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Karen Winters' daily artblog.

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Yosemite Falls California landscape oil painting

July 30th, 2014

Yosemite Falls in Summer
18 x 24 inches, vertical
Oil on canvas

At more than 2400 feet high, from the top of the upper falls to the base of the lower falls, Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in the continental United States. Peak water flow comes in late spring to early summer, the time that this was painted. The falls are fed by Yosemite Creek, and after the water leaves the falls, it joins the Merced River on its course out of the valley.

The challenge in painting a waterfall is to capture the soft edges of mist that perpetually rise from the thundering flow. Paint the edge too hard and the falls look like a cutout. Paint the edge too softly, and it looks like a big cottonball.

Interested in this painting?
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See more of my Yosemite paintings here

California vineyard landscape oil painting – A Taste of Sonoma

July 29th, 2014

“A Taste of Sonoma”
Original impressionist oil painting of a Sonoma vineyard
18 x 24 inches

Interested in this painting?
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This is another in my series of vineyards from around California. This time, Sonoma is the featured area. Some time this fall, I’ll be traveling to the mother of all beautiful vineyard-covered countrysides … Tuscany. And yes, I’ll be bringing the easel. I can hardly wait.

California impressionist landscape “Oaks Guarding Oranges” backroad oil painting

July 28th, 2014

“Oaks Guarding Oranges”
9 x 12 oil painting
California Central Coast, near Cayucos

Interested in this painting?
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Through the years, some of our most enjoyable travels have been along the many backroads that criss cross California. This small road goes inland from Cayucos, just a little north of Morro Bay. Closer to the water, the marine layer softens all the edges. The fog is soft and gray. As we drive inland, the fog burns off and takes on other colors. There are many orange and avocado groves along these country roads, which proves that the area does not often get frost. But it is hot as blazes in the summer. We will commonly see eucalyptus trees used as windbreaks to protect orange groves, but along this road the California live oak trees were doing the job.

Norfolk Terrier Dog Pet Portrait

July 25th, 2014

“Jack and Lucy”
Norfolk Terrier double portrait
12 x 16 inches, original oil painting

These adorable dogs were the subjects of a recent portrait commission for a long-time client and friend of mine. Her two dogs are getting up there in years, and she thought it was a good time to have their portraits done for posterity. Lucy, on the left, is the younger of the two. Jack, on the right, is eleven, I believe. Jack had already had his summer haircut, but Lucy had not.

Now, there’s no way you can get two dogs to pose and hold a pose with the light on them “just so” … so every portrait begins with a photo session. That involves a fair amount of crawling around on the ground to shoot them from the right angle. My husband and I were shooting simultaneously, to maximize the number of reference photos we’d get before the dogs ran out of energy or patience with us. The next step was to edit the pictures in Photoshop to put together a composite where the light and direction of their gaze was consistent. After client approval of the reference composite, it just comes down to the painting, which was very enjoyable.

If you’re interested in having a portrait done of your favorite pet, please write.

Click this link to write me.

Russian River oil painting

July 23rd, 2014

Russian River Drifting
8 x 10 inch
Original oil painting on panel

The Russian River, in Northern California, near Guerneville, is a wide tranquil river (in summer at least) where people come to swim and float rafts, and to kayak. Our daughter did a 2 mile swim in it one July a few years ago when she was participating in “Barb’s Race” triathlon. A wet suit helped keep out the cold.

Interested in this painting?
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See more of my paintings on my website

Maui Hawaii oil painting, Napili Bay Waves

July 18th, 2014

Napili Beach Waves, Maui, Hawaii
16 x 20 inches
oil on canvas

This painting comes from our vacation in Hawaii last year, where we enjoyed some time on Maui as well as Kauai. Napili Bay is a lovely lagoon on West Maui, a little north of Lahaina. It features a beautiful soft sandy beach, tide pools, shallow water for wading and excellent snorkeling. Across the bay you can see the island of Molokai, which I featured in this painting. I’m guessing that this is a popular wedding destination, it’s so beautiful.

What attracted me to this scene, other than the gorgeous turquoise water, was the huge thunderhead which was building up over Molokai.

Interested in this painting?
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California eucalyptus sunset lagoon oil painting – Golden Master

May 29th, 2014

“Golden Master” (study)
8 x 10 inches, oil in plein air panel

A stately eucalyptus tree towers over a quiet lagoon in San Diego County (Batiquitos Lagoon)
The master of all it surveys. Golden sunset colors are reflected in sky and distant waters.

This painting is available for sale.

Interested in this painting?
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Spirit of the Sunset – California landscape lagoon oil painting sunset tree reflections

May 16th, 2014

Spirit of the Sunset
18 x 24 inch original oil painting
California Central Coast
Available for sale

Interested in this painting?
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I’m getting a lot of enjoyment from painting reflected trees in still water, like this scene from a California slough. Only a heron stands by to watch the enchantment.

Japanese Spitz dog portrait painting

May 14th, 2014

“Japanese Spitz Dog”
12 x 16 inches
oil on canvas

Interested in having a portrait of your pet? Please write.

See more of my animal paintings here

When we were in Arizona not too long ago, and visiting a beautiful lake, my attention was suddenly diverted from the sparkling water by the dazzling fur of this little dog, who was being treated to a walk. I asked the owners if I could take some pictures of her, and they happily agreed. I explained that I was an artist, always on the lookout for an interesting subject. I almost always paint animals from photography (they aren’t the best at holding still) so I worked on this portrait when I got back home. More than a year later the painting found a new home with the owners of a dog who looked identical to this one. The Arizona folks called it a Japanese Spitz dog, but it greatly resembles the American Eskimo dog, an AKA breed.

California landscape eucalyptus painting with poppies Scent of Springtime

April 8th, 2014

The Scent of Springtime
8 x 10 oil painting
California Central Coast

I love the contrast of dark green eucalyptus trees and bright wildflowers. This California Central coast scene gave me the opportunity to paint both.

Interested in this painting?
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See more of my paintings on my website