Robert Wood and the Mojave Desert
by Jeffrey Morseburg
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.
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