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Desert Botanical Garden, Part 2

With a bit more time to kill, I wandered over to the Ottosen Gallery where featured artists display their visions of nature. Currently, on display are paintings by Arizona artist Dyana Hesson.

From the garden's website, "The Desert Botanical Garden is pleased to present a retrospective exhibition celebrating the career of botanical artist Dyana Hesson. Hesson is known for her radiant, detailed oil paintings of botanicals— roses, hibiscus, orchids, bromeliads, succulents and cactus flowers. Her sophisticated technique creates beautifully illuminated paintings that truly celebrate her subjects."

"Hesson has exhibited her work nationwide and has an impressive list of over thirty juried shows and prizes. Her paintings have been nationally published in Southwest Art and American Art Collector magazines. Hesson is currently represented by Bonner David Galleries of Scottsdale, Arizona."

This painting shows a brilliant prickly pear flower with three more buds waiting to open.

Boyce Thompson's Legacy #2

While I was touring the gallery, there was a video playing that mentioned that Dyana generally captures her subject with a camera then uses that image as inspiration in her studio. On her website, her biography mentions that her father gave her a camera when she was 12 years old and it appears she has been capturing nature ever since.


Arizona Lipstick

I was struck by the photo-realistic quality of her paintings. She has an excellent eye to see the subtle interplay of light and color which she then transcribes to canvas.

Rose and Petunias at Madera Canyon

Some of her paintings seem almost dreamlike — such as this single rose accompanied by two petunia blossoms hovering in the air above the mountains surrounding Madera Canyon.

Chin Up, Bee Happy

This painting of honey bees feeding on the blossoms of a cactus took my mind's eye into a different world. Marvelous!

An Arizona Wink

I find it amusing that folks who have not visited Arizona think of it as a barren desert...

Sakes Alive, There's Five!

...but those who live here know that there is much beauty to be admired, although some of it is definitely seasonal.

Arizona Candelabra

For instance, this cluster of tubular flowers probably blooms only in the spring before the heat of summer hits.

Veronika's Garden

In fact, there are migrating birds, bats and insects that depend on the timely blooming of the desert plants before they move on to their summer homes.

Morning Walk in Arizona

So if you come to Arizona during the time of year when the flora are putting out their showy blossoms, be sure to visit the Desert Botanical Garden, Bryce Thompson Arboretum or a similar jewel of the desert.

I love it so much that I have a membership and return several times a year — often just to stroll around to enjoy that which Mother Nature has provided. For those who live here, the Desert Botanical Garden is also an excellent place to take your out-of-town guests at any time of the year but really spectacular with special exhibits such as those featuring Chihuly, Bruce Munroe and Dyana Hesson — plus the annual treat of Luminarias during the Christmas holiday season.

By the way, if you enjoy Dyana's art, note that it is for sale and she is featured at Bonner David Galleries in Scottsdale and CoCo Milano's in Mesa.

Well, I noticed that the rays of light entering the gallery were getting low in the sky. Time to re-enter the garden proper and find a spot from which to begin to capture Bruce Munro's Sonoran Light exhibit as soon as the sun fully sets.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com