May 2023 in the Desert 🌵  

There is so much to see and do!. . .  

This is my first week, as Artist in Residence at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Art Institute. . .

Inspiration is everywhere!

The mission of the Art Institute of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is all about


“Conservation Through Art Education”

— art related to the appreciation of our natural environment.

A Very Special Place

I absolutely love it here! There is so much going on around every corner. There are 21 acres just within the museum grounds, with a network of walking paths, plus stunning views across to the Saguaro National Park. 

The Desert Museum is part zoo and aquarium, part animal rescue and conservation centre, part natural history museum, part botanical garden, part research centre, and then to top it all off they support art education and an art gallery, with a focus on encouraging people to connect with nature. 

Providing the right food and nesting sources, they attract as many creatures to the grounds in general, as to areas inside any enclosures. The wild birds and little lizards are everywhere. There are hummingbirds enjoying the flowering shrub just outside my window at the moment, and on every walk I see them by flowers near pathways.  There is so much to tell, but it will wait for another day, because it is time to head outdoors! 

My first sketch here was done from a shady bench in the hummingbird aviary. I sat there and started just lightly painting a dappled background inspired by the shadows falling across my sketchbook page. It was the hottest part of the day so I didn't expect to see any of the little birds, but it was a lovely place to sit quietly in the shade. 

Then I looked up and saw that a tiny male Costa Hummingbird was perched on a little twig about two feet away. He seemed to be watching me.  I pulled out my camera to take a photo. He didn't fly away, so I started sketching. He stayed long enough for me to complete a sketch, then left for a minute or two and returned again. Perfect!

Photos of sketches will be posted another day. . . It is time to go out exploring!