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This is a tree in my backyard that I call my “Charlie Brown” tree. When I moved in 8 years ago, I had to remove a wire that the previous owners had placed to support it. They must have been concentrating on other things and the wire became imbedded  in its trunk. With the aid of a local tree service and some extra vigilance, we have been able to help it keep growing.  I thought a portrait of her might be a good way to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!

Plainview has just written about being a tree hugger here. I think that is a great thing to be!

Al  at Artist Exit O Riverblog has written a wonderful post about an old Cottonwood tree here.


  1. How sweet. I always loved that part of the Charlie Brown Christmas. Hope you have a lovely one.

  2. Leslie San and Charlie Brown San,
    I wish both of you a very Merry Christmas too.
    Charlie Brown in water color is also very beautiful.
    With my best wishes,
    Hidenori Hiruta

    • Thank-you Hiruta San. I hope I said that correctly. I finally looked San up because I see you and Joshua use it. It said that it is like addressing someone with Mr., Mrs. Miss etc. Speaking with respect. So, I guess my question is if you are Hiruta San or Hidenori San? I have a lot of learning to do. Merry Christmas!

  3. You saved this poor tree’s life! What a wonderful thing. And look at the lights. It needs a little something in this weather 🙂

    Beautiful painting Leslie! Have a wonderful Christmas! x

    • Lets hope I am saving it. She requires extra water from mid June on, special fertilizing in the fall and I watch her exposed part of her trunk for insects and spray them if I see them attacking her. This year she held her leaves as long as all the other trees in my yard, so I hope that is a good sign. Merry Christmas!

  4. I love the colours in this – it’s a very graceful looking tree – especially considering it’s unhappy experience with the wire.

    Happy Christmas to you too Leslie!

    • Thank-you Sarah! I tried to stick to the secondary triad as much as possible. I think the red on the little lights is where I ventured away. Happy Christmas to you too!

  5. Ah thank you Leslie, the same to you with bells on!!

    I like the carefully detailed lights (must have taken ages to paint) and snow on the branches – contrasting with the loose wet-on-wet background. Original Christmas tree indeed – lovely story.

    • With bells on! My Mother used to say “I’ll be there with bells on!” when she was planning to come for a visit. Thank-you for this, June. Merry Christmas to you too!

  6. Leslie, this is a beautiful painting. I love how you did the snow, which for me is so hard. And I love that you put lights on your tree! I also love how you put the snow on the branches. This is a perfect Christmas post.

    • Wow.Thank-you, Carol. I did the background snow by making that area all pretty wet with clear water (the tree was just a pencil drawing still).I then mixed prussian blue and diox violet in a light wash and began swooping it in in wiggly streaks. Sat and watched it for about four minutes and, right before the shine left the paper, added some more clear water to some areas to push back the pigment to create those feathered cauliflowers or blossoms in it. The snow on the branches were frisket applied before any washes were done. Also frisketed each light bulb and then painted them with a #1 round. This was an exercise in tedious.

  7. Awwww, I love that story and I love this painting, Leslie! It’s wonderful andI can feel the love. Have a very Merry Christmas!

    • Thank-you Beth. Yes, I love this little tree. The tree service thought I was nuts, at first,I think. The first year they suggested I have it removed. Now, if they think that, they don’t say so. They just help and advise.

  8. Leslie San,how is your Christmas Eve?
    I’m sure that you have a very Merry Christmas.
    By the way, we Japanese use ‘San’, instead of Mr., Ms., or Miss.
    But we sometimes don’t use them when we are very familiar each other.
    In this case, ‘Hiruta San’ is one of the choices.
    It’s OK for you to use any.No problem.
    Merry Christmas again!

    • Thank-you for answering my question! Christmas Eve is fine. I’m cooking in preparation for tomorrow! Christmas music playing…….Hiruta San.

  9. Thank you,Leslie.
    A very sweet story :)I’m still like a child.
    Your painting it’s original.I like it.
    You have a big imagination.In your paintings it’s obvious. 🙂
    Keep painting,my friend.

    Take care! 🙂

    • Hi Alina,
      Imagination, at times, yes. This tree is real, however. The only thing I imagined were the lights on it.

  10. It looks like a simple skeletal tree but you have made it more charming by adorning it with Christmas lights. Love it!

  11. new year coming, new years coming what you got cooking.
    And thankyou so much for you’re kindness.
    it meant a lot.
    Thats one more tree saved,
    Great job

    • Hi Kokot,
      I have no idea what to do about New Years!

      You have been kind to me if I re-call. 🙂 How can I not recognise and honor that kindness? You are welcome.

  12. Hi Leslie. A day late, but I still wish you a wonderful holiday season. The painting is beautiful as always. We, of course had no snow, but a christmas day with the kids in the pool. Cecily

    • I think “in the pool” sounds great, Cecily! Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you, also! Thank-you for the comment.

  13. Another friend and I just talked about how to paint snow, so this is very cool to see, I have referred her here to look at your painting. I love the Chritmas feeling it brings, a cold picture with a very warm message, thanks for showing us another great one Les.

    • Thank-you, Tracey. I haven’t done many snow paintings so I am working on doing some more also. All I can figure is to get the values down using shades of colors I’ve used elsewhere in the painting. At least that’s what I’m going to try first.

  14. I think your Charlie Brown tree looks very beautiful, Leslie. I hope you have a happy holiday, and that the new year brings all that is good to you 🙂

    • Welcome back from your studies Camilla. Thank-you for the comment.

  15. Great Christmas tree. Will last a long time and no (more) water needed.

  16. What a beautiful painting! I really like it, especially because it’s a charlie brown tree and not the normal Christmas trees you see. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

    • All things nice..
    • Posted December 27, 2009 at 9:49 am
    • Permalink
    • Reply


    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Another pretty painting, that was really good to get advise on the tree to ensure that it would not die. Alot of people don’t have regard for trees and put nails in them which ultimately ruins them. Good on you and what a lovely painting as always.

    All things nice…

    • Thank-you All things nice. I did have a wonderful Christmas. I hope you did also. I know people keep talking about the environment and being friendly to it, but it seems like they want to do everything on a big scale (is that human?) and the little things like this are overlooked.

  17. Nice rendering of the tree and very detail job on the color bulb. An appropriate story for this season celebration.

    • Thank-you Francis. The bulbs were tedious. I masked them first, then painted the washes behind, removed the mask and went to work painting the bulbs with a #1 round. It will be awhile till I do that again. 🙂

  18. I love your little tree! and the snow…

    • Thank-you, Isabelle. My hope is to work some more on snow scenes and big sky scenes this winter… slowing down a little here during the Holidays.

  19. I really like the simplicity of this one. I see this as a beautiful Xmas card next year!

    • Thank-you Kate. I think the Christmas card idea is great….Thanks!

  20. I like this tree too. Where it is less powerful than the other one you did, it has a delicacy which is very appealing.

    Also, how refreshing to hear a story about saving a tree. Near where I live there’s a very unpleasant property developper & all he ever does is chain-saw & bull doze them down , which makes me very sad.
    Wish there were more people with your attitude.

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