California Desert Landscape – Owens Valley Oil Painting

Owens Valley Morning
12 x 16 inches
oil on canvas

The eastern Sierra Nevada is a place of many different textures, moods and biomes, depending where you look. Just a short distance from some of the cottonwood groves I’ve painted is this desert like area with sagebrush and other desert wildflowers. Being an Angeleno, I have to confess that the Owens Valley was not a desert before Mulholland secured (grabbed) the water rights for Los Angeles. And it is true that the DWP is restoring water to the area, which is helping to bring back some of the native flora and fauna.

If you look carefully in the background of this painting, off to the right, you’ll see some brushy trees. That’s where the Owens River is flowing in this location. The range in the background is the White Mountians.


  1. Jo Castillo
    January 28, 2009

    Karen, this is just beautiful. Of course, I am a desert lover. Thanks for sharing the info.

  2. Timaree
    January 29, 2009

    I went and looked up the area on a map. This painting makes me feel at home even though I am in Arizona! We always seem to have a little bit of green with so much brown so this looks like what I expect to see here. Very nice.

  3. chris hack
    January 30, 2009

    hi there…

    a fellow blogger recently sent me a favourite blog award. details are on my latest post on my blog (the rules and stuff). the idea is that you nominate 8 other blogs you like. and then they in turn do the same. i thought it was such a lovely idea… and have picked you fantastic blog as one of mine. hope you like.

    and keep up the fantastic work. which is such a constant daily inspiration for me.


  4. Kathleen Rietz
    January 31, 2009

    Karen, I do so love the colors you choose! Your paintings are always so alive.

  5. Vyolet
    April 17, 2011

    You’re the grteaest! JMHO

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