August was always one of the hottest months in New York, but it also heralded the coming fall. It was an interesting dichotomy. Similar to that juxtaposition, are my sentiments on the old west and the imagery captured in Cactus Zac. The aesthetic can be charming, but the reality of it is oppressive like the heat of late summer. There is a grime to it. A cowboy hat tipped back on a great floof of unkempt–feathers–easily symbolizes these contrasts: functional, dusty, and even sylphian.
The Southwestern United States boasts some of the most interesting wildlife in the world. The saguaro cactus is a stunning tower, sacred on the landscape. The blossoms of a cactus are so delicate, opposing the barbs grown to protect the body of the plant. This cactus provides food to dessert life and nesting space for birds. No dessert scene would be complete without one. Of course, it’s cousin, the barrel cactus needs to make a showing!
While heat makes me think of the golden high desert and wheeling vultures in the long afternoon, I wanted to draw something that veered from the usual Zo submission. A goose in the dessert seems a bit off. However, our duck almost always stars in these features. Her pristine whiteness wouldn’t have made much sense So, which of the remaining three friends would work? Alex was a little too on the nose. Bear didn’t pop for me in such a scene. And, then, I thought, Zac rarely gets a shot at starring. In fact, he has only one image in the gallery. That seemed a bit unfair.
Zac standing in a cowboy hat, chewing a bit of grass flashed in my mind’s eye. The image fleshed out from there…