First Flush

“First Flush” 9 x 12 oil on canvas on board

When spring comes to Descanso Gardens, the first flush of roses is a sight to behold. In fact, it’s pretty darn spectacular any time of year, even now when the hot summer colors radiate from every corner.

Yesterday I spent some time up at the gallery with fellow artists Belinda del Pesco, and Trish Kertes – two of the most gifted artists and nicest people you’d ever want to meet. They were so very helpful in teaching me the ropes of running the gallery when it’s our turn in a few weeks. Their expertise was so very welcome.

Prints coming soon

I’m making my master list of things to do to get ready, and among them is making prints available for sale as well as original works. So if you’ve been interested in getting prints of some of the things I’ve posted here, I will soon be offering those in a variety of sizes. More details on that as I get further along. At the moment I need to focus on the imminent deadline.

Castle Green – new show UPDATE


Today I was delighted to get a notification that this will be one of 15 paintings accepted into the upcoming juried California Art Club group exhibition “California in Focus: Scenes of Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley. Part 2″

The exhibition will be on view at Marston’s Restaurant in Pasadena … 151 E. Walnut Street … from November 27, 2007 – January 27, 2008. A reception will be held toward the end of the exhibition – the exact date and time to be determined. I’ll announce it on the blog as soon as I know.

Needless to say I am thrilled to be included in this beautiful CAC show, and to meeting my fellow exhibitors, but it just so happens that Marston’s is on the short list of our very favorite casual local restaurants. If you ever have a chance to dine there there you simply MUST try the Pasadena or Cordillera salad. Their cottage garden is a delight, too. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve photographed those blooms, and how it’s been an inspiration to my own cottage garden. I’m going to have to paint the Marston’s garden one of these days. If Descanso is my garden home, Marston’s is definitely my lunch home!

This was one of many painting projects that have been in the works these past weeks, and I am so very happy to be included.

­ Thank you again, EBSQ

For the second time this summer, one of my paintings has been chosen as EBSQ art of the day.

EBSQ is an organization of self-representing artists who sell their work on eBay, and I’m delighted that the curator chose this as an example to represent the weekly theme of Portraits of Men.

In the studio, I’m hard at work on several large paintings and should have something to post soon.

Vineyard Sunset

Vineyard Sunset 14 x 18 – oil on canvas

This painting will be going into a show beginning on September 15 – my first group show at Descanso Gardens.

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know how much I love Descanso – in every season. It’s one of my very favorite places to paint. So being invited to participate in a group exhibition and sale there is something that makes me very happy. I will be exhibiting both watercolor and oil paintings in the Carriage House and will post more details here as the date approaches.

Now, about this painting. This was done from a photo reference, but the shot was quite different. For one thing, the sun was in a different position, the sky was blue and it was earlier in the day. The whole sunset look (and the color palette associated with it) came about at the underpainting stage.

What I learned from this: sometimes it’s wise not to begin a painting with fixed notions. Have a plan, yes, but be open to change if an idea strikes you that you like better than your plan. Then, be prepared to improvise. As soon as I made one major change from my photo reference, I put the photo aside and referred to it no more. At that point, every decision had to be made about the color of the imaginary scene, not the real one. What color would the hills be that time of day? How would light coming at a low angle look different than sunlight coming from above? How could I make the road more interesting than simple flat gravel? How would I add rocks and ruts with the right colors to make them look as though they belonged in the scene? What would clouds look like if I added them? All these thoughts began swirling in my head as I departed from reality.

Tomorrow I deliver my large somewhat surreal watercolor “My Offering – My Confession” to Brand Library for the hanging of the juried 36th annual Works on Paper show opening in early October. Times are hectic, but in a good creative way. I’m grateful for all these opportunities and really couldn’t ask for more.

Daisies and Crystal by Karen Winters

Daisies and Crystal 9 x 12 – watercolor

I’m working on a rather large watercolor for a special project, but in the meantime, to have something to post, I did this quick sketch of some flowers in one of my cut glass vases. As it turned out I became more interested in the facets of the cut glass than the flowers. This is 9 x 12, painted freehand with a #14 round brush and a 1″ flat, nothing smaller than that. I didn’t do any pencil underdrawing because I was using this as an exercise to draw with the brush and do some negative painting.
The grays and neutrals in this were composed of the primaries used in the flowers. In other words, palette mud.
But mud can be a very nice thing when it’s used to harmonize and serve as a background to brighter colors.

Castle Green Balcony – Pasadena – by Karen Winters

“Castle Green Balcony” – 9 x 12 oil on board

One of Pasadena’s most venerable landmarks is the Castle Green, which was built before the turn of the 20th century as an annex to the Hotel Green by Col George Green, who made his fortune in the patent medicine business. It has been home to the Tournament of Roses, and at its time was the center of fashionable society in Pasadena.

Although there are more imposing and “postcard” views of this building, my eye was caught by a simple balcony adorned with geraniums, and accented by a very old palm tree. The late afternoon light made the scene positively glow.

Now, back to the easel …

Saturday’s Show in La Canada

If you’re in LA, I’m going to be exhibiting these new paintings for the first time tomorrow afternoon at Flintridge’s Sacred Heart Academy. The show and benefit is in conjunction with the California Art Club.



Here’s the info from their press release:

The California Art Club is very excited to be participating in Faith & Hope: Beyond Prison Walls, a benefit art exhibition and sale at in support of Partnership for Re-Entry Program and Families of the Incarcerated, organized by the Office of Restorative Justice. The exhibition, held at the historic Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, will feature work by the Incarcerated through the Arts and Corrections Program, Art Release, and by members of the California Art Club.Proceeds from sales will benefit the incarcerated and their families as they work to transition back into society and to make positive changes in their lives. To purchase tickets for the exhibition and sale, please call Viki Battaglia at the Office of Restorative Justice, 213/637-7428 (Adults $25, Students $10). Participating artists and one guest may attend free. All artwork will be available for purchase (cash and checks only).

The time of the event is 4 pm – 7 pm

Address: 440 St. Katherine Drive, La Canada, CA 91011

In the Garden

“In the Garden” 9 x 12 – oil on canvasboard

I tried posting this using Qumana, the blogging application that lets you compose a blog posting in a dedicated application (not a browser.) Although I like the ability to add formatting easily, I don’t see a way to preview my post, which I could do in Safari. Nuts.


Update: Well, sigh. That was a bust. I reopened the file in Safari and removed the garbage that Qumana added, while NOT allowing me to insert the link to my image from my server. It was a good idea, but didn’t work, unfortunately.

The painting was fun to do. I was in the mood for creating a pattern of botanical textures, rather than anything too literal. I can treat the garden as a patchwork quilt of designs and colors, seamed together with light

Painting like crazy

I’m painting and framing like crazy on deadline for three different shows; updates coming soon. In the meantime, so you don’t think I’m slacking, here’s one from the archives …

Santa Barbara Glow – 7 1/2 x 11″ – acrylic

Cherry Reflections – Daily Painting

“Cherry Reflections” – 8 x 10 oil on canvas –

Here’s a detail of the painting. Actual size of this cherry is about 1 3/4″ across. Click to enlarge.