I just finished my second painting, “El Tigre (Nacapuli Canyon)”, for the group show I’m participating in, “The Sea of Cortez”, which will be opening next March at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona. The first one “Up Close-Sally Lightfoot Crab” can be viewed here.
This new painting came about as a result of my interest in comparing the Gobi and the Sonoran Desert. There are argali sheep in the mountain ranges that rise out of the Gobi, so I wondered if there were desert bighorn in the part of the Sonoran Desert that we visited, particularly the spectacularly beautiful Nacapuli Canyon.
I was given the contact information for a scientist who is familiar with the megafauna of the area. He more or less told me that he had bad news and good news. The former was that there is no record or evidence of desert bighorns in the canyon. The good news (and very good news it was indeed) is that there have been sightings, along with pugmarks and other evidence, of jaguars in the canyon. So I knew what one of my paintings would be.
Nacapuli Canyon is quite popular with visitors to the area for picnicking and hiking. Big cats tend to be very wary about the presence of humans, so while other wildlife like birds and coatimundis aren’t too difficult to see, the odds of seeing a jaguar are close to zero. But…as an artist I knew that I could “see” a jaguar in the canyon and show other people something very special about this place that might help conserve it for future generations.
Here’s the step by step process of the creation of “El Tigre (Nacapuli Canyon)”-
Finally it was time to start the painting: