Subscribe Today
Give a Gift
Customer Service

Phoenix Home and Garden
Subscribe Today!
For the HomeFor the GardenFood & EntertainingResourcesArticle Archive

Romancing the Cactus

Author: Roberta Landman
Issue: February, 2009, Page 83

As if bathed in a sunset glow, and awaiting an evening summer storm, a prickly pear cactus in bloom is suffused in the color red. Titled When Raindrops Fall, it measures 30" x 24".
Along with cacti, Bonine paints a host of other plants, including roses, bird of paradise, calla lilies and more. At times, an occasional quail pops up in her vignettes.

To begin, the artist first sketches her “larger-than-life” images lightly on watercolor paper that is heavy enough to later take multiple layers of watery hues. But before she ever touches brush to paper, she sets the sketch aside for several days as she mulls exactly what vision she wants to portray. Once she does start painting, the work is done quickly and spontaneously, with sure strokes and a “purist” technique that disallows the addition of white or black hues, masking agents, or any other tricks of the trade that attempt to conquer what many call an unforgiving medium.

Having long ago approached the medium on her own terms, she thinks of it as a metaphor of sorts. She writes in an autobiographical account: “Painting in watercolor is like dealing with life. You try to control the uncontrollable, and in the process you learn when to let go and when to quit. Sometimes it takes you where you had not intended. But if you trust the flow, it will bring you to a destined finish.”

She adds that it is through watercolor “that my work began to have soul.”

More of Bonine’s work and information about her book, Jeanne Bonine: Inspirations of Timeless Beauty, is available on her Web site,

PAGE: 1 2 3
Subscribe Today!