Fishing on the Kern – California landscape oil painting – Karen Winters

“Fishing the Upper Kern”
14 x 18 oil on canvas
Not for sale – gift

This painting, a gift for our son, was painted from a photo reference he took last summer on a backpack and fishing trip to the Upper Kern River, near Johnsondale, California.

We have rafted on the Kern many times and might again, some day. I’m not crazy about class 4 and 5 rapids any more, but the little ones are just fine. I understand that this part of the river is in the Golden Trout Wilderness. I don’t know how many golden trout they caught, because the wild ones are pretty wily.

Scotland Oil Painting – Blackfaced Highlanders

Blackfaced Highlanders
14 x 18 oil on canvas
Gift, not for sale

This painting depicts one of our family’s ancestral homelands – the Isle of Skye looking toward the mainland of Scotland on the southeastern part of Skye. Many years ago we had the opportunity to visit there and, looking up the records in the Clan Donald museum, located the place where my 9g grandfathers and mothers lived and worked in the 1700s. The blackfaced sheep is one of the most common in the UK, and they still graze on these lands once occupied by crofters. Nowadays tourism is also a thriving industry.

In the 1730s, there was a large migration from that part of Skye to America, primarily to the colony of North Carolina, where our forbears, the McIvers, settled and married McKinnons, McClouds, McKenzies and many other immigrant Scots. If you come from that area, we are probably distant cousins.

This painting is a birthday gift to our daughter.

Espresso Pot – Still Life Daily Painting – Karen Winters

Java Jolt
5 x 7 inches oil on canvas panel

There was a time when I could drink espresso any time, day or evening after dinner and fall asleep like a baby. Well, a sleepy baby, not a cranky crying baby. My espresso drinking days may be over unless I can find a decaf drip. I would imagine Starbucks has something of that sort, too. Christmas Blend ground for expresso sounds pretty darn good, in fact. With steamed skim milk and a dash of hazelnut flavored syrup. Yum.

Anyway, this is our old espresso pot which has seen better days, but has been well loved and used. It hung by the handle off of a pot rack and hit the floor once, but it kept working just fine although a bit misshapen. This little painting started out as a study to see how i could render the different facets of the aluminum vessel using an Anders Zorn palette of white, black, yellow ochre and cadmium red.


California Impressionist Plein Air Landscape Painting – A Very Good Year – Falkner Winery

“A Very Good Year”
8 x 10 oil on archival canvas panel
Plein air painting – Falkner Winery – Day 2

This is the second of the three plein air paintings I did during the paintout. Because I like to put some sharp detail into my paintings, and because that can be difficult to layer when painting alla prima, sometimes I like to let a painting set up for a few days and then add those finishing touches. For esample, I added some of the eucalyptus leaves overhanging the vineyard back in the studio. I had planned for it on site but knew that it would be easier to control on a surface that wasn’t soaking wet.

California Landscape Oil Painting – Temecula – Vineyard Afternoon

Vineyard Afternoon
(Falkner Winery, Temecula, California)
9 x 12
Plein air – oil on linen panel

There’s something about the afternoon light in the Temecula and Fallbrook areas that just makes me melt when I see it. I love the soft peaches and gold tones that come around magic hour … and when it kisses the vines just so, it begs to be painted.

This is the second plein air painting I did on Day one of the Falkner Winery Invitational, courtesy of the Pasadena Art Gallery Association. I was an invitee of Segil Fine Art Source, and there were painters from Galerie Gabrie and Tirage as well. Some folks even came from as far away as Oregon for the event. We had a great time painting all day and enjoying fine vintages like “Luscious Lips” at our reception.

The weather couldn’t have been more cooperative – a morning fog burning away by 9 am, revealing beautiful blue skies and rolling hills of green and amber vines. By three o clock the haze moved back in, as you can see in this painting. I’m thinking this might make a good study for a larger painting as well.

More paintings to come ( I did three in total – two on day 1 and one on day 2. I called it quits early so I could spend some time visiting with friends old and new. )

Carmel Point Lobos California Marine Seascape Oil Painting – California Art Club Blinn House show

“Gift from the Sea”
Pt. Lobos Tide Pool – Carmel
18 x 24 oil on canvas

Over the weekend I got the good news that this painting, Gift from the Sea, which I painted over the summer, has been juried into the California Art Club’s Blinn House show at the Women’s City Club of Pasadena. This is the first seascape that I’ve submitted to the biannual show (the others have been landscapes or portraits) and I am delighted and honored that it was chosen for this exhibit.

The theme of this show is Precious Gifts, and I have entitled this painting “Gift from the Sea” both as a tip of the hat to the Anne Morrow Lindbergh book, which I have enjoyed reading repeatedly over the years, and as a tribute to the bounty that the oceans provide, both in resources, recreation and natural beauty.

The reception will be Sunday, December 6, from 5 – 7 pm at the Historic Blinn House, 160 N. Oakland Ave., Pasadena, CA

The Carmel area holds special significance for us at the Winters household because it was one of the places that we went on our honeymoon. Whenever we return there it brings back wonderful memories. It’s a location that I will always enjoy painting and was certainly a popular location among the California impressionists, notably Guy Rose.

More art show news tomorrow, and I’ll be posting my plein air paintings from the Falkner Vineyard Invitational Plein Air paint out after that.

Arches of Light – Pasadena California Colorado Street Bridge

Colorado Street Bridge Suicide Bridge oil painting

“Arches of Light” – Colorado Street Bridge in the Arroyo Seco, Pasadena
11 x 14
oil on canvas


Although this painting is sold, I have many more Pasadena paintings at this link: Pasadena paintings

This painting is a study for a larger work which I hope to be doing pretty soon – a view of the Colorado Street Bridge from an angle I’ve not painted before. This time of year the trees have not yet turned their glorious autumn colors. But soon they should be more golden, which will present other creative possibilities. This view is from the side of the arroyo between the Colorado Street Bridge and the 134 freeway bridge. The morning light makes the stone (or concrete) structure glow with beautiful colors.

Interested in a Pasadena painting?
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See more of my paintings on my website

Arroyo Seco Landmarks – Colorado Street Bridge Pasadena painting

Arroyo Landmarks
12 x 16 oil on canvas
Original oil painting


More Pasadena paintings at this link: Pasadena paintings

This is a painting I’ve been working on for awhile, and I thought it was time I finished it up while I continue progress with my fall Sierra series.
The Colorado Street Bridge (also known as the Suicide Bridge to locals) is a major Pasadena landmark, as is the Federal Courthouse, formerly the Vista Del Arroyo Hotel, which overlooks the arroyo. From a certain angle you can see both. The bridge is very tall, but surprisingly those pines are even taller.

Along with painting, I’ve been in the throes of migrating to a new computer system. My old Mac was getting slow and a few USB and Firewire drives weren’t mounting, leading us to believe that there was a problem with those buses. Fortunately I had all my files backed up, but when two of my backup hard drives went down I knew it was time to make a change. Coincidence or causality? I don’t know if the old computer could hurt the drives but I wasn’t taking any chances. Leo LaPorte (the tech guy on the radio) is fond of saying that if you don’t have your files in at least two places, you don’t have them. Even when some of my drives were heading south, I immediately backed up the data onto a new one, plus DVDs as well. I’m thinking of subscribing to Carbonite for another layer of offsite protection.

The good thing is that this new computer is much faster, which makes light work of editing photos of my paintings and organizing and cataloging my paintings.

Anyway, upgrades are a tedious and time consuming process, so I’m hopeful that now I’ll be back in the swing of posting new paintings more regularly. But you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

If you’re interested in adding this painting to your collection, please write