I had fun with this piece. I’ll be honest and tell you, the cliff was a complete accident. After the first drip, I just went with it. I used Yellow ochre at the top, and it is very sedimentary. I went over it with some Burnt sienna, that is why it appears more orange than ochre.
The cacti I painted with gouache. I did enjoy the fact that I did not need to plan their location first. It gave me the opportunity to place them, so they did not hide the best parts of the rough stone.
The slideshow below shows some of the Saguaro cacti that can be seen while driving south on the 17. The images are borrowed from Google Maps. Thank you, Google! They really are more noticeable as you are driving. It’s hard to miss them, there are so many! Zoom in to see them better.
The barrel cactus is a friend for lost travelers in the desert. It grows tilted to the southwest. One type of barrel is in fact named Compass Barrel Cactus! Here are some photos I took at the Mayo’s Cacti garden while Pete was having his treatments.
In the desert a fountain is springing,
In the wide waste there still is a tree,
And a bird in the solitude singing,
Which speaks to my spirit of thee.