15 Day Challenge – Trees, Day 7


I think it was blogger, OutsideAuthority, that asked whether I was going to paint a Leyland Cypress – well how could I not?  We had the most gorgeous one in our backyard – so OutsideAuthority, here you go!

Leyland Cypress trees are in the family of pines with wispy-ends that make the branch structures graceful and are soft to the touch, wonderful to see them sway on a windy day.  I love the elegance they give to a landscape, we had them in Maine and were thrilled to see that they thrive in the North Texas heat.  We planted one about 6 years ago, it grew so quickly that it outgrew the site and had to be transplanted.  Well long story short, it had to be moved, we should have transplanted it ourselves (everything we have ever transplanted survived), the guys we hired literally tore it out of the grown and the tree died shortly after that – such a shame it was so beautiful.

This oil pastel (7×5) study, painted on Mi-Teintes cream tinted pastel paper, is a great example of what our tree looked like.

I’m a day late, could not find the time to paint on Sunday – what with chasing a large 2-3 inch thick snake around the yard (darn, we couldn’t find it)!  Have a great week.

Leyland Cypress, Day 7

Leyland Cypress, Day 7

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About Mary

Oil Pastelist
This entry was posted in Challenges: Subject Matter Studies, Trees. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to 15 Day Challenge – Trees, Day 7

  1. Gallivanta says:

    Gorgeous tree. Don’t think I would be so happy to see the snake.

  2. Zina says:

    Your Cypress look so real! It’s lovely!! Good luck with finding the snake, eeek.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Zina! Never did find the snake, but found out it was a rat snake – they bite but aren’t poisonous (doesn’t make me feel any better though!).

  3. Really good, Mary! I hope not a venomous snake!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Elena! It got away so fast, even despite its size, we didn’t have time to identify it. There are copperheads the next street over, now that’s a scary thought!

  4. Maria says:

    This one is so beautiful Mary!!! 🙂

  5. Painting for Joy says:

    Excellent! You rendered the form beautifully! Love this one Mary!

  6. Stefano says:

    Beautiful painting and beautiful tree, Mary: too bad it ended the way it did…
    Good luck getting rid of the snake – and be careful in the meantime!

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Stefano for your lovely comment. I tried everything I knew to keep it alive, but once the 100+ temps arrived it wasn’t to be. The snake is another thing entirely, very scary, because of the sheer size and our yard with all its vegetation is because one big hiding place.

  7. Even do the tree is quite substantial it feels very light, your expert brush strokes made it looking just wonderfully airy but the closeness of the branches to the soil grounds it solidly down and on top of your canvass the blue colored sky also helps to achieve that! Great study!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Eva, thanks very much! This tree stands the test of time, but deceiving of its strength with the delicate branch ends. Thanks for noticing the sky and foreground grasses – wanted to give my favorite tree a little backdrop to give it a scene where it can be Queen for the day!

  8. Beautiful study, Mary! Such a lovely Leyland Cypress! 🙂 xx

  9. amiga you are slamming these out of the ballpark!

    home run! or shouild i say, ‘gooooooooooooooooalllllllllllllllll!”

    • Mary says:

      LOL, you are so good Lisa! Thank you very much, it’s all your encouragement and support – only eight to go! Here’s to the World Cup ~

  10. Yay! Executed perfectly. I find these really tricky.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you very much and so glad you are happy to see it! Appreciate your feedback. There was no way I could leave one of these babies off the list of tree paintings.

  11. I remember this Cypress tree, Mary, or at least one exactly like it. It was at the edge of my grandmother’s property at the lake, and it stood by itself, proud and strong, and when the winds blew hard, it seemed to wave.
    Wonderful, Mary!

    • Mary says:

      Oh Marylin what a wonderful thing – it’s always a goal of mine, to take the viewer to another place in time. I really appreciate your beautiful memory, thank you very much for sharing!

  12. An invading snake is a very good excuse, I think. Beautiful tree, Mary. Will you be doing a maple, or don’t they grow in Texas?

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Cynthia. Funny that you should ask I was looking through old photographs of our property in Maine, that had several beautiful red maples and a couple of green maples. I haven’t seen them here in N. Texas – so perhaps they can’t tolerate the heat, high acidic and clay soils. So I’m going to try. Today I’m still working on a blue spruce, which hasn’t been going too well – but you never know . . .

      That snake was one scary dude that now has made me hesitant to work on a couple of my gardens. He’s the biggest (two to three feet long, and 2 to 3 inches thick) we’ve seen in this yard.

    • Mary says:

      Ah Cynthia, I just found a type of Red Oak in Texas – they grow up here, but I’ve not seen them. We’ll see if I can turn one out as well!

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