As I was driving to meet TPAPS members Laurie Williams, Joyce Nelson and Terry Bowman at the Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch, the radio station interviewed a meteorologist who claimed that Tucson hasn’t had a cold spell this severe since the early 1960’s. One of the interesting results of cold spells in the desert is seeing the wide variety of plastic cups, hats, bags and other coverings that people put on the tips of many cacti around town. We’ve been told that if the tips aren’t covered in these cold spells, the cacti will die. But the real question is: Are they all for protection, or just an excuse for some landscape art?
Laurie and Terry were already picking their painting spots when I arrived at this delightful guest ranch near the base of the Catalina Mountains. Unfortunately, Joyce left after short while due to illness, leaving the rest of us to paint near the adobe wall entrance which opened to the beautiful garden and fountain, but far enough away to avoid interfering with the hotel operations.
The three of us stood close enough to chat while sketching and planning our paintings, and we really enjoyed getting to know each other a bit. Unfortunately, once we had blocked in our paintings, a big, boxy delivery truck arrived and totally obstructed our view! We waited quite a while for it to move, but it seems they had settled in for an evening event.
Feeling the chill set in as we lost the sun’s heat, we packed up and made plans to meet again on Saturday, when the temperature will be in the low 70’s. Although I have painted in many of the nearby parks, it’s wonderful to learn about special painting sites like this from experienced local artists!