“Cholla Blossom”
Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa
Buckhorn cholla

© 2010 Larry Wollam

I was hiking the Wasson Peak trail in mid-April and on the return to the Camino del Cerro trail-head, I noticed the abundance of cholla blossoms, the yellows, the golds, the bronzes and especially the reds. I was photographing everything I could, for future reference and discovered in playback, the Grey Hairstreak on this blossom. Excited, I started to photograph the butterfly so naturally she flew! I ended up painting this wonderful combination. The out-of-focus background is particularly challenging in transparent watercolor.

Artist's Biography
I was raised in Powell, Wyoming just 76 miles east of Yellowstone Park. Drawing and painting from age five, I lived near an environment rich with wildlife and natural, scenic landscapes. I’ve drawn and painted wildlife for as long as I can remember. Pastel, graphite, colored pencil and now watercolor are my favorite mediums.

I arrived in Tucson in 1960, spending my last two years of active duty with the Air Force and have adjusted to the heat. In 1972 I started teaching drawing classes with the Pima County Natural Resources Parks and Recreation Department and am still doing so. Over the years, I’ve taught some incredible artists.

About 18 years ago I started teaching watercolor and really became seriously involved with in medium. I consider myself a realist, and painting realistically with watercolors is challenging because I don’t use white paint. The whites are the paper itself, so detailed planning is essential to achieving the tints and graded values. I’m still experimenting.

I’ve admired painters like Howard Terpning, Don Crowley, James Bama, all cowboy realist artists, and watercolorists like Carl Brenders, Winslow Homer and Steve Hanks, for as long as I can remember. Hope to be with them someday!

These images are a bit of how I see the world. Please enjoy them as I do.