The iconic and rugged Superstition Mountains stand just outside of Phoenix and are full of legends and myths. This includes the legend of the Lost Dutchman's mine, which so many people have sought to discover. To this day, gold seekers go into the Superstitions to try and locate the lost mine. The range is made of stark cliffs and valleys full of cacti and other desert vegetation, and the temperature can be as high as 23 degrees Fahrenheit. Each summer, some foolish people will venture in and need to be rescued, as they underestimate the physical challenges of the terrain. However, if one goes into the Superstitions at the right time of year, it can be a wonderland of desert beauty. And, one of the highlights, has to be Weaver's Needle. This 1,000 foot column of rock was named after mountain man, Powell Weaver. It can be seen from miles away and is a landmark within the range.
This painting was made from a photograph that I took while hiking in the Superstitions. I followed a trail up a narrow river canyon, which finally opened up to the view you see in the painting. I planned out the painting through a series of sketches and really thought about how to capture the sunlight and deep shadows of the early morning light. To make the Needle stand out, I chose to use purple shadows set against brighter yellow-orange tones in a complimentary scheme.
Another compositional strategy was the placement of the bushes and cacti in the foreground. This creates a barrier between the viewer and the Needle and highlights the ruggedness of the terrain and the difficulty involved in traversing it. If you want to get to Weaver's Needle, you have to earn it.
I hope you enjoy this new painting. Please feel free to leave comments.
Author: Bruce Black
Welcome to Life Reimagined! I am a professional artist and long time art teacher, Over twenty-two years teaching and still going! I have painted all my life and love to inspire others to reach their creative potential. I hope this blog brings you inspiration!