We all need a change of scenery now and then. I've been examining and painting the Grand Canyon and Sedona area a lot. Just take a look at that Landscape Page. One morning in the studio, I felt restless, somewhat bored with the reference photos I'd collected, just didn't have much internal impetus to get moving on another painting. I knew we'd be traveling to Phoenix the next day and remembered that it's about now that the brittle bush starts blooming. I let my mind drift over the scenery I anticipated; palo verde, fairy duster, maybe even the ocotillos would be in bloom. I made sure I packed my camera for this two day trip.
I wasn't disappointed. Brittle bush was blooming bright yellow, the palo verdes were flashing their pale green branches in the sun and, my favorite, the fairy duster was just starting to show a blush of pink furry stamens in the afternoon light.
Upon my return to the studio, I took a reference photo from a "drive by shooting" on I-17 and worked it into a 9x12" painting. For those who know the route, those are the Bradshaws in the background and we're somewhere near the Agua Fria exit.
I'll be making some forays down to that area and points south as springtime approaches to get some great blooming desert painting in. Sometimes you just need to get some new scenery in your eyes!