Ocotillo, Phoenix Rising
16" x 24", oil
This painting was recently awarded 2nd Place in the oil paintings category at the Gilbert Visual Artists League Juried Fine Art Show. The show dates are February 2-16, 2013 at East Side Art Gallery, Mesa, Arizona.
I'm captivated by the intriguing Ocotillo plant. I felt compelled to express in paint my response to seeing this "enflamed" shrub last year. It appeared to be rising in flames from the desert floor. I thought of the Phoenix bird, a symbol of renewal or the sun in Greek mythology. The Phoenix is a long-lived bird that is resurrected with new life by arising from the flames and ashes of its ancestor.
Indigenous to the Sonoran Desert in the Southwestern United States, the Ocotillo plant appears dead much of the year. But in the spring the shrub is "resurrected" with life by the more frequent rainfalls, producing brilliant crimson flowers.