CRANIA

After moving to the Mojave desert in 2016, I started hiking alone in the wilderness. As I scrambled over rocks and through sandy washes I noticed that I would regularly find animal and plant remains. This desert detritus fascinates me. Desiccated and sun-bleached plants, Joshua tree stumps, bighorn tracks, dried coyote poop, and especially bones. These bones of desert animals are the most beautiful and delicate of artifacts - they tell us stories of life and death.

 

Because I usually hike in conservation areas, I do not remove the bones I find. Instead, I map their location, and photograph them to have a visual reference for sketches and paintings, and then paint them on recycled plywood. As I paint the skulls that I find on my desert hikes, both the skulls and the wood find new life. It is a way for me to collect the skulls, the spirit of fellow desert dwellers, without disturbing their remains. They are totems watching over me and they live on in the stories they tell us.

For Laika IV, 2019

For Laika IV, 2019

8 x 11 in Mixed media on cardboard Framed $75 Unframed $45

Spotted Skunk, 2018

Spotted Skunk, 2018

8 x 12 in Acrylic on wood $100

Black Bear, 2019

Black Bear, 2019

11 x 16 in Acrylic on wood $195

Desert Bighorn, 2019

Desert Bighorn, 2019

5 x 7 in Acrylic on wood SOLD

Bobcat, 2017

Bobcat, 2017

14 x 17 in Acrylic on wood SOLD

Cactus Mouse, 2017

Cactus Mouse, 2017

16 x 19 in Acrylic on wood $195

Coyote Inverse, 2019

Coyote Inverse, 2019

8 x 12 in Acrylic on wood $100

Desert Tortoise, 2019

Desert Tortoise, 2019

5 x 6 in Acrylic on metal SOLD

Javelina, 2019

Javelina, 2019

8 x 11 in Mixed media on cardboard Framed $75 Unframed $45

Wild Burro, 2018

Wild Burro, 2018

8 x 12 in Acrylic on wood $100

Desert Iguana, 2018

Desert Iguana, 2018

8 x 12 in Acrylic on wood $100

Big Brown Bat, 2018

Big Brown Bat, 2018

8 x 12 in Acrylic on wood $100

Red-Tailed Hawk, 2019

Red-Tailed Hawk, 2019

8 x 11 in Mixed media on cardboard Framed $75 Unframed $45

Rosy Boa, 2018

Rosy Boa, 2018

8 x 12 in Acrylic on wood $100

Black-tailed Hawk, 2019

Black-tailed Hawk, 2019

8 x 12 in Acrylic on wood SOLD

Wood Rat, 2018

Wood Rat, 2018

8 x 12 in Acrylic on wood $100

Cottontail, 2019

Cottontail, 2019

11 x 16 in Acrylic on metal $150

Jillian Sandell:  jilliansandell[at]yahoo.com  •  IG: @morethanadequate

Douglas Blanc:  zendoug[at]gmail.com  •  IG:  @zendoug1969