The desert doesn’t care about you. The desert will strip the flesh off your bones, grind them into dust, and let them be blown away with the wind. The animal skulls I find in the desert are the evidence of the incredibly diverse fauna that live here - mammals, reptiles, and birds that have adapted to life in this unique environment. Desert detritus that I find amid the desiccated and sunbleached plants.
I find these bones on my solitary hikes in the wilderness areas of the Mojave desert. I don’t collect bones but instead take pictures and use them to paint large scale portraits on recycled plywood or metal. I leave the bones where they lay and try to imagine the story of their lives and deaths. As climate collapse worsens, there are fewer days to hike. And as populations are decimated by extreme heat and drought, there are fewer bones to be found. My paintings become a document of vanishing life.
If there is a particular desert creature you are interested in, I am available for commissions.