I love the color of green. Maybe it's grown on me the longer I've lived in the desert.
Not that the Sonoran Desert doesn't have green! Sometimes we get enough rain in the winter to green it up to surprise all the snow-birds (our affectionate name for winter visitors). Even then, the green desert competes with the vivid pops of desert blossoms, the bright blue sky and the sometimes purple, sometimes terra cotta colors of the mountains.
I'm celebrating green today because one of my favorite paintings, "New Leaf" is on display at FOUND:RE Hotel in downtown Phoenix. (You can see it on the First Friday Art Walks). It was so encouraging to hear the feedback from people at the Opening Reception - "it's stunning" "love the way you've enlarged a familiar thing so we can explore it" "the green seems to be dancing" "how did you get the leaves to be so translucent" . . . It did my little artist heart good and made me happy!
Funny thing. At this uber green workshop, I was experimenting with a new color palette - mixing and exploring colors for the Red Rocks of Arizona. Most of you know that landscapes aren't my thing. Of course, I'll always love and paint roses. And the burrowing owls on desert trash are so much fun!
But a new desire is bubbling up in my soul since we drove through Monument Valley in April. I've just gotta explore it!
Here are a couple of the exercises I played with in the workshop. I'm excited about exploring these amazing places though painting.
Let me know in the comments if you've been to any of the Red Rock places in Arizona - I'd love to hear about your experience!
So our last name "Farmer" means a lot to my husband. He takes his gardening seriously and thoroughly enjoys it. I think it's really all about his Grandma's influence on him. She was in the garden as much as she possibly could be.
When we were first married, John couldn't wait to move out of our apartment and get his own piece of land. Gardening was completely new to me, being raised Air Force and constantly on the go. I have learned a lot since then. But my biggest accomplishment was convincing John to grow something other than food producing crops. That remains his priority, with the addition of lots and lots of roses.
My husband is simply an avid rose enthusiast, with over 40 rose plants in our garden. I never tire of them. Every new rose amazes me. There's something about the winding visual trip they take you on that fascinates me. The stunning colors just grab at me. The sunlight glowing through the pedals is sublime. Incredible beauty!
Looking at an arrangement of red and white roses on my kitchen counter, I was struck by the interaction between the two colors and how it defined their personalities. Of course, I just had to explore it thru painting. I just can't help myself.
"Red + White Roses" is a large painting at 30x48. Purchase price is $2,800 +tax/shipping. Click on the photo below for more information and a professional photo.
I've been pretty isolated this past year because of health issues. With lots of rest, there has also been much introspection with the slowing down, as well healing and renewed strength.
Now that my world is opening up again - artist receptions, live meetings, dinners out, friends over, swim parties, real coffee chats - I've been totally gobsmacked!*
Being a working artist requires a ton of solitude!
Did you all know that? So how did I make it this far being so uninformed. I guess that's why, when my life was so busy, my average time to complete a painting was measured in years. Now I'm applying to galleries that want to see 100s of my paintings. That requires a whole lot of time. Yah - I haven't had any mysterious creatures in the middle of the night paint for me!
I've had to embrace a new lifestyle of solitude. I'm thankful to be living my dream. Even if it involves a lot of being alone with my imagination. Putting in the hours in my studio. Causing me to miss out on the activities I used to be so busy with and the people who have been such a blessing in my life. It's been quite the awakening. But I'm willing to make the changes as I become aware of them.
I've heard it said, "Growing things change." I like that perspective. It's not that we intend to make life more complicated. It's just that sometimes we need to consider the changes we need to make to get where we want to go. Change is healthy and, though it's not always easy, it's a sign of life.
I'd love to hear about some of the change you're embracing in your life. You can click on the comments below.
*gobsmacked - utterly astonished; astounded (British). Ok. So I love Downton Abbey.
Mostly, the Sonoran desert is a beautiful place of unique vistas, plants, animals and minerals. On a cool winter day (when the snakes are hibernating), it's an amazing place to discover natural treasures. I love to paint what I find out there!
Back to the trash. It occurred to me that I could take a lesson from the Arizona burrowing owls. They've made an amazing adaptation to man-made materials. If you know where to look for them, they can be found hiding in drainage ditches and piles of pallets all over town, where people live and work. I figured if they could pivot like that, I could also change my perspective and find a way to make art out of the junk I find in the desert.
