Red Rock Canyon Barrel Cactus and Juniper

I am fascinated by desert plants and their amazing persistence to survive. On my hikes I have seen plants and trees growing out of crevices on rock walls. The tiniest amount of water can sustain a desert plant. Barrel Cactuses are unique with beautiful yellow flowers on top. In my last blog I wrote about the Red Rock Canyon small works series 1. I decided for the third painting in the series to be a Barrel Cactus.

I went through many versions in my mind of how I wanted this painting to look. I thought the landscape of the cactus with a yucca behind it would be gorgeous for texture contrast. As I looked through the photos on my phone, I kept zooming in and saving screenshots. I settled on the top of the barrel cactus and its flowers for the composition of this Tiny Painting. The red, yellow, and green combination along with light and dark variants were pleasing to paint.

Barrel Cactuses are beautiful and intertwined. The flowers are embedded in the needles and then bloom upward. Another plant I find interesting are the Juniper Trees. Number 4 in the series is a darker version of a different Juniper Tree than Number 2. This Juniper had more reddish and purple cones than the other painting. I enjoy painting the different perspectives of each tree and changed my color palette for the second painting. I focused on brown and blue for the shadows and then used a layer of green over the darkness.

It is a true joy to talk, or write, about these paintings and my process. I am happy to share my love of the desert and the environment with all of you. I would love to know what you think about the paintings. Just click on the link and you will be able to review them on the website, or you can send me an email! You can also send me an email about a favorite hike you like to venture on, or where you wish to travel to next. Thank you for reading this blog, I hope you enjoyed our walk through Red Rock Canyon, Nevada.

-Karen Hilliard