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“Beauty from Prickles” – Cactus with yellow bloom

My Mama Grace would make me nopales (Spanish for cactus) after painstakingly slicing off every nettle and spine. She’d peel them and then sauté the slices in olive oil, adding chopped onions and minced garlic. Growing up near Mexico City, often too poor to purchase food, she learned the native plants to feed her and her huge family of siblings.

Nopales is my favorite dish and I’d often share it with my grandparents. They are still alive and I got to visit them, again, three weeks ago in my hometown of Whittier, California.

Once when I knocked on Mama Grace’s door, I thanked her for opening it for me.

“Oh, mi tesoro (my treasure), I could never shut the door on you.”

She was the inspiration for this painting “Beauty from Prickles”.  Mama Grace is also a gardener of flowers, fruits and herbs.



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“Beauty from Prickles” 7 x 11” original watercolor on 140 lb 100% cotton Saunders paper.


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