Wild Heliotrope, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

What a spring and summer it’s been! One of many highlights include a long, long solo road trip to see my first California native wildflower superbloom. With the outstanding rain and snow year we had last winter after 5 years of drought, starting in mid-February, all my native plant geeky people kept raving about the superbloom which only happens every 10 to 20 years. Because I’m not getting any younger, I decided to go to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in late March to see them; who knows when it will be this good again? My timing worked out great and I got to see an amazing display of wildflowers. My regret is that I didn’t have a 4-wheel drive vehicle to reach the more remote and uncrowded canyons where more intrepid and better prepared botanists were able to go. I took many photos, tried to paint en plein air but was thwarted by winds, and got to hike through a palm oasis.

Now I’m going through my most favorite photos and painting them. It’s fun, but I also have a sense of urgency around my painting that I’m trying to release so that I can paint without stress. I was invited to participate in our California Native Plant Society chapter’s first art market that will be a part of our annual fall plant sale in late September. While I have been painting here and there, I’ve never felt like I had something good enough that people would actually want to buy. And I’ve never done an art show, art festival, or anything like that.

I think the bar is pretty low since an art market is a new feature of our plant sale. There will be eight other artists of different mediums so I think it will be ok that I don’t have tons of paintings. Still, I’ve been diligently painting every weekend for the last 5 weeks and I have two paintings that I feel could sell, maybe three. I think I’m going to need a bit more than that. I don’t want to be lame and have a sad, empty booth. Merch, People!! I gotta make merch! No pressure here. Nope. None at all.

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