Descanso Grape Arbor

11 x 14″ watercolor on 140# paper

This week I was not able to enjoy the company of our paintout group due to work conflicts, so when things settled down in the evening, I finished a painting that I began last week, plein air. It is a view of a pathway at my beloved Descanso Gardens – a path that goes by the native plant area where there is a small arbor covered with grapevines. As I was telling my art friend Belinda last week, I feel especially drawn to paths, roads, bridges and other sorts of landscape features that lead to somewhere else – perhaps somewhere mysterious and wonderful. And the color green – oh how I love green, which has always been my favorite color, and probably always will be.


  1. Laura
    October 11, 2006

    One of your absolute loveliest! Amazing colors and brushwork, Mizz K!

  2. Renate
    October 11, 2006

    Beautiful! Makes me want to take a walk there …

  3. lin
    October 11, 2006


  4. Jennafer
    October 11, 2006

    That is just beautiful! I, too, have an affinity for paths and dirt roads leading off into the trees. I am often taking photos of them while
    on hikes. I wonder what that is about?

  5. Brenda Yarborough
    October 11, 2006

    This is just beautiful and perfectly captures Descanso Gardens! I also love paths, roads, streams– especially when they have a bend and you don’t know exactly where they are going but would sure like to explore. Those scenes spark my imagination more than any other!

  6. Kate (Cathy) Johnson
    October 11, 2006

    Your work just amazes me. I’d so love to be there, walking down that lovely road…

  7. Helena Monteiro
    October 11, 2006

    I’ve been without my computer so only today have I come to your site – lovely drawings.
    I love the one you have done with pastel.

  8. Tami
    October 11, 2006

    Karen, I also love thisngs that lead the mind and imagination to other places, in paintings, pictures and real life! This has such an air of calling to come and walk, see what is on up the road.

  9. kuriyama
    October 11, 2006

    Beautiful work.
    There is a place bright on the tip of the corridor of the tree.
    I can enjoy detailing by wandering in the picture.

  10. Shirley
    October 11, 2006

    I love this painting and think that the variation in values from much lighter to much darker – and the sharp vs soft edges works beautifully. Shirley

  11. Gladys
    October 11, 2006

    Awesome shadows and the depth that it feels it has. :-)

  12. Nina Johansson
    October 11, 2006

    This is awesome! I love, love love the play with light and shadow in this, and how you managed to create a little space of it´s own under the lower greens to the right… Wonderful, such depth and light, and the path leading to something that makes me curious…

  13. Kunya
    October 11, 2006

    This is really lovely. Wish I could be there.
    Out of all your paintings, I think I love this one most.

  14. margaret hunt maggie in sc
    October 11, 2006

    Have to agree with Laura…this is my favorite of your wc…marvelous work Karen!

  15. windsong
    October 11, 2006

    I just love this painting! It is so graceful and so beautiful! I wish it was hanging on my wall.

  16. Miyuki
    October 11, 2006

    I love all the different shades (hues? never was good at terminology) of green in this painting! And the liquid quality of the watercolour captures that cool moist feeling of being under a canopy of trees.

  17. Fran
    October 11, 2006

    I am drawn to the same symbols in my collage work as you are in your drawing and painting, Karen.

  18. Rachel
    October 11, 2006

    Oh my gosh, Karen, this really works so well. I squint and see all the luscious levels of value and the sharpness of the tree trunks against the softness of the foliage. Incredible!

  19. joyce
    October 11, 2006

    This is one of your most beautiful landscapes IMHO. Absolutely love what you have done with the foliage here. Really lovely!

  20. Pamela
    October 11, 2006


  21. Penny
    October 11, 2006

    What a wonderful painting, I would love to be there now (it is so hot here) I love your darks and lights and it looks so calm and peaceful.

  22. Jana Bouc
    October 11, 2006

    Oh yes! You’re right, this is so very successful–like a breath of fresh air and so buoyant. It makes feel happy just to see it.

  23. Ujwala
    October 11, 2006

    I can feel myself standing and looking down the road towards the light. It’s beautiful.

  24. Maxi
    October 12, 2006

    Depth is wonderful! Very subtle and skilled at leading us down the path!

  25. Jane
    October 12, 2006

    Karen, you’ve done excellent work as long as I’ve been acquainted with you, but you’re just getting better and better…….what a testimonial for what daily drawing and painting can do. Throw in a hefty dose of talent and WOW! This definitely is a candidate for the notecard idea that I hope will come to fruition one of these days. Your work beats what I’ve seen in the giftshop by local artists. And there’d be a readymade audience. Do it!

  26. Julie
    October 12, 2006

    This is so beautiful. Is it not going to ebay too? Cheers, Julie

  27. Karen
    October 12, 2006

    Thank you Julie, and everyone for all your very kind and supportive comments. No, this one is going to be framed and entered into a competition, with hopes of getting into a juried show. Keeping fingers crossed …

    Jane, thank you for the great suggestions, yes I plan to do it. I need to figure out the logistics but I think it’s getting close to time to give it a try.

  28. Detlef
    October 28, 2006

    Many congratulations – as I understand this painting was very well received by the judges – thoroughly justified. You have been painting and drawing up a storm over the past couple of months, with marvellous results.

  29. Malinda Welte
    October 29, 2006

    Oh, Karen, Congratulations! This is glorious and to have it win a prize in your first juried show, priceless!!!


  30. andrea
    October 29, 2006

    Karen, congratulations. This is a beautiful picture and you are a well deserved winner.

  31. Marilyn
    October 31, 2006

    I can see why you won a prize at the juried art show. It’s a lovely work.

  32. Pat cummings
    August 26, 2007

    Yes! How beautifully captured is the feel of the gardens there at Descanso in this water color. One of my favorite places. I worked many years for the architect of the tea house (Smith & Williams) – Whitney R. Smith, and always enjoy my visits. I’ve lived in Arizona for ten years but have just moved back to California (beaumont) and will be able to visit more often now.
    Pat Cummings, Beaumont, California

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