Cove and Cactus Blooms 16 X 20 Oil Painting

We went to the lake in Fort Sumner a few weeks ago and the cactuses were starting to bloom.  I enjoy looking at desert landscapes. Seeing pops of color against brown is always welcome.  I think cactus flowers are georgeous…especially bright red ones.  There were pink and yellow as well.

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101 thoughts on “Cove and Cactus Blooms 16 X 20 Oil Painting

    1. Thank you very much.

      I thought your totes and pillows came out really cute with the lady bug design. I love ladybugs. My dad calls me that sometimes still. It is my nickname he gave me.

      So check this out. Last year I found some lady bug looking beetles on my hollyhock. Moshe were red, some green and they looked like really ornate lady bugs, but bigger. They do lots of damage to the leaves, but I let them stay long enough to watch the color change as the beetle ages. It is crazy! I don’t know if you have ever seen them. Very pretty.

      http://www.blackrange.org/The_Black_Range_Rag/Blog__The_Natural_Observer/Entries/2015/8/12_Entry_1.html

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        1. Well, I tell ya, they destroy the leaves and they poop a lot! They just sit and eat and poop,all day…but so pretty! AND I let them do it because I noticed a group changing colors and I was intrigued. I’s guessing there were probably more in my globe mallow that I did not notice.

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  1. Color has always been my thing. When we got married, our walls were white and I wanted color. Husband said no. On one of my days off, I painted every room just enough that I would have to finish. Lolololol. He was not happy. Now, 19 years later, my husband can not stand white walls, tan walls, grey walls….he wants color! Good grief. My house looks like my paintings!

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      1. I told him if he didn’t like, HE could paint over it….negative. My husband does not paint anything! Hates it….therefore, I had no choice but to continue on. It only took a few weeks for him to come around. I totally manipulated the poor guy.

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        1. I got so hooked on them! Yes. Me too. This is part of how I found art. My food restrictions are crazy. It was do art or go nuts. I’m still finding stuff to eliminate. But I feel tons better than I used to, so it’s all worth it.

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  2. Dawn, this is gorgeous. So much depth in this painting and I just love the colors. Can almost feel the prickles in the foreground! How do you do it? 16×20?! I’m like……whaaaaaaaaaa? Amazing! Everything about this, color, composition, drama, texture, you got it going on lady!

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    1. Thank you Laura! That is quite a compliment. I am not sure how to respond! I’m sort of blown away by it. Ummm, gosh. How do I do it….well, I get out a canvas and say, I think I will paint with red and green today. What can I use that in? And then I start painting. Sometimes I get something I like, sometimes I get destruction flowers. πŸ˜‚. I usually have no idea what I will paint and then all of the sudden the day is over, the kitchen is a mess and my husband walks through the door and I say, dang it…it is five o clock all ready? I still have a few more hours left on this one…you okay with sandwiches for dinner…and he says yup. I say, there is so much to learn baby. And he says, I know…keep painting.

      You know who had amazing one sitting paintings was that guy John Singer Sargent. He was absolutely amazing.

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      1. I have so much to learn about so many artists, I’ve not even scratched the surface! It’s nice your husband is so supportive. That means a lot! How do you feel on a non-painting day? Or do you have those lol? I’ve been missing it horribly, still not totally well yet tho. I am definitely obsessed! And it seems like you are too. ❀

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        1. These days I have about 3 non paintings days a week so I can get the house work, yard work and laundry blah blah blah done and so I have at least one free day while my husband is home on the weekends. I absolutely would rather be painting, but I also know that too much of anything burns you out so I try to enjoy those days anyway. It is weird though because now I find myself cleaning and looking at how shadows fall on the wall or I’ll be dusting onions and think, I should try painting this except I don’t want to paint an onion. Lol. When we went camping it was really hard because that was 4 days in a row and I was itching to get back and paint.

