maY snake procession

It Happened This Way

The May Snake

That’s what started off the month, an annual appearance of the May Snake on May 4. Organizer Jhan Sanders says of the event:

In the early evening hours before dusk on Sunday, May 4th, a 20 foot long effigy of a fantastical serpent ?the May Snake? was ritually awakened by a journey up Tumamoc Hill, borne by six handlers and accompanied by two bagpipers with a drummer providing the heart beat. The May Snake is an embodiment of creative power, vitality and renewal. S/He will appear unannounced every year in the Spring in the public spaces around town, accompanied by a retinue of devotees, to stimulate passion, imagination and action in the community-at-large.

Photo by Zeke Man
The May Snake walks Tumamoc
Photo by Zeke Man


Artists Working on Tumamoc

This is a selection of paintings and drawings done during some of our May early morning sessions.

Underpainting/sketch of saguaro by Barbara Terkanian
Offering, by Barbara Terkanian
“Offering,” the finished painting
Cassein painting by Bill Singleton
Downtown from Tumamoc by Valerie


Saguaro flowers and Downtown Tucson
There was a huge crop of saguaro flowers this May. Tumamoc has the best view of downtown Tucson. Photo by Paul Mirocha

Meredith Wins Gold Medal

If there was a plein-air olympics, I think she would win one. Meredith Milstead stood for about 12 hours painting the same scene once per hour. She is developing? her own Tumamoc color palette based on color changes throughout the day, and the unique sense of one place. She’ll explain more later.

Panorama showing Meredith on her marathon paint-out, the ladder where Owen Davis is taking time lapse photographs of saguaro flowers, and a solitary walker. Photo by Paul Mirocha (Click to enlarge)
The beauty of a painting includes the palette and everything around it while it’s in process. photo by Paul Mirocha


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