Her Name Was Lily – Ajo Lily, Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, AZ
60×40 oil on canvas $18000
On Exhibit and for sale at Cowgirl Up at the Desert Caballero Museum, March 22, 2024
I have often described my botanical subjects as actors on a stage. In that spirit, I would describe the Ajo Lily as a tall, graceful fashion model, who likes long walks in the sand and stormy weather. But she is also elusive; difficult to cultivate, and goes missing for years at a time. Named “Ajo” by Spanish explorers because of the flower bulb’s garlicy taste, these flower stalks can stand up to 6 feet in height in a good year.
I found myself lost in the colorful whites in these lilies, but I was equally enamored with the wavy sculptural leaves that grow so long at times, that they flop over make beautiful spirographs when the wind blows them over the sand.
Yes, Hesperocallis Undulata is a beautiful woman named Lily, walking down the runway in an iridescent white blouse and a ruffled green skirt. She is a tall drink of water, and a welcome sight in a dry arid land.
With gratitude to photographer, Paul Gill, who hunts Arizona flowers far and wide.