Contact me by email: or telephone 520-682-2837

'In any land what is there more glorious than sunlight! Even here in the desert where it falls fierce and hot like a rain of meteors, it is the one supreme beauty to which all things pay allegiance ... The chief glory of the desert is its broad blaze of omnipresent light.'
-John Van Dyke

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Elegant Trogon - Series Birds in Red

Male Elegant Trogon
Elegant Trogons have been breeding in SE Arizona canyons for years. They like the cavities in the creamy white trunks of our Sycamores. The barking call of the males can be heard every spring and summer. But some are now staying during the winter. They feed on Pyracantha Berries (planted) when the endemic Madrones are bare. This year at Madera Canyon the Trogon shares them with a White-throated Thrush, a singular migrant from Mexico. That one, of course, drives the birding community nuts.  They stand forty people deep around the bush armed with their huge lenses on tripods.

I much preferred to peacefully paint the pretty Trogon ...

Original available framed $325.00

Monday, January 14, 2019

Pyrrhuloxia - Series 'Birds in Red

We usually see a lot more activity of these Desert Cardinals in our backyard. But maybe I am only impatient. So at least I painted one. Watercolor, 7in x 10in 
Original available,  11x14, dark-red wood frame $325
Prints on paper, canvas, and tiles will be available soon.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

La Encantada Fine Art Festival ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: "Watercolors became my preferred medium because I traveled so much as a scientist. I could easily fit them on an airplane in my backpack." Born and raised in Dortmund, Germany, water color artist Margarethe Brummermann developed her passion for painting hand in hand with her career in biology. She worked as a researcher and teacher at universities and field stations across Europe and the United States while also dedicating time to her artistic studies at the Academy for Photography and Design in Dortmund and eventually the Scottsdale Artists School. "I often use my paintings as backdrops for my PowerPoint slides. I hope to make my scientific topics beautiful and thus more approachable," says Brummermann. In 2002, she settled in the pristine deserts of the Tucson Mountains with her husband, Randall Kaul, and found a new and unexpected community of welcoming creative minds. "Art is important to Native Americans and I spent most of my weekends on the Navajo and Apache reservations. I was easily welcomed and my new found Hopi friends introduced me to my first gallery here. It wasn't long before I discovered the ever changing, ever evolving, very diverse community around outdoor arts festivals and I was hooked." Brummermann now works for Sky Island in the field of diversity research in SE AZ and Sonora Mexico and her newer paintings reflect this. Her website and blog now act as the perfect platform for sharing both her passions to an even larger audience taken by the charm of blending biology and art. Visit her blog now at and see her work in person at the La Encantada Fine Art Festival on January 19 & 20 at La Encantada.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Holiday Cards for Naturalists

Art show clients have been asking me for Holiday Cards for years. Now I put together images inspired by wildlife and culture of the Southwest, and of course based on my watercolor paintings.  A whimsical twist is added to most of them. They are not your Hallmark Christmas Cards for sure!

Raccoons, Coyote, Harris's Hawk, Coati Mundis, Ocelot, Kit Fox, Gila Moster
A set of 7 as seen above will cost you $20, plus $3.50 for shipping. The tax is included. Shipping for more than 1 set is a flat rate of $7, for an unlimited number of sets.  Additional single cards are available for $3 each.

Chickdees, Roadrunners, Ringtail
 But you do not have to stick with the suggested set: substitutes are also available. No extra cost.

  Order at or call 520-682-2837. I accept PayPal payments and credit cards over the phone 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Dragon and Damsel Flies in Watercolors

A little series of pretty insects that most people love. Dragon flies and their smaller relatives, the damsel flies. They turned out to be a rather challenging subject.

Great Spreadwing
Several challenges came up: One was to make the insects the main subject of even a small painting, I had to paint them larger than life. That means depicting a lot of intricate detail without getting fussy. The viewer needs suggestions, but as much detail as in a scientific illustration. Detail should be suggested, but eye and brain need the freedom to fill in the rest.

Flame Skimmer
If the main character forms only one big shape, the composition demands that the  background should add elements of interest, but should not overwhelm.  Be supportive and yet interesting enough.

Widow Skimmer
 Dragonfly wings need to read as transparent, yet structurally stiff and strong. Dragonflies are extremely fast, muscular fliers . The wings  often make rustling noises like hard, thin foil and have nothing in common with the softer wings of birds or bats. They are more like technical structures fit for an air plane. 
All that has to be expressed with a little pigment suspended in water and spread over paper. 

 I painted these three images with the idea of making them into tiles. The new sublimation technique allows to have radiant true colors on the shiny glazed surface of ceramic tiles. I tried it out with my cactus flower images and the success at the Phippen show was overwhelming. I think the subject matter of water and dragonflies gives itself even better to the technique. I am also considering prints on metal.  

Friday, June 1, 2018

A little Bug Painting

The Phippen Western Art Show and Sale is over, was a great sales success, and now I have no shows any more for the summer! I can finally switch from frantically building up print inventory to some more leisurely paintings (I hope). And get out and watch bugs.

As a warm up a little insect painting, one of the many Widow Skimmers of Patagonia Lake

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Roadrunners' coming of Age

Roadrunners are big, active birds. At times also very vocal, from a mechanical clicking sound that is repeated rapidly to a strange moaning sound that I could not attribute to any known bird or animal when I first heard it.

Young Roadrunner -note the short tail - chasing a lizard. This one easily escaped.
Roadrunners are THE caricature-characters of the desert Southwest. Together with the trickster coyote they are known to children around the world. And I must say, watching the real bird, with all its velociraptor fierceness, is much more interesting and even amusing than all those cartoons. Immediately after my arrival in the southwest, I experienced them as skilled, opportunistic predators who didn't refuse a juicy bug, grabbed tadpoles out of my aquarium, did not spare the occasional song bird, but also did not back off from a rattlesnake.

Photo by Doris Evans
This fierceness increases exponentially when a hungry brood is waiting. 
 My friend Doris Evans documented how even little chicks devoured whole lizards that the parents delivered to a nest in her yard. Compare that to the careful feeding of little bits of meat that mother hawk feeds her chicks! Doris was lucky to have the nest so close to her window that she missed no details of the nursery. Over the years I watched two nests in Sabino Canyon, but from a safe distance: What was going on there was surprisingly quiet and secretive. Here at home, we see and hear all the preliminaries for nesting and breeding, like the gift-giving from male to female and the haunting, moaning cries that seem to claim a territory, but then it gets eerily quiet: the Roadrunner parents are not betraying the location of their nest and vulnerable young-ones by a lot of obvious activity. The nests is out in the open, if concealed by a prickly cholla cactus, and roadrunner chicks are born featherless and blind, so it takes a while for them to reach fledgling status.

But when the chicks are finally out of the nest, they soon carry on with the  typical boldness of their species.  First they mostly follow their parents around to noisily demand their lunch, but soon they begin to bother everything that's smaller than they and check it out for prey-value. They explore every place that could hide any morsels, including the inside of my parked car and my friends computer desk. I have seen them watch the tail of my cat with the worst of intentions, and a friend who was hunting bugs for scientific, not culinary reasons, found them following him around, hoping for a hand-out?  The ones in Sabino Canyon seem to quickly learn the schedule of the tram. I saw bits of hamburger tossed to them, which is of course absolutely wrong. Don't do it.

So my latest painting is about the hunger of the dragon brood. It sold as soon as I put it up on Facebook.