Sedona Circle, Cholla Blooms, Sedona, AZ
50×40 oil on canvas
(Could be hung horizontally)
Spring of 2020 was cancelled, especially travel. As the hospitality industry shifted to keep guests safe, people began looking for places where they could be outdoors. Unusable reservations changed hands, and that’s how I landed a week’s stay in Sedona. My Canadian friend could not make the trip, and offered me a deal. Normally, there are interesting people from all over the world enjoying the sights of Sedona, but in this season of history, Americans were craving the great outdoors in their own backyard. We met yoga teachers and musicians, retired folks and families, and had wonderful socially distanced conversations with people hungry to connect.
We hiked, cooked, hiked some more, swam in the creek, and one night the musicians next door played an impromptu concert on the patio. My friend had brought some fancy Empress Gin and we had colorful cocktails as they played.
One morning, on a trip to the grocery store, my plant loving friend Veronika and I noticed a tree cholla* with a generous celebration of purple blooms. It was growing in the middle of a traffic circle. We found our way safely to the earthen island and explored the marvelous plant. Simply breathtaking. And kind of like the color of our new favorite cocktail. These blooms could not be ignored. Like us, they were celebrating life in the great outdoors.
It took me a few years to get to this composition, but I’m delighted I did. And yes, it’s not really a perfect circle of blooms, but nothing is perfect, and that’s ok.
*I’m pretty sure a Cylindropuntia imbricata