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I love cacti and really wanted to paint them for some time. I really can’t explain why I am so attracted to them, but looking those plants brings me a sense of peace and stillness. With my high energy boys home for summer, I could use allot more peace and stillness.

I love painting on wood. It is something I discovered by accident while working on auction items for our local SCBWI conference. We would paint on frames, boxes, or birdhouses all made out of wood. I loved the way the paint laid on the wood and how it just seemed to pop. Last year, while I was on vacation in Santa fe, I found myself drawn to paintings that had been painted on wood! The gallery owner explained to me that wood, unlike canvas, absorbs much less light and reflects back a brighter image. I love paintings on wood, they seem flat, but full of depth and color.

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I purchased a nice piece of wood from Lowes home improvement center. I sanded it and primed it then covered the entire board with Burnt Sienna. I quickly drew the image of the succulent on the board with a sharpie. I know, I know, A SHARPIE? ..but I was desperate to get the image down.

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After many layers of many shades of green, brown, yellow, white! Oh what color didn’t I layer the image with? I started on my favorite part, the details. This is what I paint for, the end when I make what I see feel more real, more attended to. The spikes, the curves of the cactus in between the spikes. The subtle white veins that walk along the leaves of the plant. The shading that makes it pop. This is the best part!