Old Tucson Saguaros - Sentinels of the Sonoran Desert

Here I am again, with a story about how the above painting came to life. It all started really, when I lived in Tucson years ago. I loved the desert, it’s wildlife, the flora and fauna. As life changes happened, I had to move back to California and I miss being in the desert to this day.

 In 2016 I went back to Tucson for the Plein Air Convention with a friend and we spent a week at the convention and had the opportunity to paint every afternoon. Next to the last day of our trip, most of the convention attendees went to Old Tucson for a painting day there. My friend and I opted not to go to the “old west town” and decided to explore the Saguaro National forest near “Old Tucson” instead.

What a magnificent forest of these wonderful desert sentinels and some still in spring bloom. To our surprise, we found this lovely area with the mountains in the backdrop and a covered picnic area to set up in.

Bringing out my set of Ludwig “Desert Landscape” pastels that I bought at the convention and seeing how well the colors related to the scene in front of me, was really inspiring and I was in heaven. We must have been there for at least 3 hours, just painting away, taking a few minutes here and there to stretch and watch the prairie dogs and other desert wildlife appear and then quickly disappear. My friend did a wonderful painting of a huge Saguaro and I decided on Old Tucson Saguaros, a scene with lush desert “dusty” colored plant life and the purple mountains as a backdrop. The muted colors of the desert with little pops of color here and there and the distant mountains bring me back to the days when I lived there!

I miss it and can’t wait to go back again someday soon!