May Challenge — Shadows

It’s a new month and a new theme for our online art challenge. Marilyn Jackson, who first suggested this idea in 2013, continues to encourage us to stretch our artistic wings.

She suggested “shadows” for this month’s theme.

I took this photo at our local farmers’ market last summer. All our booths are outdoors so it’s not unusual for some of the local wild life to visit. This lovely golden dragonfly paused on one of my beaded necklaces, casting shadows as it soaked up the early morning sun.
Beads & Dragonfly

If you’d like to submit something for our “shadows” theme, send me a note via our Contact page and I’ll tell you how to send in your entry.


April Challenge — Marlene Dixon

Yes, I know it’s May and I’m behind. (Blame it on the snow, cause there’s plenty of it where I am right now.)

Thanks to Marlene Dixon who submitted this pencil sketch as part of the “family” theme for the April challenge.

Lots of feathered critters are looking to nest near us — robins (who are shaking snow off their wings in our yard), Canada geese, mallards and assorted other waterfowl who are cruising the sloughs and ponds, and along the fence line bluebirds are checking out the wooden houses nailed to the posts.

Love this time of year. Thanks for capturing part of the excitement, Marlene!

Marlene Dixon Pencil sketch


We’ll launch the May theme tomorrow. 🙂

April Challenge 2014

Ajo is an interesting art community — a blend of artists who live here full time and artists who spend the winter months here as snowbirds. Many of those winter visitors have headed home and others are getting ready to depart.

How do you keep members of such a community in touch with each other?

Last year, artist Marilyn Jackson started a virtual art group to encourage artists to produce and share their work over the summer months. She’s kicking it off again this year.

Marilyn writes: “The April challenge is ‘Family.’ Of course this could mean anything from pets to a family of colors — artists are encouraged to think outside of the normal response. After all, we are artists!”

This challenge is open to all artists, in any medium. You don’t have to belong to the Desert Artist Guild, or even live in Ajo. We’d like to see what you’re working on.

I’ll start it off with a “family” of mammilaria cacti. These cacti are quite small and usually hidden beneath other plants — but their bright red fruit is an eye-catcher.


Use the Contact Form for info on how to submit your entry. Deadline for this month is April 30. Let us see what you’re creating! 🙂

August Challenge

The summer is starting to fade here in northern climes — but there’s still time to take advantage of all it has to offer.

Our challenge to you this month (or what is left of it!) combines similar ideas from two artists. Marilyn Jackson suggested “Harvest” and Terry Gonzales suggested “Grow it. Paint it. Eat it.”

So that should give you lots of ideas. Remember this Challenge is open to all artists — in any medium. (For example, it could be “Grow it. Photograph it. Eat it.”) Here’s my entry in that category.


Look forward to seeing what you’re working on.

July Challenge — Mount Hood

Here’s Marilyn Jackson’s entry in the July Challenge.

Marilyn writes: “Here’s a painting I did the other day in a plein air group about 20 miles from our house. It was fun! We were at The White House above Hood River, OR. They have fields of you-pick flowers, wine tasting and views of Mt. Hood.”

Mount Hood - Marilyn Jackson

Love the colours, M!

Challenge Theme — “Three”

Here is the first entry in April’s Challenge — it’s from Marilyn Jackson. The theme this month is “3” — however you interpret that.

Marilyn writes: “I had just the two onions in the foreground, and the composition called out for three! I feel the jar is part of the background. It was fun to paint. I’m working through a book on classical drawing and the jar was an assignment I gave myself, so I decided to paint it after I’d done the drawing.”


If you’d like to enter this month’s challenge, simply incorporate the idea of “3” into your work — use the Contact Form to request information on how to submit your entry.