MIDDLE OF MAY 2014 – 2014 ART JOURNAL OF AN ARTIST LIVING BY THE SEA – This week was one filled with 8 San Diego Wild Fires & raging Santa Ana winds. It was 96 degrees at the coast, which is unheard of & broke records back to the 1950s. I put Chinese paper umbrellas over one of my shade plants to protect it from the blazing sun & drank iced peppermint tea to try to stay cool before the arrival of a portable air conditioner! It was just too hot to spend time at the beach & I only drove by to visit quickly. One afternoon was spent making greeting cards of a cute flower cart design. Lots of reading due to the heat. One day I stopped and took photos of Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus) flowers, which are blooming everywhere now & a lovely yard with a white picket fence & cascading roses caught my camera lens, too. This week I did paintings of cactus & desert wildflowers and one Goldfinch & Zinnia Japanese Etegami postcard.
One of the great advantages of my illustrated 2014 Art Journal is to count my blessings and to focus on the moments of beauty in my life. Art is a way to gratefulness for me.
A few years ago I took a day-trip to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to view the desert wildflower bloom in the spring. I had never been here before & was excited. We crossed the mountains & the bus descended down into Anza Borrego. There were thousands of Ocotillo cactus growing & they were in full bloom. My first site of them from the tour bus windows was so awesome. I spent the day viewing wild flower blooms with a Park guide, but my favorites were the Ocotillos.
Here’s a Japanese brush painting of an ocotillo cactus surrounded by wild flowers. This painting is done on Chinese calligraphy practice paper.
FYI: The park is named for Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish word borrego, or bighorn sheep. The park features washes, wildflowers, palm groves, cacti and sweeping vistas. Visitors may also have the chance to see roadrunners, golden eagles, kit foxes, mule deer and bighorn sheep as well as iguanas, chuckwallas and the red diamond rattlesnake.