Plein air Eaton Canyon

Watercolor on 140# paper … 9″ x 10″

Today our paint out group went to Eaton Canyon Nature Area in Altadena, CA … a new place where I had not painted before. In the early fall some of the trees were starting to show tinges of brown and gold, and the hills were brown from the long dried-up spring rye grass. This is typical California chapparal – hills scattered with oak trees and occasional accents of chemise, toyon and buckwheat.

This on location study is going to be the basis for an oil painting one of these days. I’m looking forward to going back there again soon. Check back tomorrow – I have two more (looser) watercolor sketches I did today, but I need to get them scanned up.


  1. lin
    September 20, 2006

    GORGEOUS, KAREN!!! I love the wisps of foilage in the foreground agains the trees …. evocative!

  2. PAmela
    September 20, 2006

    Yesterday while traveling home I saw so many things I would have photographed and later maybe even attempt to paint…

    On the hubbys birthday we went out for a quiet meal, and there was an interesting water color on the wall beside us…
    possibly a lake and trees… an overturned boat…. and a huge beautiful trout. I thought the trout was jumping out of the water and we were looking at the shore from the fish view. My hubby thought the bass was kind of a comic addition – laying on the shore biger than the boat.

    I guess I’ll have to ask the artist. In any event.. the picture had our conversation for quite a while… so it did its job!

  3. TeriC
    September 20, 2006

    Everything is beautiful but what really caught my eye were those light horizonatal lines in the foreground. It just seems to make the whole picture for me.

  4. Laura
    September 20, 2006

    I love the elegant calligraphy of the trees in the foreground and the dissolving, buxom mountains in the background. You did a grand job of building this painting.

  5. NelVanL
    September 20, 2006

    Ah, Karen, this is wonderful. I especially like the way you’ve got the cool sandy feeling with the grasses in the forground, you can almost feel that sand in your toes. Those lavender tones are terrific, and you got the clarity too, just clean and unfussy. YAY!

  6. Gladys
    September 20, 2006

    Luv the mix of greens and the subtle lavender .

  7. Felicity
    September 23, 2006

    Gosh, the light just radiates here! It seems to capture the desert light and it’s reflective qualities perfectly!

  8. Jana Bouc
    September 23, 2006

    I love the great darks you got in this one and the expressive line work. Really nice!

  9. alison
    September 27, 2006

    It has a lovely sense of depth – I can just plan my walk up the cool of that ravine, twisting to the left…

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