A Spring Walk – Karen Winters Daily Painting

A Spring Walk – 9 x 12 – watercolor sketch

This one is a little bit from real life, and a little bit from imagination. I embellished the wildflower strewn meadows just a tad beyond reality, but if you don’t tell, I won’t.

Ah, springtime. Our peach tree is in bloom, magnolias are covered with blossoms and the mustard is starting to blanket whole hillsides in a warm yellow glow. I’m looking forward to getting out and painting again soon, now that the rush to deliver paintings to shows is almost over. I have more deadlines ahead of me for other shows yet on the horizon, but there is a bit of a breather, at least.

And speaking of shows, the “Warm Welcome” watercolor of the Chevy Chase clubhouse garden and front door was purchased today, two days before the opening reception. I am very pleased and hope that the new owner enjoys it as much as I did painting it, although it will hang for the duration of the show. I hope this is a good omen for the rest of the show.

Someone asked me the other day if I felt stress painting to deadlines for shows and competitions. I thought for a moment and realized, yes, I feel stress, but it doesn’t feel like a negative pressure – just busy-ness. It causes me to focus and be deliberate about what I’m doing, but it’s not a bad feeling. Quite the contrary!

Did you know that there are actually two kinds of stress? One, the one we think of commonly, is actually distress. It makes us feel bad. The other kind of stress, associated with good things, is called “eustress.” Here’s a link, look it up! So when I’m painting to a deadline, I feel eustress and it actually energizes me. I think this is the kind of stress people refer to when they say “I do my best work under pressure.” Distress, on the other hand, tends to paralyze you and make you lose focus and confidence. That kind of stress makes you avoid the project instead of looking forward to the next one. So, as a long way of answering, I do feel stress, but it’s the kind that makes me want to jump out of bed in the morning and get to work, not to pull the covers over my head!

And since it’s past midnight right now, I think I’ll go pull the covers over my head and hopefully dream about walking down that spring path.


  1. SusanC
    March 13, 2008

    Karen, these are beautiful! I’m devastatingly un-artistic, but my daughter (10) loves to draw. I’m always so proud of what she does! She recently made a comic book for her science project. Thank you for the good advice. And I think one of my favorite paintings on your blog is the Feb 29, Glendale Canyon View. It looks a little Nordic. Gorgeous.

  2. Joseph Croos
    March 13, 2008

    Love your paintings!
    I am focusing more of my time finally on painting … my first interest and hobby.
    Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Your work is very inspiring and lively, keep it up! :)

  3. Tami
    March 13, 2008

    This is beautiful in it’s looseness. You are so good with your leads into a picture. I’m sure it come with practice. Thanks for all of your great tips.

  4. Becky
    March 13, 2008

    Thanks so much for the advice on large scans, Karen. I appreciate it. Thanks also for sharing your wisdom and experience, here and at EDM. And it goes without saying, beautiful work. Congrats on the sale!

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