Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Aging Oak - Oil painting, Zoo, Before the Big Freeze

"Aging Oak" is a small study that is still wet on the easel. This original oil painting is 8 inches tall by 6 inches wide.

Old Oak - original oil painting

Jean Levert Hood, Aging Oak, ©2009

I've been enjoying studying trees. I love painting landscapes and want to better capture our beautiful oaks in the Texas Hill Country. Any time you see a stand of oaks, you know that water is near by. Elm Creek runs through the east end of our property and many of these old trees stand near.

The paintings below are each 12 inch by 9 inch pieces. These 5 individual paintings are connected in several ways with design and color elements. Each canvas features one letter, spelling out T-R-U-T-H. This was my big fall project and I enjoyed the opportunity to paint abstracts. They are now residing with a happy owner.


Truth Series, Jean Levert Hood, ©2009

I had a wonderful Christmas Holiday and enjoyed a trip to the Baton Rouge zoo with family and little ones.

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The weather was perfect and the kids wanted to see the flamingos the most. I couldn't figure that one out!

The rhinoceros had a baby. What a strange animal - kind of prehistoric looking, aren't they? It was the only baby besides a monkey, and I never could get a decent photo of it. It was a very fun day.

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This view was stunning - the different greens and golden colors reflecting in the water were so pretty against all of the bare branches.

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Now, back to our Texas landscape - We have a lot of green left in the trees, so winter isn't entirely gray here. A few freezes have come and gone and most days it's still warming up nicely in the afternoons.

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When I took my walk yesterday I was determined to find something blooming. I finally did! I wasn't too sure that my goal was going to be reached, but I found these tiny little flowers under a group of prickly pear cactus. These are the only blooms I found. These bright yellow beauties are from the sunflower family and are called Parralena. Nice name for a common dogweed! They form large clumps in the warmer months.

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These can be cultivated in wildflower gardens, doing quite well in our heat and drought conditions. It's a good xeriscape plant for our area. What a tiny little bloom - several would fit on a nickel. I guess the tallest they grow wild is about 5 inches. I imagine they would grow a little taller being well tended. My book says they can be 8 inches tall.

Last leaves clinging to a branch always catch my attention. The last ones, holding on tight, not giving up until another freeze.

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The cold weather is turning some of the prickly pear cactus red.

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The bare branches show the dancing twists and turns of the wild persimmon. These smooth branches are so beautiful!

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I found this wonderful group of vines and weeds near the house. The reds and greens together make a great show!

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The greens we have left may end soon - we're expecting temperatures below 25 degrees F for 3 nights at the end of this week. This is very cold for us, and Hawaii is sounding tempting!!

You can purchase my oil paintings and studies on my website .You can find me on Twitter and Facebook, too!

The seem very happy and content.

11 comments:

Clare said...

Love the Oak. Your use of color always seems to amaze me. I have to agree with the little ones. The flamingos are the best. Great blog!

Genie said...

As always, I love the wildlife pix, not to mention the new photos from the zoo! But that tree! Hands down my favorite tree you've painted so far. The image seems a bit blurry, at least on my screen (got this new screen I'm battling with)but the colors, the shapes, and the depths in that tree! Gasp! I absolutely love it!

Ryhen | Mind Power said...

That's a pretty work of art. I used to paint when I was still a kid, but when all sorts of hair started growing around my body, I kinda lost the drive to touch water color or oil & pastel. I love the pictures you have here as well. You live in a very nice environment. Thanks for sharing.

Peace and respect,
Ryhen

Debra James Percival said...

Love the oak tree. Gorgeous tree painting! Happy New Year Jean.

Jean Levert Hood said...

Clare - Thank you! The flamingos are amazing, aren't they!

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Hey Genie - I'm so glad you like the tree so much! Yep, I do think it is a little blurry. Before I post it for sale on my web site, I'll scan it. It was too wet to scan, which is always my preference for smaller work.

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Ryhen - Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. Let me know if you try your hand at painting again! I love sharing my world, and am so glad you enjoyed it.

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Thank you Debra! I hope your New Year is filled with creativity overflowing!!

artbylmr said...

I always love your studies, Jean. And thanks for sharing your photos, especially the baby Rhino ;)

Audrey said...

I love your work it is so inspiring...

Jean Levert Hood said...

Thank you Lynne! So glad you like the photos!

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Hi Audrey - I am honored that your find my work inspiring. That makes me so happy! I hope folks check out your blog, I love it!

http://audreyrobertson.blogspot.com/

I'm working on my blog this week, and will add you to my blog roll!

LisaBongZee ~ Island Dream Life said...

Wonderful use of color in your oak. BEAUTIFUL! And I always love your wildlife photos you include.

ALOHA!

Nancy Medina said...

Hey Jean, I love those abstracts you've been working on, what a gift you have with color. Now when did that little kitty sculpture join your assistant team? That is too cute...

Sadia Hussain said...

The truth series is fantastic Jean!
Love the vibrant hues and the flow from one painting to the other.
The photos are excellent especially of the tree with the bare branches.
Take care and thanks for sharing!