Monthly Archives: February 2013

Jaguar in the Desert

I’ve just completed this watercolor painting I’ve entitled “Jaguar in the Desert.” As a reference for the painting, I used a friend’s photograph of a leopard she took while on safari in Africa.

Jaguar in the Desert

However, this particular cat reminds me of a jaguar (a somewhat larger cat than a leopard and native to Central and South America as well as a few locations in the southwestern U.S., Mexico). One Arizona jaguar that was recently snared along the Arizona-Mexico border by the Arizona Game and Fish Department was “Macho B”. At the time of his capture, he was the only known Jaguar left in Arizona. He was trapped, fitted with a tracking collar and later released. Within days of his release, the tracking collar data showed a deterioration in his activity and he was recaptured. After further evaluation, “Macho B” was euthanized due to kidney failure. A tragic end to the life of a beautiful, and probably unique, cat within Arizona.

My painting is in memory of “Macho B”—may he always be remembered as the beautiful, wild jaguar that he was. Jaguars are one of the most agile hunters of the so-called “big cats” (lions, tigers, jaguars and leopards). When left undisturbed in the wild, they can live to be 20 years old (“Macho B” was at least 13 years old based on earlier sightings over the years).

Unfortunately, man’s encroachment on their habitat continues to threaten their numbers. Man is the jaguar’s main predator who illegally kills them for their beautiful coats, or as a misguided means of trying to protect an occasional cow from falling prey.

I greatly admire the big cats (jaguars and leopards in particular) for their beauty and majestic bearing. So, you may soon see some more of them in my Galleries.

Wickenburg, Arizona Gold Rush Days – Part 2

wickenburg-IMG_8140About a month ago, I wrote about Wickenburg, Arizona’s Gold Rush Days and some of the festivities associated with that event—including the Wickenburg Art Club’s art show. My friend, Terrie Grasse, and I hosted our own art tent featuring some of our work during the three day event. I also entered two of my paintings in a separate art exhibit that featured artists from several states showcasing artwork from many different media.

wickenburg-IMG_8138The show concluded this past weekend, and by all accounts, it was a success for the community and for the exhibitors. Although the weather for the event was mostly sunny, Saturday produced some very cold and overcast weather, a few hours of rain and even some brief snow flurries.

As you can see in the photographs, Terrie and I were bundled up during the show, but made many warm friends who dropped by our tent.

wickenburg-IMG_8145For me, the separate art exhibit proved to be the most wonderful surprise! The two paintings I entered were both judged worthy of ribbons—“Jaguar Reflection II” received First Place in the Watercolor category and “San Juan River Big Horn” was awarded Best of Show. The “Best of Show” ribbon also included a generous monetary award as well.

For any of you who may have displayed your art in outdoor tents, you know how much work and preparation are required to set up and display your work. Despite the work, long hours and chilly weather, I wouldn’t have traded those three days for anything else. I made many wonderful friends, sold some of my work, and was fortunate to have earned some awards recognizing my artwork as well.

Now that it’s over, however, I think I’ll turn up the heat and have a nice hot cup of coffee.