Superstition Color, Buckhorn Cholla Blooms, Superstition Wilderness, AZ 48×48
48×48 oil on canvas $18000
On Exhibit and for sale at Cowgirl Up at the Desert Caballero Museum, March 22, 2024
Sometimes in nature it’s hard to describe the colors we observe. Tropical fish on a diving trip, the bright glowing hues of a campfire, the last light of sunset. We stand before the gaudy displays dumbstruck, and ask ourselves “How can that be?”
The natural colors of the southwest can be excessively showy. Cowboys on ponies with red bandanas around their necks get a lot of attention in Western art, but the backdrop of their lives—the land, the skies and plants—take center stage in my work. They are the colorful characters I love to paint. There were plant species here long before the cowboy that fed hungry settlers, and remain even as development gobbles up open space. And when the desert blooms, it’s worth paying attention to the show.
One of my favorite displays of color happens on the slopes of the Superstition Mountains in the spring; in particular, the blooms of the buckhorn cholla. The variations of colors are astounding. They can bloom in shades of yellow, gold, orange, pink, deep brick red, and everything in between.
How would you describe the color of these blooms? Fuchsia? Orchid? Purple? I see all three, swirled together, bouncing off each other, glowing in the late day’s light. They are poetry, a western ballad, a remembrance, a spark. Legendary colors of the southwest, rippling in the wind.