The tiny Pincushion Cactus, like many of its relatives in the Sonoran Desert, blooms once in early summer, when single fuzzy buds turn into a surprising show of magenta blossoms around glowing sunlit centers. Pincushion Studio is located on a rugged ranch over a buried history of lawless miners, Apache braves and tough Spanish ranchers, in the foothills above Tubac, a small town with an artsy footprint. Here, not far from the U.S. Mexican border, Virginia lives and works with her husband Gabriel, and their horses. Virginia’s inventory includes dozens of original works created over a period of 40 years on location in Europe, Latin America, California and Hawaii. 

Pincushion Studio’s surroundings are comprised of an ever-changing palette of breath-taking light, shadows, wildlife, wind and water. Recent work produced at the Tubac studio includes colorful studies of high desert flora, mountains, sky, horses and birds. With a naturalistic but “loose” painting style, the artist attempts to capture unique visual moments in the landscape, local communities, and lifestyle on the ranch, for others to enjoy. A member of the Tubac Center of the Arts and Hilltop Gallery of Nogales, Virginia exhibits her work frequently in and around town. Prices for the art and information about commissions are available on request; see contact page for email. Reproductions available at

Juried Competitions and Shows 2019: Ex Voto, Award of Excellence, Tubac Center of the Arts; Pikes Peak Watercolor Society, Golden Artists’ Color Award, Colorado Springs; Wine Dark Sea, Award of Special Recognition, Tubac Center of the Arts; Mujeres, Raices Taller 222, Tucson; Del Mar Art Show May ‘19; Arizona Aqueous XXXIII, Tubac Center of the Arts; Southwest Water/Ways, Tubac Presidio.

Juried Competitions and Shows 2018: Spokane Watercolor Society Show 2018, Award of Excellence, Spokane, Washington;  Members Open, Tubac Center of the Arts;  Members Shows, Hilltop Gallery, Nogales;  The Ranch Life, Rancho Santa Cruz Gallery; Shock of the New West, Tubac Center of the Arts;  “Earth” Exhibit, Raices Taller 222, Tucson; Santa Gertrudis Exhibition, Shaw Kinsley Memorial Gallery, Tubac Presidio.

Juried Competitions and Shows 2017: International Watercolor Exhibition, Houston; Rice Gallery of Fine Art Plein Air Show, Kansas City; Emerald Spring Painting Exhibition, Springfield, Oregon; Boulder Plein Air Festival, Colorado (Juried Participant); Hilltop Gallery May Show, Second Place, Painting; Raices Taller 222 “Sentidos” and “Chiquititos” Exhibits, Tucson; Hilltop Gallery Members Annual Show; One woman exhibit at the Santa Cruz Center, Nogales, Arizona.