Our last Saturday paint out at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden. Next weekend will be the 2 day exhibit and sale. If you're in the area come on by! I'll have 11 paintings in it. The comraderie of this group is wonderful, with a variety of styles and techniques and experience.
Friendship, love of nature and a joy of painting bind us together!
Todds hiking guide : The Fish Hook Barrel Cactus is found throughout southern and central Arizona at elevations between 100 and 4500 feet along sandy desert and gravelly slopes. Smaller populations may also be found in southern New Mexico, western Texas and northern Mexico. The cactus is easily identified by its thick (2 foot diameter), barrel shaped body (which usually reaches heights of 2 - 4 feet, but occasionally reaches over 10 feet), and long hooked spines. The cactus grows singly (as opposed to clusters, like the hedgehog cactus) and will have approximately 20 - 28 ribs. Two types of spines grow out of the ribs, the reddish, hooked spines (for which the cactus is named protrude outward from the body, while more slender, radial spines criss-cross flat along the body between the ribs.
Fish Hook Barrel Cacti typically bloom in late summer (July - September) and produce a cup shaped flower at the top of the plant. Flower color is usually some shade of orange, but is occasionally yellow or red. Cactus bees pollinate the flowers. The fruit remains on the cactus until it is removed by animals and may remain on the plant for more than a year. Birds, squirrels, deer and javalina are the main consumers of the fruit. The plants usually grow fairly slowly in the wild and live for about a 100 years. It is a myth that you can cut open a barrel cactus and water will pour out. While the plants do retain moisture, it is contained within a slimy alkaline pulp. Native Americans have used the juice as an emergency water source, but drinking this liquid can produce undesirable health effects such as diarrhea and joint pain. The sour rind and seeds are edible, as are the flowers and fruit.
This is one of 9 quick studies of AJ. From 2 minute poses to 20 minute poses. I find the 2 minute ones can look insane but the freedom of line is an important discovery in itself. I like to see brush work, and without time to ponder it, terrific surprises can happen!