Roadside Bouquet

We were headed south on Route 86 from Tucson. The road is known as the Tucson-Ajo Highway, or just the Ajo Way. The town of Ajo (Spanish for “garlic”) is close to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, which was our destination.

It had been an unusually wet winter in southern Arizona, so we expected to see spring wildflowers. We weren’t prepared, however, for the extravagant display of color that went on for miles and miles along the Ajo Way. Red poppies. Blue bluebonnets. Orange globe mallow. And lots other flowers we couldn’t identify. We kept stopping every few minutes, because it was spectacular at every turn. At that snail’s pace, what should have been a short morning drive wound up taking most of the day.

I did a quick sketch of this stretch of this section of the roadway, mostly for color reference, and also took photos. At the end of that trip, back in my Santa Fe studio, I captured the essence of that lovely springtime experience in this acrylic painting.

This original painting is available for purchase.

•    mixed media—oil and acrylic—on canvas, ready for hanging or framing

•    24″ x 28″

•    $1,400 US. (Shipping within the USA is included in the price.)

Contact Bernard Marks if you’re interested.

Prints and note cards are available at

This painting and all reproductions of it are © Bernard Marks. No unauthorized use is permitted. All rights reserved.