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        2. I do not have a sketch book…I doodle on the phone. Does that count? I do it all wrong Laura and it used to stress me out, but I don’t really care anymore. I decided that I paint for me, at my own pace. I spent the first part of my life learning what everyone else thought I should know and doing things by the book, which mostly turned out to be profit driven lies so now, I just paint and try to have some fun with it. I have a bad attitude towards reality.

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        3. I understand completely, believe me. I don’t know anything about most famous artists beyond their names, for starters, so I often feel like the oddball. I love to draw and feel I’m much better at drawing than painting, so I do a lot of drawing. That’s the only reason I asked. I have a really inexpensive sketchbook that was recommended to me by a blogging friend here and they are all over because I’m always feeling inspired to draw. And for me, easier than dragging out the palette. Clearly, you were meant to paint, you do it beautifully! I am hoping I’ll get there one day. I feel like I’m still trying to find my medium…..if such a thing even exists.

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        4. I don’t know anything either Laura and so I am very hesitant to even call myself an artist. When people ask me what I do for a living, I say housewife. Then they look at me like I have 10 heads and they quickly move on to someone more interesting. People love to talk about work you know? I like to draw if I am doodling, but I have never really sat down and done a serious sketch. I am impressed by people who draw. You keep drawing!

          Medium wise, I have tried watercolor and acrylic but I really prefer the richness of oils. Don’t know if that makes sense.

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        5. No, it makes total sense. I would probably experiment with oils if I could deal with the chemical side – I’m really sensitive to lots of things, tons of foods I can’t eat, smells I can’t be around, sounds and that. I would like to try oil if I can overcome those issues – but that’s down the road at this point. My daughter loved oil painting in school and was pretty good at it. I used to love the paint by numbers when I was a kid. I always painted outside the lines and people loved them lol. I think oils seem really rich and creamy and wonderful, so I understand why you’re so happy using them.

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        6. I thought those were watercolor on some weird board you were experimenting with. You can wash off acrylic??? I am so confused!

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        7. Yes, from that aquabord and even from gessobord, you can remove it!! That’s what’s so cool about those surfaces! I haven’t played with the claybord yet, so not sure about that one but yeah! πŸ˜€ I did have some watercolor ones at the end but the first couple weeks at least I’m pretty sure were all acrylic. I like them because the colors just leap off the screen! I mention the medium or at least tagged the medium in all my stuff. I change around a lot. Been grooving on acrylics lately tho.

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        8. I just read Aqua board and assumed they were all….Aqua color!!!! Lololol. That is awesome!!! Well no wonder you were enthralled! Who knew? Is the price on that stuff better than on canvas and can you do oils on them?

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        9. hmm that’s a great question re: the oils. I think you can do oils on the gessobord and the claybord. Vicki Hutchins paints mostly in oils and I know she’s used one or both, not sure if you know her, I think Judith linked to her in her post today. Re the price, I am pretty sure that they are more expensive than canvas. Here’s some great info from the manufacturer re: using oils with their surfaces http://www.ampersandart.com/tips/oils.html

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        10. That stuff is cool! Yup…way more expensive than canvas. I guess I keep buying bulk canvas from Blicks. Just bought some canvas and paint using your link the other day. Yay!

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        11. awww yay! Thanks! I really love the Utrecht canvas that’s on clearance right now. I’ve been stocking up on the little 4×6″ ones lol. You’d probably cover that in five seconds hehe. When I run out of those, I’ll go to the Blick ones – you like them? I bet they’re about the same as the Utrecht since they’re all owned by the same company. I found them in the clearance tab and grabbed them. There are still some left – not sure if these prices are considered really good or not, but I don’t work large, so I know nothing at all about the big canvases. I did get a couple of the 20×20″ though! Hoping I’ll grow into them. lol. http://www.dickblick.com/products/utrecht-artists-cotton-canvas/?obs=y

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        12. I really do like Blick canvas. I am happy with the studio line for now. If I ever start selling art for a price that warrants better supplies, I will move up at that time….until then…Blicks studio and Winton paint. I can afford that.

