Glendale Canyon view – Karen Winters Daily Painting

“Canyon View” 16 x 20 oil on canvas

Towering deodar trees frame a hillside overlooking Chevy Chase Canyon in Glendale, California. There is a little park where Linda Vista meets Figueroa. if you hike down a trail out of the park, this is the view.

This is one of six paintings I’ll be bringing to the “Artists of the Canyon” group exhibition opening March 14 at the Chevy Chase Country Club in Glendale, California. The reception is on Friday the 14th.

Oak Byway – Pastel by Karen Winters

Oak Byway – 11.5″ x 9″ – pastel on paper

After working almost exclusively in oil for the past year (with a few sidetrips into watercolor,) I felt like taking out my pastels for a little experimentation. I’m going to be doing a larger pastel painting in the near future, so this is a bit of a warmup.

No matter what the medium, some things remain the same: color, shape, value, composition, edge definition, stroke, perspective and techniques like negative painting. It’s different holding a stick of pigment between one’s fingers rather than wielding a brush, but much of the experience is quite similar to oil painting. In this project I started with a coffee colored paper which you can see peeking through here and there. I selected the paper to provide a mid-tone starting point for the large tree mass.

Mountain Lake – Karen Winters Daily Painting

SOLD – “Spring Thaw at a Mountain Lake” 11 x 14 watercolor

Although it may seem that I’ve been missing in action, I’ve been busily working on many deadlines for different shows, and now some of that is behind me. Other deadlines loom, but they’re at a manageable distance. I took a little time tonight to work on this simple watercolor of a mountain scene, using a limited color palette of ultramarine blue, thalo blue, burnt sienna and sap green. I picked up an interesting tip from artist Al Setton, who I watched demonstrate a few nights ago. When he paints in watercolor or acrylic he keeps three rinse water containers. One for rinsing warm colors, one for cool and one clear water. When you’re painting in a hurry and don’t want to take the time to rinse twice (once in dirty water, once in clear) – if you consistently use the right rinse water before continuing with the same color, you won’t have much of a problem. It’s when you rinse in greenish water and then try to paint red that you can get in big trouble.

Hillside Dancers

“Hillside Dancers”
5 x 7 watercolor on paper

As spring approaches, the rain makes the colors all run together, wildly coursing down the hillside.
Thalo and gamboge, sap green and ochres … all rushing headlong in a vernal frenzy.

Eaton Canyon Trail – Pasadena – Karen Winters Plein Air Daily Painting

Eaton Canyon Trail
8 x 10 oil on canvasboard
A plein air adventure SOLD

Although I had a wonderful time enjoying the company of my art pal Wendee while painting out in nature, today, just about everything that could go wrong, did.

When we got to the location, I discovered that I had left my palette at home. I had brushes and paint but no palette. After rooting around in the trunk of the car I found an empty Fedex envelope that served the purpose.

When you absolutely, positively have to paint.

It was quite breezy out there. So breezy, in fact, that the panel kept flying off the easel and landing on the palette. Yuk. So I ended up holding the painting in one hand (like the palette I didn’t have) instead of on the easel. It worked out ok.

By the time I got this far, the light had changed too much to continue. So I took a picture and finished it at home, in studio. (As above.) Thus ends the tale of lemonade from lemons, and one woman’s determination to enjoy her paintout day, no matter what.

Sycamores and Sand

Sycamores and Sand – 5 x 7 acrylic on canvas on board
Click for actual size painting

Colors are strongest at sunset and dawn. In this miniature painting of a winter sunrise, the dawn touches wildflowers and clinging sycamore leaves and makes them shimmer. The location is near Palm Springs in one of the canyons where water and plant life are abundant.

­ May 2008 American Art Collector Ad

Here’s the Daily Painters ad for May’s American Art Collector magazine –
My painting is the seascape in the upper right hand corner
I’m one of the juried artists at Daily Painters a collective of professional artists who paint and post daily. That particular 16 x 20 inch oil painting sold last year, but I have others (smile.)

In fact, I have a new landscape to post – which will be coming up soon …

Tulip Magnolia – Karen Winters Daily Painting

Tulip Magnolia – 7.25 x 7.25 inches – watercolor

The magnolias have arrived in all their glory. A procession of bloom should follow for a month or so, so I’m going to make the most of it while I can. In some parts of town the trees are in full bloom, while in other microclimates the trees still have bare sticks with only the slightest hint of bud swelling. And although it’s confusing to me how that happens, it only means that the bloom will last longer. Perhaps it has to do with differences of species, I don’t know.

Foo Dog

While I work on some large paintings, here’s a small watercolor sketch of a lion dog, also known as a foo dog. It is one of two guardians of the new Chinese garden, opening very soon at the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino. According to this article the one I drew is the female because she has a cub underneath her paw. The pair of foo dogs stand by the pathway that leads to the new feature of these beautiful gardens.

Camellia Blossom – Karen Winters Daily Painting

Camellia Blossom – 11 x 14 oil on canvas

Camellias bloom in Los Angeles anytime from November to spring, depending upon the species. These are the first in a botanical series which I’m starting work on. There was a certain learning curve as I worked to render the delicacy of the petals. I’m used to painting camellias in watercolor, but it’s quite different in oil. To do the finish on this I was using sable brushes as small as size 0.

There is nothing like trying something new, whether it’s an entirely different subject, different style, different medium or different species to force yourself to GROW. Each painting is like a puzzle to be solved and only you can solve it.

Closeup of big blossom – click to enlarge