I sound a bit like a broken record, but it's always hard to believe a month has gone by. I think that if I didn't set a goal to write one of these monthly, I might find that six months had passed before it occurred to me to sit down and record another. I certainly can't complain that time goes by slowly.
The first Saturday in May brought a visit from our good friends Kerri and Brian from our Louisville hometown. They spent five days with us in the desert, and it was so nice to catch up and host them. Kerri and Brian have so many exciting things going on (especially the impending arrival of their baby girl) and Aaron and I were very grateful that they took some time out to journey across the country to spend time with us.
The weather has been nearly 100% fantastic in Tucson since we settled here in October, and May brought a few days of 100+ heat. I guess it can't be perfect all the time. In response, I took the opportunity to visit Madera Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains just south of the city. The elevation means cooler temps and a different landscape. These mountains are one of 27 Madrean Sky Islands in the U.S. Their higher elevation and more plentiful precipitation make for more abundant greenery and lots of wildlife.
Silly me thought that the wildlife in the hot desert would hide from the heat like most humans do. I was wrong! During May, there were several interesting sightings near our apartment, including large troupes of coyotes, even more hummingbirds than in winter, a western diamondback rattlesnake, and a desert king snake (a "good" snake that eats rattlesnakes).
I enjoyed a lot of time with friends in May. In addition to Kerri and Brian's visit, I spent time with my friend Kalisha in Tempe and Heather in Tucson. I also wrapped up May with a visit to Colorado with Jenny, who was once my college roommate at Bellarmine University. She kindly informed people along the way that we were celebrating 20 years since we graduated from that institution of higher learning. What did I say about time?
Jenny and my trip was a bit of an impromptu idea. She wanted to go somewhere I'd never been, and those options seemed a bit slim. She'd also never visited a major national park. So, I suggested Colorado, and we spent the last few days of May in Estes Park, Colorado Springs, and Denver. It was as gorgeous as I expected, and I look forward to painting some of the scenes I encountered there. Highlights of our trip were Rocky Mountain National Park, Garden of the Gods, the city of Manitou Springs, the Denver Mint (where our pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters originate), and the Denver Botanic Gardens.
I began taking a watercolor painting class from my drawing instructor. While I have a Bachelor's Degree in painting, I trained in college using acrylic paint, a completely different medium than the watercolor and gouache I've been using the past couple of years. I've never really received instruction in watercolor, and I feel the class has already helped me a lot. I plan to continue with both classes for the foreseeable future, both because they help me improve my artwork and because I really enjoy my instructor and classmates.
Sadly, I think this might have been the least productive month I've had since embarking on my artistic journey in 2016. I completed just two paintings, but I do have two more underway and also wrapped up two drawings in class. Of course, I did take a vacation and host house guests, which I wouldn't trade for anything.
June is looking to be a hot one, with triple-digits in the forecast as far as the eye can see. I'll be taking a trip to Phoenix and then heading to the beach in Mexico mid-month, but right now, I think I need to wrap up this update and get out the paints! Thanks for following along. :-)
Shameless plug alert! In case you're wondering, I have a few more paintings available for sale in my online shop than I often do. Also, I'm open to selling any of my drawings - feel free to make an offer or ask about pricing. Shop now ›