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        13. That looks like you got a nice price Laura. The studio version bulk price for that size is like 4.90 or something per canvas, but you have to buy 20 or more for that price.

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        14. I’m glad you like it because that’ll be my go-to when the Utrechts are gone. Is $5.99 good for a 20×20? Seemed like a good price to me. I know almost nothing about canvas. So much I don’t know, it’s a little mind-blowing at times.

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        15. Well, cheap thin canvas with a horrible prep and cheap wood that warps can be found on sale for about 3 or 4 bucks a piece so I think 6 bucks is pretty darn good for a much better quality canvas.

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        16. Thank you. Ok, good. I feel comfortable ordering from Blick because I can always return…..but returning a big canvas like that wouldn’t be easy or cheap. I figured if the 4x6s were good, then I’d like the larger ones also. Thank you!

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        17. And remember to spray the back lightly with water if your bigger ones start to sag. They will tighten right up and you can repeat if you need to.

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        18. I still have several artist loft economy 5 packs that I refuse to even practice on. I think I am gonna take them to a painting party my sister is throwing for the birthday of a friend of ours. Main ally get rid of them. They just take up space.

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        19. The bars, the canvas, the uneven prepping, bumps in the canvas from both prepping medium and fabric, it sucks up the paint really bad…uneven stretching, excessively loose mounting….I think I have covered it all. I let a 6 year old doodle on it with crayons because she wanted to oil paint and uh…the answer was no, so I humored her with canvas and crayons. That is how much I hate the stuff.

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        20. I tried sewing. Made a shirt I hate. Made pillows I love and bought nice foam and made new cushions for my patio furniture…made some dog pillows…then when that was done I said…I need a new hobby. This is not my thing.

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        21. lol! I hear ya. I like putting fabrics together but the act of sewing is not fun. Unless it’s hand sewing, and I’m in the mood to do it, and it’s a straight line! I don’t think I could make the stuff you’re making – would have to be straight lines for me lol. You have many talents.

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        22. I hated putting the fabric together. I couldn’t understand all the lines. Mommy had to supervise! The pillows, no problem cuz no pattern and all straight. Mix just didn’t like it, plus, I could by clothes cheaper than I could make them so what was the point if I didn’t like doing it.

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        23. Bro in law. I practiced drawing Ravens a few times before I painted him and my bro in law sent me a picture of his tattoo so I had a reference…which again, was put away as soon as I had painted a rough sketch on the canvas of the bird.

          I think WordPress has the default setting of open comments for two weeks, then they close. I have not changed it.

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        24. How do you come up with such cool compositions? I have a hard time with that. I love birds and keep having visions of blackbirds and ravens but putting one inside of an interesting composition is where I have trouble. This seems to be effortless for you!

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        25. I don’t know how to answer that. To me, they are just paint on a canvas and I get lucky if it looks decent. I have never really thought about it? I just start painting and sometimes it works, sometimes it does not and I have an abstract something or other. I know I am supposed to have a process, I really do know that, but I don’t.

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        26. I don’t either lol! But I feel like I should? I’d much rather just throw the colors down and move them around. But in real life I’m that “planner” type of person so it’s hard to always wing it. I almost want a recipe for a successful painting. Which prob doesn’t exist. It’s good that it just comes so easily to you. You’re lucky!

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        27. I used to be a planner. I am not anymore. Life happens.

          Um, I find if I plan a painting, it never comes out like I planned and then I am very disappointed and wonder what the heck I am even doing thinking I can paint….so I don’t plan anymore and I have much more fun. It isn’t a burden when you don’t have any expectations.

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        28. I hear you loud and clear on this. My planned ones never turn out. I have to let them go their own way. Like trying to control the ocean…..just.doesnt.work. But I feel like …. I’d have a higher chance of them turning out if I planned. I’m probably totally wrong. No surprise there lol.

