The Desert Series Originals

Mar 20 2019

The Story of the Desert series

I first visited Joshua Tree in 2017 with a group of close friends and I was truly, utterly captivated. The desert changed me. I knew I had to pursue a more creative career from that point on. And I have! The desert continues to pull me even as I type this – I think about it often, read books about it, subscribe to the zine Desert Oracle, etc. This past Thanksgiving, I went back and this time, I brought Seth.

We stayed in an adorable cabin adorned with desert foliage and full of panoramic views. I purposefully brought my travel easel and paints "just in case" and I'm so glad I did because the inspiration was pouring out of me. We were only there a few days but I managed to create two paintings per day, solely based on what I could see and how I felt while seeing it.

I painted each of these outside, surrounded by nature, hot sun, and quiet. Utter silence.

May I introduce: The Desert Series. There are six paintings in total, each with their own little story. Right now, they are all available and for sale. I will keep this post updated as they sell :)

Our cabin in Joshua Tree, California

#1 The Front Porch

"The Front Porch" gets its name from the simple fact that I was on our front porch when I painted it. It was the first of the series. The first is always a huge accomplishment, setting the tone for the rest. For this one, I painted exactly what I saw. As you can see, the sky was crystal clear and blue, which is where I began. Then, I added the aloe plant and the prickly vine – I'd never seen one so large!

I added a bit of imagination and whimsey – creating plants that didn't quite exist in real life but existed beautifully on canvas. I added marker details at the very end and was quite surprised (and pleased) with the result. I've really grown to love "The Front Porch," mostly because of its brilliant blue sky.

"The Front Porch"

11x14 acrylic on canvas board, framed and varnished

SOLD

#2 High Noon

"High Noon" was actually painted at high noon. It was November and mostly 50s on our trip but that day it got up to the 70s in the sun. I took off my hoodie and began to paint the feeling of being warm. I felt the peaches, reds and pinks that day, and the composition flowed easily. The backyard plants gave me endless inspiration.

"High Noon"

11x14 acrylic on canvas board, framed and varnished

SOLD

#3 Dawn in the Desert

As its name suggests, "Dawn in the Desert" was painted shortly after sunrise on our second day. I have never seen anything like this sky. Purples and pinks set the stage for the rising sun. It was red-orange, a flaming circle, glowing as it came over the mountains. I'd never seen the sun like that and I felt compelled to paint what I'd seen and felt. I sat on our back porch, coffee in hand, and painted.

"Dawn in the Desert"

11x14 acrylic on canvas board, framed and varnished

SOLD

#4 Backyard Yuccas

I painted "Backyard Yuccas" a few hours after "Dawn" was finished. I relocated to the front yard and started to paint the warm feeling I had. The sky was blue that day but my sky is yellow because that's how it felt. While painting, I heard the strangest sound...flapping. It wasn't very loud but it was rhythmic. I put down my brush and looked around. Sure enough, there was a large bird flying nearby. I had never known the sound of a birds wings to be so LOUD. But in the desert, the silence is what enables one to hear such minute sounds. I'll never forget it.

"Backyard Yuccas"

11x14 acrylic on canvas board, framed and varnished

SOLD

#5 Starry Night

The night before, Seth and I had hung out in the cabin's hot tub. The sky was crystal clear and you could see tons of stars, planets and even a moving satellite! Again, the sheer silence of the desert captivated me. I knew I wanted to paint a night piece, so I spent a long time quietly watching the sky.

The next day, I painted "Starry Night" but damn, it was hard. Overnight, I had lost a little of my idea and I struggled to re-create it. I knew I wanted the sky to be dark blue, not black. I also wanted to use bright pink and yellow. The desert comes alive at night and I wanted my painting to feel alive. After several tries and a few paint-overs, I finally finished.

"Starry Night"

11x14 acrylic on canvas board, framed and varnished

SOLD

#6 The Valley

On Thanksgiving, we hiked a free trail just outside the park called the High View Nature Trail. It was a little over a mile long and perfect for what we were looking for. At the start, we hiked up a fairly steep mountain, pausing at the top before heading across and down. "The Valley" is painted from what I saw during our downward hike. Joshua trees and yuccas dotted the steep hillside. When we reached the bottom, we sat on a bench, observing. I sketched the view from the bottom of the fishbowl. I felt so small while I sat there amongst those trees and mountains, bursting with life. As soon as we got home, I started painting "The Valley" from memory and from the sketch I'd done while we were there.

"The Valley"

11x14 acrylic on canvas board, framed and varnished

SOLD

The entire series, on display at my Wild World art show

Painting List + Statuses

The Front Porch: SOLD

High Noon: SOLD

Dawn in the Desert: Available, $150

Backyard Yuccas: SOLD

Starry Night: SOLD

The Valley: SOLD

Showings

Nibbles and Nosh Cafe in Rogers Park, Chicago

March 11 - April 8, 2019

Meet Adrianne

Colorful, wild paintings and other art by color lover and maximalist Adrianne Hawthorne.

Sign up for 30% off your first order!

(Excludes Originals)

I send roughly one email per month with post updates, new work and sales.