Robert Wood and the Mojave Desert
by Jeffrey Morseburg

Along with virtually every other landscape artist, Robert Wood enjoyed painting the arid areas of the great American Southwest. He traveled across the region in his early years and painted extensively around Palm Springs in the mid-1950s. In the early 1960s he and his last wife Caryl purchased a home in the area. After this move, scenes of Mt. San Jacinto and nearby peaks, which dominate the skyline of the Mojave Desert near Palm Springs, began to make up a significant percentage of his artistic production. In these paintings, Wood preferred to show the desert at the height of its color, with the spring wildflowers in bloom.

From Palm Springs, Wood also drove across the Mojave to paint in Arizona. He made a number of trips to the art colony of Sedona, where the arid Arizona desert gives way to lush foliage and meandering streams. Wood also did a number of paintings of the large rock formations, as well as inside famous Oak Creek Canyon. Some of the paintings of Sedona in the autumn months rival his Eastern scenes for intense color. Wood also did a small number of paintings of the Grand Canyon, and a few of Arizona's Sonora Desert, with its distinctive Saguaro cactus.

Copyright 2003 Jeffrey Morseburg. Not to be reproduced without specific written permission.
Robert Wood with his "Desert Fauna"
24" x 36" Oil on Canvas
Dated 1955