Sunset and Ocotillo

I’ve roamed the Sonoran desert of southern Arizona many times, and the scenery never disappoints. Sunset in the desert is a special occasion for those lucky enough to experience it. Colors are at once brilliant and subtle.

In this painting from Saguaro National Park just west of Tucson, an ocotillo cactus, silhouetted against the sky, reaches out its spiny arms. Although it’s bare in the late winter, as soon as there’s any hint of springtime rain, the ocotillo sprouts bright crimson flowers that attract native woodpeckers and wrens, as well as their migrating neighbors arriving from further south, the hummingbirds.

Tall saguaros and clusters of prickly pear cacti, glowing in the warm light, add atmosphere to this painting.

The original acrylic painting was sold to a private collector by an art gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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.