Idyllwild Slope – Daily Painting

Idyllwild Slope – 9 x 12 – oil on canvasboard

This past weekend we had the opportunity to go to the Palm Springs International Film Festival for a work-related project, and we stayed for the weekend, enjoying the desert as well as the nearby mountain village of Idyllwild. They had a little snowfall a few weeks ago which left about six inches on the ground. I really hoped to see drifts of snow, but I’m happy with any snow that I can get – it’s been very warm in So. Cal, and there’s been little rainfall. All that may change soon as I hear we’re in an El Nino year. But for the moment we’re long on wind and sand and short on snow.

I haven’t painted rocks or snow recently, so this gave me an opportunity to try something out of the usual. I had a pretty good time gauging the color of snow in sun vs. in shade, as well as experimenting with the shapes and colors of the rocky outcropping.


  1. maggie in sc
    January 9, 2007

    LOve this one…funny its looks like the mountains in western NC too…great painting Karen

  2. wendy
    January 9, 2007

    Cool cool painting. Rocks are great fun to draw/paint. You trees give a nice contrast too.
    it is 36 degrees here today so your picture is a breath of cool fresh air.

  3. Karen
    January 9, 2007

    Maggie, thanks … I think in many ways mountains are mountains the world round. The type of pines may vary, and the color of the rocks, but they all have a lot in common. I’m glad you liked it!

  4. Karen
    January 9, 2007

    Wendy, I’m hoping that’s 36C instead of 36F! That would be pretty chilling … After all the fall paintings I’ve done recently, yes it was fun to do something with a cooler palette. But some hot desert paintings will be posted pretty soon. We are fortunate to have a lot of different biomes in southern california – from Malibu coastal, to wetlands, to chapparal woodlands to desert to high mountains. It’s no wonder the movie industry made LA home base, huh?

  5. Tom G
    January 10, 2007


    For not having much experience with painting snowy rocks, they came out beautifully.

  6. hfm
    January 10, 2007

    I think they are beautifull.

  7. Wendy
    January 10, 2007

    Karen, it is centigrade and very hot. About 100F. It’s now 4 a.m. and I can’t sleep because of the heat so made iced coffee and the computer room is cooler than elsewhere!

  8. Mariana
    January 10, 2007

    This is a wonderful paintings, as are all of your works … you give such a wonderful feel of the place. Beautifully done.

  9. Annie
    January 10, 2007

    I love what you have done with the tree tops and the sky– that space that you manage to get into your painting. And the dappled sunlight on them and on snow and rocks…

  10. Brenda Yarborough
    January 10, 2007

    What beautiful greens! You’ve taken up a “snow challenge” and done exceptionally well!! This is such a beautiful scene.

  11. Linda
    January 10, 2007

    Beautiful landscape! I love the greens — and the snow — and the rocks — and all of it! :-)

  12. Anastasia
    January 10, 2007

    I love this one – I can smell the fresh air!!!

  13. wagonized
    January 10, 2007

    Always admiring your amazing sense of color, Karen.

  14. Aamy Babcock
    January 11, 2007

    Like this very much, the filtered sunlight through the trees and the different shades of green.I feel the early morning air. good job.

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