Friday, June 20, 2014

Seeds and Spines

I found this scene in the other worldly cactus garden at Lotusland in Montecito, California. The amazing gardens Madame Ganna Walska spent her later years designing are now open to the public. No matter how far you have to travel to get there, I promise the trip is well worth the effort!

I love seeing the stages the fruit goes through, from small nub to breaking open and offering it's seeds. The sculptural quality of cactus is so satisfying - catching light and casting shadow, creating stripes of bright, warm colors and deep cool shadows. Oh, and the mixed message of the lush, shapely fruit and the bristling defense of all those spines delights me.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fierce Offering

This exploding ball of seeds crowns a stalk ringed by layers of wickedly spiked leaves. I love the composition, the dramatic contrast, and nature's endless drive to offer up it's fruit.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mexican Hibiscus

We have just returned from 2 weeks in Bali, a trip that filled my head with enough images and thoughts to occupy me in the studio for months. Despite the vastly different culture and climate, I was surprised to find a great similarity in the plant life there to that we enjoy in tropical Mexico.

This 8x10 on panel was done about a year ago after a trip to Mexico. The richness of color in the late afternoon sun, and the way these flowers reached above the bush to contrast with the colors of the building behind were too good - I had to paint them!