

Field of Chollas

Chollas are botanically in the subfamily of Opuntioideae, the same family which includes cactus’s with broad, flat leaves. The leaves of the Cholla are round-ish and really spiny. They quickly become stuck to any object that comes close to it. Their spines hurt and aren’t easy to remove once impaled in either fabric, fur orContinue reading “Field of Chollas”