Tujunga sunset

Art, Nature, Painting | June 1, 2006 | By

No more than 15 minutes from our home, there’s a canyon that opens out into a wide wash. Part of it has been reclaimed as a beautiful golf course, but other parts of it remain as wild as ever, strewn with boulders and sprouted with sagebrush. We were driving near there yesterday, just at sunset and I was captivated by the colors. Only a trace of water remained after the spring rains – and those tiny puddles caught the light of the sun. Even in the most ordinary urban and suburban areas, there is extraordinary beauty if we look in the right direction at just the right moment.

5.5″ x 7.5″ pastel on paper. This is a study for a larger watercolor, oil painting, or both. (But not at the same time.)


  1. Lin
    June 1, 2006

    WONDERFUL sunset — tremendous colors!

  2. TeriC
    June 1, 2006


  3. Linda
    June 1, 2006

    Karen, you’ve been a wonderful artist for as long as I’ve been reading your blog, but I have to say that your sense of the landscape has really improved over the last year or so! The composition and light on this one is just astounding. You should do it in watercolor. And oil. And maybe in a bigger pastel version! :-)

  4. Hashi
    June 1, 2006

    ooooooh. I like it.

  5. Wendy Ratawa
    June 1, 2006

    Yes, this is a beauty. A very lovely picture. Keep up the good work!

  6. Kate (Cathy) Johnson
    June 2, 2006

    Wow. That is so beautiful…sunsets are a VERY tough subject and you’ve pulled it off!

  7. Tami
    June 2, 2006

    You are absolutely right, there is beauty everywhere, all we have to do is look in the right direction at the right moment! I have been watching the colors of the sunrise reflected on the marshes on my way to
    work this past week and have been thinking about trying my hand at painting the way it looks. YOURS IS A BEAUTIFUL SUNSET!!!

  8. Margaret
    June 2, 2006

    All I can say is oohhh yummm…fabulous colors…LOVE this…and the kitty is too cute…isnt it amazing how long they can live?!

  9. Fran aka Redondowriter
    June 2, 2006

    Ah, this is where I grew up. I played in the Tujunga wash on a daily basis and we hiked and swam in Big and Little Tujunga canyons. Haven’t been in either canyon for a long time though I was up in town a few weeks back looking at my childhood house–and visiting the current owner who bought it from my parents 49 years ago. The woman is deeply in dementia now.

    Beautiful painting.

  10. carole
    June 3, 2006

    Gorgeous! The way you’ve captured the light is amazing.

  11. Detlef
    June 3, 2006

    Gee, I reall like this, Karen. It has great atmosphere, look forward to seeing our other interpretations.

  12. NelVanL
    June 3, 2006

    This is just superbly done. I really love the blinding spot of sunshine peeking up from behind the hill. You can really almost feel the chill in the shadow, too. And it remains fresh; not overworked. Great idea for a large painting, the colors are wonderful. Nel

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