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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cactus Wren "8 X 8" Fluid Acrylic

Cactus Wren (on Prickly Pear) by April M Rimpo

Cactus Wren
Fluid Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Paper
8" x 8" x 1.5" deep

My family lived in Arizona for a number of years.  We loved cactus blooms and wanted to save water in the desert so our front yard and parts of the back were desert-scaped. Among the plants were prickly pear cactus and saguaro. The cactus wren like both, tending to build their nests in the saguaro but perching (and no doubt eating) on the prickly pears.  It was fun to watch the cactus wren since their dramatic white and black feathers on their otherwise tan bodies really were beautiful, especially in flight.  

The prickly pear plant is multi-hued and their fruit turned from green buds to hot pink and eventually matures to a beautiful reddish-purple fruit.  One year I made prickly pear jelly from the fruit.  It was good but boy a lot of work.  The plants themselves vary from pale greens to lovely shades of lavender.

When we visited friends in Arizona last year I had the opportunity to photograph some beautiful young prickly pear plants and cactus wrens perched on saguaros. I combined them in this painting as a tribute to memories of a wonderful trip and a great time visiting friends.


  1. This painting invokes my first quote at the bottom of my blog, "Time spent in a painting is very much like going there again on vacation. And when the painting is done, I have seen every detail and nuance so thoroughly, that a glance at the completed work is sufficient for a short visit." (John Burk)

  2. What a lovely painting! The plants sound delightful and how wonderful that they attract the sweet birds.

    1. People think the desert is just hot and sand, but certain times of year it is really beautiful.

  3. Interesting story and beautiful painting, April!

    1. I left out the part about our cat doing leaps and flips in the air trying to catch the wrens. It was a riot to watch. I'm glad you like the painting, Sandy.

  4. April,
    As an Arizonan for many years, I have developed a deep appreciation for the subtle (and often not-so-subtle) beauty of the desert. Sometimes you just have to look with different eyes for the nuances in color of the flora and fauna. The desert wildflowers should begin to bloom shortly and then it is especially gorgeous!

    Your treatment of the Prickly Pear and the Cactus Wren is beautiful! Great job.

    1. Thank you, Connie. I am so delighted to know another Arizonan. My husband and I have definitely considered returning. It makes me feel great to know that someone who actually knows the cactus and the wren thinks my rendition is beautiful. Thanks again.

    2. You got it! I absolutely LOVE this painting. The colors are just perfect.

  5. I love the desert, and native plants. Your painting is so pretty, all my favorite colors. Really an awesome job April :)


I look forward to hearing from you. - April

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