The Desert Called and I Had To Go

I love the desert.  There’s something magical in the sculptural rocks and spare landscape. It’s so different from the green that I grew up with in Tennessee.

So it’s always a thrill when I get a henna gig that takes me to Palm Desert.  Yes, the company that hires me throws fantastic events that pay well, but the real lure is the drive over the mountains and that dramatic view as you start to descend into the desert.

And now I have a new reason to love those gigs: the Living Desert Zoo and Museum in Palm Desert.  It’s five minutes away from my favorite boutique hotel, The Inn at Deep Canyon, and it’s a real treasure.  Not only does it have beautiful exhibits featuring desert animals from around the world, it has 5 miles of hiking trails with interpretive signs to introduce you to the geology, flora, and fauna of the Colorado desert (the name of the's in California, though).

I had the privilege of doing a gig in Palm Desert last November and had just enough time on the way home the next day to spend a morning hiking in the Living Desert Museum. Although it was late November, the temperatures were in the mid-70s.

The desert was, pretty dry, as deserts are, but then I turned a corner and found myself in a wash blanketed with purple sand verbena.

It was stunning.  There had been rain the week before, and the plants responded in bloom.

I was so inspired that when i returned home, I started a new painting...

I sketched it out and started adding in the color.

Bit by bit, the underpainting began to come alive.

Then it was time to for the collage. I already had a lot of paper in these colors, so I didn't have to create anything special for this piece.

Most of the work was done in Studio 18, in Spanish Village Art Center -- which is also the office for the Village.

Bit by small bit of paper....

And finally, it was finished and I decided it was the perfect entry for the 2023 Village Choice Award Show in Studio 23 in Spanish Village Art Center, Balboa Park.

The Village Choice Show ran from January 2 - 15.  At the end of the day on the 15th, the votes were tallied, and After the Rain won 3rd place!!!

It will hang through February 5th. If you are in town, please stop by and say hello! (I'm personally in the Village every Friday and Saturday in Studio 18)

Last year, I was honored to win 3rd place with my Giant Pacific Octopus.

It was a real honor to be a part of the show and to win 3rd place again!  If you would like this piece, send me a message.  You can click on the image below to order prints.

You can get a print of my Village Choice painting and hang it in your gallery (home)!