We head due north from Tucson for a day of galleries, garden sculpture, desert botany and pastel. Our first stop is Central Arizona College in Coolidge, just 4 miles off I-10, to see “General Relativity” and then on to the impressive Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix for some plein air.
The Botanical Gardens attract world famous artists. One of the current exhibits’ source material is Arcimboldo (1527-1593), a Renaissance painter known for his wacky anthropomorphized fruit and vegetable oil paintings of the four seasons. Here they are, re-invented as sculpture by artist and film-maker Philip Has and re-contextualized in the garden setting.
Even though these would be a very fun subject to pastel (maybe next time) our focus is botany/natural landscape.
And so we begin our search for the right light and subject to paint. We are working with chalk pastel. There are many themes:
Peppered throughout the garden are many luminescent biomorphic line and form sculptures.
…Yes, it’s 1:14 p.m!
We search for the “perfect” subject but are secretly most interested in comfortable seating, which we find attached to these delightful hedgehogs.
After focusing on the small cactus and “dog-head” rock for awhile, it’s time to stop for the day. We pack up to head out but find that now, our eyes tuned into light, texture, form and shadow, we can barley walk a foot without being blown-away by some new, exciting observation…
Thanks for a great day!