In May 2014, when I turned 60, I decided I wanted to create a series of paintings--one every two weeks for a year--that incorporated my interest in desert gardening. In particular I had an attraction to the primal nature of the plant forms when mixing desert and tropical plants.
Our La Quinta Cove hacienda--built in 1958--is surrounded by tropical plants, flowers, and palms, that I am constantly trimming. I have always put the trimmings behind the casita until they are chopped up and added to recycle bin. One day I was looking at the freshly cut trimmings, and our old hot tub cover--waiting to be recycled--and I came up with an idea... I could lay wood frame stretched canvas on the hot tub cover, arrange plant clippings on the canvas, and utilizing the plant's forms make compositions by spray painting on to the canvas.
Since I imagined the paintings having lots of pop, I painted many of them using Day-Glo Liquitex spray paint. To create more variety in the colors I also used aluminum auto paint and various Valspar spray paints ranging from flat to glossy. Since I sprayed outside, often in windy conditions, all of the paintings when viewed in person have sand, pieces of plants, strings, bugs, sweat, and whatever else was flying around embedded in them. On some of the paintings that were particularly textured I used clear fixative to lock in the materials.
All of the pieces except for three were painted on either 24x30" or 20x24" canvas. The remaining were painted on white cradle board. I finished the 24 paintings on schedule at the end of April, 2015.
La Quinta Cove Series - May 2014 to April 2015
In the Hidden Meadows Series, like The La Quinta Series below, I used plant scraps from my gardening pruning as stencils and painted with mostly spray acrylics outside in the wind. Unlike the desert and tropical plants found in the La Quinta desert, Hidden Meadows, at around 1600 ft. elevation in North San Diego County, has a wider variety of plants. These are reflected in the compositions.
Hidden Meadows Series - June 2016 to February 2019