I went to the desert to paint a landscape in the plein air style the Pharmaka artists had discussed as a
group. The painting, ''Yucca Valley", was the result of this effort. I wanted to try to paint somewhat in the tradition of American landscape painters with my own sensibility and my own particular approach. I applied organic materials (dead plants, sand, etc.-nothing living!) to the painting, not only to evoke the textures of the desert, but also to include the desert itself in the process.

As I gathered these materials I felt the dry brittle weeds, the hot coarse sand in my hands. I was parched by the sun; chapped by the wind; my eyes stung from sweat. I looked up from the shriveled black weeds I was gathering and saw, through waves of heat, these huge menacing Joshua trees hovering, like twisted crucifixes, over me.

In the next two paintings, "Joshua Tree" and "Desert Weeds" I hope to convey not just a view of the desert but also the experience I had of being in the desert, the sublime cruelty and the hopeless beauty of the place. In this harsh and indifferent world life thrives and does so with elegance.

The painting “Dusk”, inspired by Christopher Monger’s observations is an impression of the desert as it Darkens.



For more information please email: Christopher Cousins

             © Copyright 2005 All Rights Reserved