Inspired by the Colors of Arizona

Image: Path at Pusch Ridge, by Diana Madaras

An article by Jane Sandwood, Therapist/Freelance writer

Being Inspired by the Arizona Landscape

Diana Madaras has spoken of the way place inspires painting. Often the artist’s surroundings seep into the art. There is no better place to find art in landscape than in Arizona, where the desert comes to life with color. These are some of the ways that Madaras Gallery incorporates Arizona color and landscape into art.

Inspired by the color palette of nature

Arizona is a state notable for its bright colors and extreme contrasts. Red rocks starch against a bright blue sky. A host of greens from the many varieties of succulents that line the hillsides, or from the many cacti that stand like sentinels against the landscape. It would be difficult to stand outside in the midst of Arizona’s nature counting colors without feeling the urge to recreate some of the brightness.

Inspired by the unique landmarks

There are several ‘must-visit’ destinations in Arizona, and so much of the state boasts noteworthy landmarks. Beaver Falls in Havasu Creek has water that is as blue as glacier ice. There are ghost towns across the state with unique dilapidated buildings that beg to be painted. And finally, Monument Valley has unbelievable rock formations that, on sight, foster the imagination.

Inspired by the changing

Diana Madaras has spoken of the changing of light in Arizona. The first light on the mountains holds a special sort of magic which is lost later in the day, and each hour brings a new maze of shadows and lighting. Animals come and go in the blink of an eye, and the sunsets can move through one hundred colors in a minute.

Painting with Arizona inspiration

To be inspired by Arizona you must be willing to look—really look—and take note of the many puzzle pieces which fit into the landscape. Though in some instances painting a desert landscape can feel too bright or too colorful, embrace the fragility and the loudness of Arizona and paint with the colors which the landscape inspires.

Dig deep into the greens and the reds and let them ride across the canvas. The rock formations make interesting shapes to build into a painting, and the saguaros are always an interesting addition to the desert view. There is endless inspiration; just remember to keep your eyes open.