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Arizona Artist Adds Personal And Puzzling Touch To Paintings

superstitions painting
(Photo courtesy of Xandriss)
"Waltzing in the Superstitions" includes a single line that weaves through the scene.

Sometimes you see this beautiful scene in real life, and when you snap a photo, it just doesn’t do it justice. It can be so frustrating. One Arizona artist, who goes by Xandriss, feels the same way.

“I was hiking one day, and I went just a little off the trail and I saw this magical scene,” she said.

She was in the Superstition Mountains, “where everything was just in this pinkish beautiful glow. And I just was in awe of the beauty of it,” she said.

Well, she’s a painter, so guess what she did next.

“I got a really big four by eight board, you know, at Home Depot,” Xandriss said. “Then over two weeks I painted the entire landscape.”

That’s when the real work started. Over the next four months, she said, she worked nonstop painting a continuous line that snakes through the entire scene, and blends in with most of the landscape. 

It kind of looks like one of those mazes from a kids’ puzzle book, with lots of switchbacks and twists and turns, but it never crosses itself. And it covers that entire board. Xandriss said the effect creates more depth to the image; it gives it volume. 

“It was all planned out so that the underpainting and the overpainting, which is the lines layer, would blend together when you’re at a distance,” she said. “They don’t exactly merge, but they work together so that you see the scene that I saw that day when I was hiking.”

She calls it "Waltzing in the Superstitions," and this method took her hundreds of extra hours of work. But this is Xandriss’ style — she calls it her fingerprint. She said she’s made at least 50 works of art this way. 

“I adore traditional painting as well, but this provides a special challenge for me, because I love brain teasers and puzzles and things of that nature,” she said.

If you’re also a lover of brain teasers, Xandriss is offering a prize to anyone who can find the two ends of this line. Be warned — it’s a little bit like trying to find the end of a rainbow.

The painting is hanging up at Marshall Square in downtown Scottsdale.

Annika Cline was a producer for KJZZ's The Show from 2014 to 2019.