Painting in the Saguaro
On December 28, 2015 I returned to Saguaro National Park and painted in my 50th park. Part of a Christmas family outing, while some hiked on the Hugh Norris Trail, my brother-in-law, Don Seymour, and I photographed and painted the late light slanting into the La Bajada Wash.
I fell in love with the Sonoran Desert on a biology field study trip to Baja California in November 1973. We camped with the coyotes in the Tucson Mountain County Park bordering Saguaro National Park, visited naturalist writer Joseph Wood Krutch's home (Desert Year, Voice of the Desert, The Forgotten Peninsula) and were introduced to the wonders of the desert at the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum. I learned that far that from being empty and desolate, the Sonoran is teeming with life - strange and beautiful forms of flora and fauna drenched in unforgettable light. I was deeply touched. 25 years later my family and I moved to Tucson and I have been painting the desert ever since.
Here are two Saguaro National Park paintings from 2009, prequels to the 58 in 58 painting project.
In the Saguaro, study 8 x 6" oil on panel
The field study became part of a larger painting.
In the Saguaro 36 x 48" oil on canvas
Looking south through the saguaro forest from the Tucson Mountains. That distinctive blue bump in the distance is Baboquivari, the monumental mountain sacred to the Tohono O'Odham.
The wilderness and the idea of wilderness is one of the permanent homes of the human spirit.
-Joseph Wood Krutch