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        29. I think…to each his own. Some people plan, some don’t, some paint in layers, some don’t, some do abstract, some don’t….some use pencils, some use paint…the great thing about art is that it does not matter. That is what I tell myself anyway.

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        30. You’re totally right and that’s what I love too as usually when someone tries to throw rules at me I find a way to break them. I’m just trying to find the best way … I guess best way is to experiment. I learn best from books, at least before art came in and changed my life totally. I guess now it’s best to learn by doing.

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        31. I was thinking about that yesterday. I have practiced certain strokes now thousands of times. Practicing is the only way to know how much paint, how much pressure, how much medium, how much hand movement…and finally…after lots and lots of practice, brush strokes that you had such a hard time with muddling up paint in the beginning…start being second nature.

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        32. I’m really hoping this happens for me eventually lol. It def. has with drawing, but I’ve probably spent a lot more time drawing. It’s easy, I can do it in when I’m tired at night in front of the TV…..which is where it usually happens. Wow, thousands of times! Pretty crazy to think about that.

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        33. But I bet drawing wasn’t easy at first right? There is a learning curve for everything. But with time, your mind starts seeing things differently and one skill builds upon another and next thing you know, you can pretty much draw anything!

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        34. There is something about faces and people that push me away. I have absolutely no desire to paint them and I don’t know if that is weird or not. It is almost like…well…oh I don’t want to offend. Um…creepy. Like you are stealing their souls away or something. I know that is not true, but I can’t figure out what else could be the reason. I’m not into photographs of them either and I have very few photos of myself. People have to have a really good reason to want my picture. The one on my avatar was taken when I got new puppies and my mom made me. I got smart and decided the best way to get people to stop asking to take my picture was to tell them I believed it stole my soul….that was just weird enough that they believed me and didn’t ask again. And yet…I absolutely love the non realistic painting of people. Rembrandt, Van Gogh…and I certainly appreciate the work that goes in to painting people but it is just not for me. Maybe I have Renaissance PTSD. I see those paintings and I am really creeped out.

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        35. LOL! I think that’s hilarious! But at the same time, I get it. People sketch people at restaurants, at the store, whatever, and I’ve often wondered about that. I tried it once and it felt like I was invading their privacy. I felt like I was doing something wrong. But lots of artists do it all the time and don’t think twice about it! I like the challenge of getting a likeness. In an animal or a person. I find that really cool and it’s a challenge that never ends because you could draw faces forever! I love your soul-stealing excuse! Priceless!

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        36. I do like to paint animals. I don’t feel weird about it at all. They have souls too but I just don’t see it the same way. Totally irrational thinking.

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        37. And thank you! I have to remember to say thank you. I always say it in my head, but if you are not a mind reader, you don’t know…so thank you about the Raven.

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        38. Thank you. I think you should do them. You might have to do it a few times, but hey..Lin the end you will have your black birds of whatever kind you choose. I like the red beads too….probably cuz they are red! Black would not be the same.

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        39. Or a royal blue would be cool or some kind of iridescent gold or pearl…..oh, my head is spinning lol! I do like the red and red and black together are awesome. Would you mind if I used your raven for inspiration? Or like, to help me build a composition lol!

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        40. You can use anything you want of mine for inspiration. I would be honored. As far as composition….lololololololololol deep belly laugh! I have no process.

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  3. This is a beautiful painting in a very distinct style – yours! I love the desert, I think if I lived in New Mexico I would have a hard time staying away from painting!

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    1. Thank you very much! The landscapes in NM are beautiful. As a kid, I did not appreciate them. I wanted green and lots of trees like Disneyland. I couldn’t stand adobe homes…I wanted brick when I grew up! I didn’t like natural vegetation as my mom called it, and now I can’t get enough. Weird how we change.

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      1. Yes, so true. I lived for some time in College Station, Texas – many moons ago and we did some trips around Texas. Never did make it to NM but I love that desert scenery with warm colour and minimalist landscapes with strong contours. I am sure you will make the most of it!

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