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.