A tree with a South-West flavor

 16x20 in acrylic & ink on canvas

16x20 in acrylic & ink on canvas

This was an exciting challenge to tackle.  How to give a tree a new flavor? 
A new color palette, a soft watercolor-like background, and icons were my solution.

In this tree, each family member is represented by at least one icon.  The mom and dad have a few extra treasures spread out. It has an overall circle shape to represent the family circle. It is a tree with a solid trunk, as I would imagine a tree needing in a dry place, and to complement the cactus on the sides.  The soft background also representing a beautiful sunrise.

As cacti were a chosen symbol, it was fascinating to learn about all the different varieties. 
All the flowers on the tree are based on different cactus' flowers.  I hear is beautiful to see cacti in bloom, but hard to catch it, some only last for a day.  So now, this family has a collection of blooms that won't fade.  

Here it is how it all happened:

Little they knew, they helped me achieve a goal of trying a different way to present my family trees.

We were first going to try a sepia on sepia effect, but I don't think that would have been enough contrast to give it interest, in the first rough you get a bit of that idea.  Although the colored flowers would have stood out more.  That was a difficulty with this one, giving the flowers color, get not making them pop out and call attention just to themselves.

Overall I am pleased with how it turned out, and the best part was to receive a thank you message from the receiver, that made my day.