New Year 2011, My Sleeping Cat and a Winter Landscape en plein air


Missouri Winter Landscape

Happy New Year to anyone who reads this.  I have just returned from a St. Louis Christmas holiday, and though the family activities kept me busy, I did find a brief opportunity to paint.  My eye was filled with wonder the entire six days I spent in the midst of the snowy Missouri winter.


One of my profound blessings of recent months was renewing a friendship with Wayne White, a classmate I knew since second grade but lost contact with following high school graduation.  Thanks to Facebook we found each other again.  Wayne is a farrier who works on his beautiful spread at Double D Acres in Labadie, Missouri (not far from historic route 66) southwest of the St. Louis area where both of us grew up.  You can read all about his life and work at

Wayne graciously put my wife and me up in a comfortable apartment on his ranch, and we spent a quality morning with him in the frigid barn temperatures, watching and photographing as he worked, shoeing one of his horses.

The morning of the shoeing, I awoke to a gorgeous snowscape, and could not stop admiring this view of his property behind his house.  I was filled with an Andrew Wyeth drybrush-sense of wonder, and could not stop gazing at it, all the while hearing the words from Robert Frost–“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”–

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

I was not going to let this opportunity pass.  It was frigid cold outside, but the view through the kitchen apartment door was fine enough for me.  I laid my supplies on the table, held the block in my left hand, and sketched, brushed with my right.  I only spent about 30 minutes on it (a small 8 x 10″ sketch), but was happy with the results.

I am back home now in Arlington, Texas, in my garage studio (man cave!), with the door shut because of the 35 degree temperatures.  I finished this work a few moments ago, adding only the tree trunks and their shadows at the bottom of the page.  I believe that is all this needs.  Hopefully I can work on some more snowscapes this winter, if not from Texas landscapes, then from photos I took while in St. Louis this past week.

Meanwhile, in the company of my sleeping cat, I believe I’ll move on to another watercolor.

Thanks for reading.


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5 Responses to “New Year 2011, My Sleeping Cat and a Winter Landscape en plein air”

  1. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    Happy New Year David! The vertical format is very effective and the dry brush is done very well. I think I like the the crisp, cold colors against the threatening, gray sky most of all.


  2. lesliepaints Says:

    Happy NewYear to you David! What a wonderful Holiday you had. I like your snow painting complete with gray sky and shadows. That cat looks very content!


  3. davidtripp Says:

    Thank you, Linda and Leslie. It was wonderful to have some time off, and I hope your holidays were splendid as well. I’m still “swimming” as I wonder about this new year and the possibilities for art that lie just around the corner. May all of us find productive time before us and bliss to create.


  4. Lynda Lehmann Says:

    I love the winter landscape and I envy the peace of your sleeping cat! I wouldn’t mind some of that carefree snoozing that pets enjoy, right about now.

    I’m here from the LinkedIn discussion, to discover your blog!


  5. davidtripp Says:

    Thank you Lynda. I can’t wait to get out of my “office” to spend time with your blog as well. I get your drift about the snoozing pet. As soon as I finished this watercolor sketch, I went and took a nap myself!


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