Tumamoc Tiger


Well, what do you know, the snakes are out. This one is sort of trapped beside a path and cannot find a way to hide. You can see it going for the shadows. Snakes are generally “shy” and want to avoid you.

Sorry snake but I must get this one close-up picture of you, hold still…

This is a Tiger Rattlesnake from Tumamoc Hill. The paint on its tail rattles indicates it has been monitored. There are many such snakes in the area. I love the patterns and tones of this particular subspecies of rattler. It looks like the purple patina on the volcanic rock up here with a slight peach under-glow. The stripes really stand out in the transitional times of day when light is low, thank the gods…(oh, I mean, thank the”rods”.)


The resident Herpetologist catches this one to record it…also probably to remove it from where we are painting.


Notice the locking lid on his reptile bucket.


“So, I’m curious, how many snakes hang out around this area?”

“Oh, at least ten or more.”

Man…(the secret reason I like to paint outside- it’s unpredicatble and exciting, and potentially death defying…naturally)

Anyway, here is my special spot today. Surrounded by Saguaros. It’s after ten O’clock in the morning (explains the snake being out and about).


I’m set up on the north side of the Reptile Lab, out of the sun for sure. Notice the new “Easy-L” pochade box. Yippee!


Seems like all the critters are out today. I hold up the color wheel as usual, and spin it to find a general match, preferring not to make assumptions about what my “key” will be. Somedays it’s pink, others orange and today it’s yellow-green. I think the key choice has a lot to do with my mood or if I want to change my mood. Yellow=stimulating, Blue=calm, etc. maybe like”color therapy”.


Of course this orange vest influences my colors too. The “orange vest” effect (affect).DSC_0221

I mix up lights and darks and warm and cool neutrals. The more I prepare, the more fun actual painting is. I measure out the major shape changes and begin with darks, but first I tone the canvas red-violet, the complement of yellow green.


As the sky clouds over, the “yellow effect” kicks in.


The weirder it gets, the better!



Tiger Yellow, 8×8, oil, M. Milstead

Hey! Don’t forget to pay attention to your surroundings, snake and otherwise, when you are out paying attention to your surroundings, painters.


3 thoughts on “Tumamoc Tiger

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