California Sierra Cottonwood Trail – Impressionist Landscape Oil Painting

“Cottonwood Trail”
20 x 16 oil on canvas
(near Bishop, California)

This painting has been SOLD, but I have more sierra paintings here:

More Sierra Nevada paintings here

As the seasons change, I am following along, brush in hand, capturing the colors that nature provides. This scene is from the Owens Valley, in the foothills of the Sierra, not far from the Owens River, which I hear has some great fishing these days. The cottonwoods shimmer in the morning light, their orange leaves making a nice complement to the deep blue sky.

I’m going to guess that this is a Fremont Cottonwood (populus fremontii) which is common in lowlands, close to streams. I’ve heard that you can take a twig and stick it into moist ground and it will quickly root. Maybe that’s why you see so many cottonwoods used as windbreaks out in rural pastures. You can just imagine the farmers sticking branches in the ground at reasonable intervals. These were wild ones, however … they didn’t look as though they had been planted in any careful way.

If you notice some other cottonwoods on the right (to the rear) that are still green, that is very typical of the foliage this year. You’ll see trees fully turned growing next to others of the same species that are still wearing their summer look. Wind and weather create some interesting effects, as you’ll see in some of the other paintings I’ll post in the future.

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  1. Jo Castillo
    October 30, 2009

    Karen, this is lovely and great job with the complements. Your thumbnails on your website look so neat. Fun to see so many of your beautiful paintings on a page. :)

  2. Sandra
    October 31, 2009

    I always check out your new paintings and enjoy your information about the painting and locations.. Everything you paint inspires me.

  3. William Tomany
    October 31, 2009

    Beautiful painting Karen

  4. Marian Fortunati
    October 31, 2009

    Gosh, Karen… it seems that the Bishop/Mammoth area has inspired an extra special spark in your work… they are all among my favorites!

  5. Karen
    October 31, 2009

    Fall is my favorite time of year, no doubt about it (with spring a close second). I just love the warm colors. Thank you all!

  6. Susan Hosken
    October 31, 2009

    Karen, It is so nice to be back at EDM after a long break. I always loved seeing your wonderful water colors. It is spring here. I loved our last autumn and am doing a page on my artist journal to celebrate.
    Happy Halloween.
    lots of love from susan in australia

  7. Yvonne
    November 1, 2009

    Hi Karen,

    Beautiful painting, love the juxtaposition of the blocks of blues and orange sections and also the handling of the negative blue brush strokes

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