from a dad's view

Frosted Holly Berries – Watercolor

I’m not sure if anyone that reads my blog has ever had a holly tree in their yard, but I have.  My mom had a large one in the backyard, and although they are beautiful trees, these things are death waiting to happen. O.K. I went a little over board on the description, but for anyone that has gone barefoot anywhere near these things, you know what I mean.  The green daggers of death are bad enough, but then they dry to be these brown daggers that will take an entire foot off at the ankles if hit just right.  O.k., again I may have exaggerated a little, but those barefoot’n rednecks like myself, you know what I mean.  I was barefoot so much of my life, that my feet were like toughened leather.  Why I could run full speed down a gravel rocked road… didn’t hurt. I could walk in fields of briars, weeds, cross barbed wire fences… didn’t hurt.  I once had to drive nails while building a barn with my feet… didn’t hurt (that’s a lie by the way).  But when I stepped on one of these claws of the devil called holly leaves…. I screamed like a school girl on a roller coaster for the first time, yup, high-pitched, tearful and just throw something pink on me girl yell, because these things hurt!  But it is almost Christmas, and I’m pretty sure instead of a crown of thorns when Jesus was crucified, they used these dried up Devil claws holly leaves wrapped as a crown. Beautiful! But painful!

This watercolor is a 12″ x 16″ on 140lb coldpress paper.

Also prints of the Santa Winking found on the pryer post is now available in a 500 Limited Edition, signed and numbered, on nice 80lb cover acid free stock. They are $35.00 plus shipping. Please, this is my first attempt at prints, so help me get the word out. They can contact me at


19 responses

  1. This is gorgeous, Ryan! The frosted affect is very beautiful! I am no stranger to holly. I used to have a holly hedge in front of my house in OKC. When I attempted to trim it, it tried to eat my arms! I had a rash on every inch of exposed skin! I hated that hedge. Eventually, some brave soul went in and cut the whole thing out.

    November 7, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    • Thank you Beth,
      I was always just an average jumper, but step on one of these bad boys barefoot, and Michael Jordan had nothing on me jumping!

      November 8, 2011 at 6:38 am

  2. Love the painting, Ryan! Love the description too, hard to tell which I like better. I tried very much not to chuckle and be sympathetic while reading it, but could not help it :LOL:.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    • Oh the pain, yet you laugh, don’t you feel guilty? LOL
      As long as I can bring a smile or a chuckle, it’s all worth the pain… I think! Thanks Alex

      November 8, 2011 at 6:36 am

  3. Ryan, this is just beautiful! I love how it almost looks antique. Beautiful job on the frost as well!

    November 8, 2011 at 7:02 am

    • Thanks Bree!
      I hope all is going well for you, I haven’t had a chance to visit but I’ll try to get to your blog today!

      November 8, 2011 at 7:11 am

  4. Oh but no, you have described these the death of these beautiful trees perfectly. Until I had moved in my house of present I had never had one,nor knew the nature of them. In my driveway along the wall is a planter, above the wall on the other side of it is a Holly. So my first Fall when it was time to clean up all the leaves I just dug my hands right into the planter along the drive, only to scream as though I was being murdered to a bloody death…The leaves from the Holly had fallen into the planter, and of course were dry. So I understand completely what you are talking about.
    And you know what else? I think you just might be right about the holly around Jesus’ head.
    The painting is beautiful by the way!


    November 8, 2011 at 10:58 am

  5. Francis

    The icing on the berries and it’s leaves is just amazing, it would make a wonderful postcard. Great talent.

    November 8, 2011 at 4:16 pm

  6. Wow I agree with Francis. Amazing job, Ryan. Bravo.
    And it was so much fun to read! Ahah. Very funny post.

    November 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm

  7. Ryan, this is a gorgeous watercolor. Like you I grew up barefooted but I didn’t have a holly bush or tree untiul I moved to Indianapolis. Even though I love the shiny leaves and bright red berries, we took our two bushes out because the berries are so poisonous and I had young grandchildren. These plants are sort of like sweetgum trees (those balls they drop kill bare feet!). Lovely but lethal.

    November 13, 2011 at 5:22 am

  8. So true about the hollies. I have shrubs and they are just as deadly. You only pick them up once without gloves after a trimming.
    Your holly painting is so nice. It is fun to work with reds once in a while and the winter season is so apropos.

    November 13, 2011 at 11:00 am

  9. I’m getting an early start to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving, Ryan!

    Have a wonderful weekend,

    November 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm


    This painting is beautiful. I like all the snow on it.

    November 22, 2011 at 7:56 am

    • I’ve got to let the piggies free as much as possible, that’s the redneck in me! LOL

      November 23, 2011 at 9:16 am

  11. Delightful and funny post! I love them hollies too.

    January 15, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    • Thanks you for visiting and taking time to read and view my blog.

      January 17, 2012 at 5:12 am

  12. Androgoth

    This is also excellent…


    January 17, 2012 at 3:01 am

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