Artist: Lucy Dickens
Title: Safe Within the Giant
Dimensions: 36"h x 30"w
"Thinking about the Sonoran Desert and Arizona, visions of the iconic Saguaro cacti easily come to mind. These unique beauties are extremely slow growing as it can take ten years to grow two inches. They may not receive their first arms until seventy-five years old. The largest, like this behemoth, can reach fifty feet tall and over a hundred and fifty years old as they climb higher and higher into the sky, towering over the desert floor.
I imagine a sentinel, or guardian, as I gaze up these thorny spines and massive arms. Saguaros offer protection to several different wildlife species including the ferruginous pygmy-owl, a rust-colored raptor with keen eyes. This tiny beauty, at only 3 ounces, can take down prey twice its size. She then returns to the safety of her home within her giant protector. " Lucy Dickens
"Safe Within the Giant" features a close-up depiction of a saguaro cactus. The plant towers against a clear blue sky backdrop, emphasizing its towering presence. It has a central, thick columnar trunk from which several arms extend upwards, illustrating the cactus's distinctive branching habit. Lucy Dickens has paid close attention to the textures, as indicated by the visible ridges and spines on the cactus' green surface. These ridges cast dark shadows, giving the plant a three-dimensional appearance. Nesting within the cactus is a bird that has found a place of shelter, adding to the overall scale of the cactus. The artistic technique involves the use of acrylic paint, employing a vivid color palette that contrasts the natural green tones of the cactus with the bright blue of the sky. The brushwork seems detailed in rendering the textures while also utilizing broad strokes in the sky to create a sense of spaciousness and depth.