Santa Barbara Meadow – Karen Winters California Impressionist Oil Painting

Santa Barbara Meadow (at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden)
12 x 16 oil on canvas

Whenever we visit Santa Barbara, I try to make some time to visit their beautiful botanic garden which features native plants in natural settings. Last week my husband went to a seminar up in Santa Barbara and I tagged along to take pictures, visit the museum and the mission and of course, the botanic garden. It was late afternoon when I arrived there, but close to the solstice the days are long. Although the poppies were gone many other summer perennials were blooming, surrounded by sages and plants of every texture and description. The experience has persuaded me to turn part of our yard into a natives habitat – and then not worry so much about watering!

Granted, Santa Barbara’s coastal climate is most likely moister and more even in temperature than our inland valley, but I saw plants that I think would be at home with us.

This is one of the paintings I’ll likely be bringing to our show at Descanso starting August 23, unless it finds a home before then.


  1. Mindy
    July 23, 2008

    I find this piece to be so peaceful. I love it! I’m in California as well and I find so many subjects to draw and paint, even though I’m truly a newbie.

  2. Windsong
    July 24, 2008

    Gosh, Karen, this is gorgeous! The colors are just lovely!

  3. Marva Plummer-Bruno
    July 24, 2008

    This is just beautiful! Would love to be able to paint nice and loose like that……. Marva

  4. Brenda
    July 24, 2008

    What a gorgeous scene and you’ve captured lovely soft colors. I agree, our solid blue skies certainly can be boring when painting – ha ha. They are a beautiful blue, but really have no personality. I’ve not been to the SB botanical gardens and simply MUST put it on my “to go” list.

  5. Sharon
    July 24, 2008


    I have been meaning to comment for a while. I was born in Pasadena and have a relative in Wisconsin so many of your paintings are like going home. Your style is so beautiful and rich. You wrote once that you did not have formal training and aren’t you glad, for they probably would have sent you off in a whole different direction and then we would have missed this vision you bring to your work.

  6. Karen
    July 24, 2008

    Mindy, yes we certainly do have a richness of subject matter here, don’t we?

    Windsong and Marva, thank you.

    Brenda, yes I think you will enjoy the gardens a lot

    Sharon, thank you for your comment yes, there is a connection there. Although I don’t have formal (art school) training, I have been studying with a number of very good painters for the past few years and I treasure what they’ve taught me. I also take workshops with excellent demonstrators, so that has been a good experience as well.

    My artist friend Laura Wambsgans said to me the other day …”it is said that in the beginning a painter paints like everyone … then they paint like their teacher … and finally they paint like themself. I am still exploring a lot of different approaches to painting, and taking what I like and leaving the rest. One of the artists of the past who has influenced me the most lately is George Inness – his work straddles realism and impressionism, with a lot of tonalism for good measure. Because I like all of those movements, I feel “at home” with his (later) style.

  7. Donn
    July 24, 2008

    Beautiful, as usual. Your oil paintings are really great. Really liked your ocean one too.

  8. Ann
    July 24, 2008

    Lovely. I really like the mood created by the soft light in this.

  9. Margaret Hunt
    July 24, 2008

    another beauty!! good luck with the show…we have one going up in OMG sept…did i say i am NOT ready

  10. Deb
    July 24, 2008

    Gorgeous colors! It’s splendid!!!!

  11. Marian Fortunati
    July 24, 2008

    You will probably need to keep painting as I’ll bet this one finds a home before your show! Very very nice.
    You obviously have leaned quite a lot in your studies and seem to have a beautiful “voice” as you paint! Who ARE those teachers you’ve studied with?

  12. Barb Pask
    July 24, 2008

    Beautiful! I love the colors in this.

  13. delph
    July 25, 2008

    What a beautiful, peaceful scenery! Love the colors and openness (is that a word?), it’s very soothing!

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