Introducing my painting:
"Saguaro Cactus. (Arizona)"

copyright: Amy Glasscock


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July 17, 2018.

My son loves cactus so it got me thinking about the giant saguaros that I saw when visiting Arizona as a kid with my family in the 1990's. So I dug up some old photos and felt inspired to make this 5 foot painting of one.

The saguaros take over a hundred years to grow this big. A hundred years of staying still and growing towards the light. There is something poetic about that I think. While I was painting the repeated lines and dots of the cactus, I started thinking about these Austrailian Aboriginal artists that I taught my students about and showed them videos of on YouTube. One of them (Ronnie Tjampitjinpa) painted all of these repeating stripes that he viewed as the paths of his ancestors. Sort of like a trail or a map from his ancestors to him. And the other artist (Judy Watson Napangardi) used a bunch of repeated dots, which is common in Aboriginal art, that I thought about when making the prickles. I guess I relate to thier awarness of time and also the focus on remembering as many of my paintings relate to my family memories as well.

During this time I also discovered and started corresponding with a relative that actually lives in Australia. A somewhat ironic twist as she has helped my family "connect the dots" if you will, on some of our own family history. (It's funny how an old cactus can get you thinking about all of that!)

One thing that I also really enjoyed painting this was playing with the complimentary colors of red and green. I used them even in the dark shadows which is probably hard to see in a computer screen, but there is something so beautiful about seeing these colors interact.

Click here to see this painting in progress.

copyright: Amy Glasscock
Detail of the painting.

"A  painting lives by companionship, expanding and quickening in the eyes
of the sensitive observer.  It dies by the same token.  It is therefore a
risky & unfeeling act to send it out into the world."
-Tiger's Eye Magazine 1947.