So I've included burrowing owls in my recent art pieces, in honor of their creative problem solving. And . . . they're just plain adorable! I hope you enjoy them!
My newest painting "LIFE: the ultimate construct" is a visual expression of unseen mysteries that fascinate me.
Mystic messages holding the key to create life. A plant or an animal? A flower or a human? Blue eyes, hazel, green or brown?
These amazing messages are more commonly known as DNA. They come to us from the past, make their own tweaks and variations in the present to ultimately script the future. That's the bottom line of how life functions. And I really nerd out on it!
Scientists have recently discovered an important system in the mysterious cloudy mixture of fluff between the well-known double helixes of DNA. In my painting, this replication platform is portrayed with what some scientists have called a DNA hand.
The flowers represent another peculiar phenomena in DNA. There are gene sequences that are the same in some plants as in humans. Isn't life stunning!
As I paint, my thoughts explore and imagine the beauty of life in things I can and cannot see.
It may be the last glimpse of structural beauty in a cactus skeleton, hidden most of its life by the outside tissue of a plant long since decayed. I personally think the skeletons are way more beautiful that their live cacti counterparts.
Or brilliant desert flowers casting their seeds of the future to the wind before they quickly fade.
And of course roses, that have captured the imagination of genetic engineers for centuries, intermingling unseen codes and creating new species for a legacy of pleasure.
Ultimately, my thoughts always return to the beauty of human life. The unique individuality of each and every person on this planet. The vast diversity of community and culture.
The hope and the possibilities.
My newest painting was inspired by losing my Mom to cancer, one of the darkest seasons of my life.
As I came out of a very deep grief, I realized I was a different person. I had found treasures in the journey. Clarity. Compassion. Determination. Hope.
This painting is one in a series that expresses the darkness that I felt and yet the sweet water that can only be found in the deepest wells. I was very honored to have it chosen for a recent exhibit at Art HQ Gallery of art by the Cancer Support Community.
It's really important to me that my art can bring hope and encouragement. From the earliest sales as a professional artist, I was told stories by collectors of how my art lifted and inspired them. Wow - what a joy that is for me!
"Deep Wells in Dark Places" has just been delivered to a new gallery for another juried exhibit. I'm pretty excited about this one because it's a popular annual event in a prestigious gallery.
I'd like to invite you to come out and see it
along with nearly 100 paintings from artists all over Arizona!
Art Intersection Gallery
Aug. 14 - Sept. 25
Open Wed-Sat, 10am-6pm
207 North Gilbert Rd, Ste 201, Gilbert, AZ
Wow - that's no misprint. I went International!
Yellow is the sign of Spring in the desert.
Everywhere you look - drifts of yellow Palo Verde blossoms litter the ground. Joined by dazzling yellow Arizona poppies in yards, empty lots and mountain trails.
Pantone, the recognized international color expert, recently announced their top colors for 2021 - Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow.
Their annual color choices are historically the trendsetters in fashion, product design and especially interior design.
This is great news - Yellow is one of my favorite colors to paint!
As most interior designers will tell you, there's nothing more inspiring in a neutral interior than a splash of color. Yellow is the perfect pop! Especially against a gray background.
In the words of Pantone - "A marriage of color conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting."
May this be a sign of new life and new beginnings worldwide in 2021.
I hope you’re seeing some exciting new developments in your world! I am.
I finished my first series of Arizona Poppies. These brilliant blooms are seen in the Spring all over the deserts of Arizona, in yards as well as in the wild. I think the best place to see them are in the outlying Valley parks and hiking trails. I enjoy them in the regional park near our home.
I’ve also been chosen to show in TWO Herberger Theater Art Exhibits. Both are online right now, but they’re planning to have exhibits in person as soon as possible. Looking at paintings in person is such a different experience. Fine art just doesn't look as good on a computer as it does standing in front of it. I'll let you know as soon as I hear the dates for the live exhibits.
Thank you for stopping by and letting me share my excitement!
Hi! I'm Becca Farmer and I'm a fine art painter.