Red Rock Canyon Greeting Cards

Hiking Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas Nevada is one of my favorite things to do. I have traveled around a lot, and out of all the places on the planet, my mind always wanders back to these trails no matter where I have moved. The desert paths are filled with pinecones from the Pinon Pine Trees along the trails. These pinecones are lovely and sometimes have pinon nuts inside them if you can get to them before the ground squirrels. They are a type of pine nut and have a different flavor. The Native American Tribe, Southern Paiutes, used to forage in the desert for these very nuts. I love the way the pinecones look as they open. I zoomed in on the inside of the pinecone and focused on the scales, and the sand particles that blew on their surface.

I started both pinecones in this series with darker colors and then painted the lighter ones all while leaving the whites untouched. I turned these two paintings into greeting cards because they reminded me of winter and the holidays coming up. I thought these cards would be perfect for Christmas. Along with the two pinecones, I also found the Juniper paintings quite fascinating. The trees resembled the pine trees of Fir forests and the Juniper cones looked like Christmas ornaments when I was finished painting them. I especially liked blending the colors of Cerulean, Windsor Blue, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, and creating violet colors. I love the soft blend of the berries with the intricate lines of the pine needles.

The last painting of the series that I added to the Greeting Cards of Red Rock Canyon was the Yucca Plant. This painting was one of the first that I created with a time lapse video. I used Windsor Blue and Burnt Umber to create a dark brown, almost black, color. This painting started out looking like an ink drawing and then I slowly added in the green pigments. Olive Green, Hooker’s Green, and Lemon Yellow were used to show the plant leaves. I also added Burnt Sienna for some spots and shadows in the green to show the plant was aging. The whites were left to represent the fine fibers of the Yucca plant. I painted the negative space around where I wanted the whites to show. This was very difficult and took a steady hand. I stared at the photograph while I was painting the negative space.

This whole series was wonderful for me because these paintings came from my husband’s and my favorite trail which brought back many happy memories. I hope you enjoy these cards and sharing your memories with loved ones.

-Karen Hilliard