Promise of Abundance

The promise of many, many more beautiful blooms and eventually, fruit communicates joyful thoughts on an overcast day.

Prickly Pear Jelly. AKA Cactus Pear Jelly.

A light, transparent pink in color, sweet and delicate in taste. Nice but somewhat bland on toast.

A veritable trial by fire to make.

I mean that quite literally. Fortunately, our stove in the home where I grew up was powered by natural gas.

First, of course, you had to harvest the prickly pears. This involved thick gloves and tongs, with an eye out for rattle snakes and cactus spines.

Once back at the house with your haul, you turned on the front burner… Not too high, but high enough… And then each pear was held over the flame with tongs and slowly rotated, making sure each tiny spine smoked, sparked, and burned down to the red purple skin.

After this, making the jelly was pretty straight forward.

These cacti were blanketed in the promise of hundreds of prickly pears… Each bud jammed closely up against the next. The gorgeous blooms were a promise of abundance.

Of Interest to Artists

I began this painting as a demo during a live Facebook presentation designed to answer the question “how do you get your flowers to glow?”

The secret is to know your color temperatures and use simultaneous contrast to achieve that look.

Here are some process photos.

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