Centerpiece II: Cholla and Desert Bird of Paradise

oil painting of Cholla cactus and Bird of paradise flowers
Centerpiece II: Cholla and Desert Bird of Paradise, oil on linen, 16x12 in, © Jean Reece Wilkey
Centerpiece II: Cholla and Desert Bird of Paradise, oil on linen, 16×12 in, © Jean Reece Wilkey

This is the second of the works I’ll show at Unsettled Gallery. Another table-scape in the desert, this time with Cholla cactus blooms and the tropical looking Desert Bird of Paradise.

Cholla cactus flowers
Cholla flowers

This spring we had 3 times our normal rainfall and the plants were loving it. For the first time since we moved to this house 5 years ago, the nearby arroyo was rimmed with blooming Cholla – big, bright fuscia blooms that lasted only a few days.

The Yellow or Desert Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) is supposedly a native of Argentina and Uruguay and I’m not quite sure how it got here.

desert bird of paradise photo
Photo by harefoot1066

It’s a shrubby bush with fern like foliage, a member of the legume family and quite drought tolerant. People use it extensively in landscaping because of its showy flowers with their bright yellow petals and long red stamens. There are a few of these beauties on the path we take into the arroyo and they always remind me of the Mimosa tree.

Of course I had to include a chile pepper even if it isn’t our own Hatch green chile.

1 Comment

  1. […] this painting I continued the idea I was exploring in Centerpiece I and Centerpiece II; that we appropriate elements from nature for our own uses. But if the other paintings were short […]

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