8x10 Sonoran Reef by Noelle Phares

8x10 Sonoran Reef by Noelle Phares

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Noelle Phares: "Sonoran Reef" has an underwater feel to the flora surrounding the saguaros. Saguaro and organ-pipe cacti are some of the most unique organisms to the Sonoran Desert, which covers large parts of the southwestern United States and is the hottest desert in Mexico. I did assume that at least some of the Sonoran Desert was under ocean at some point but after reading up on the region’s geologic history, I was mostly incorrect. It was actually a volcanically active area that is quite young relative to nearby north American deserts. The most recent expansion of the Sonoran Desert into its modern area in Arizona and California occurred only 9,000 years ago, with the modern communities of plants and animals developing 4,500 years later.

The original was painted with alcohol inks, acrylic and watercolor on clayboard.