Moonstone Beach Sunset Cambria Plein Air Oil Painting Seascape by Karen Winters

Moonstone Beach Sunset
6 x 8″ plein air study
oil on linen panel
April 2010

This past week I was up in Central California for a California Art Club paintout on San Luis Obispo Land Conservancy lands. The locations were beautiful, but we got rained out inland several days in a row. One day we headed for the coastline where the weather was very cold and windy but clear. At sunset I painted this small study.

How windy was it? Check out the front of my broad-brimmed hat, below. It doesn’t normally flip up in the air like that. It was also too windy to use my easel on a tripod so I held my EasyL easel on my lap. A furniture pad provided some padding and protection from the cold. Brrrrr. We finished off the evening with a dinner at a nearby Moonstone Beach restaurant, then headed back to our motel in SLO, to rest up for another day.

Wagner Ring Cycle Painting – Los Angeles – Wotan the Wanderer – for California Art Club show

The Wanderer’s Journey
(Wotan as the Wanderer)
24 x 18 oil on canvas

This painting has been selected to be included in a special exhibition coordinated with the production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle in Los Angeles this May.
It will be exhibited, for sale, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of The Angels from May 10-July 16
For more information about the CAC’s participation in this festival.

This painting depicts a moment in the opera “Siegfried’ when an aged Wotan (Odin) takes on the guise of a wanderer to roam the earth. Weary and downtrodden, he seeks out wisdom from the earth mother, Erda, who sleeps in her cave. His two companion ravens, Thought and Memory, accompany him on his journey. His hand clenches his ash spear.

My model for this painting is a much younger man, but he is Nordic so I thought that this would be a good starting point for the exploration.

I’ve been gone on a painting trip to Central California with the California Art Club, and was in such a hurry to make preparations for the weeklong paintout that I didn’t have a chance to post this before. The paint out was fun, but marred by a rainstorm that hit on the 2nd day and continued throughout our time there. We stayed on, though, catching patches of sunshine and moving around San Luis Obispo Country to find places where the light was better. All in all, it was a wonderful trip, and I’ll be posting some of my plein air paintings here soon.

Pasadena Arroyo Bridges – Colorado Street Bridge Oil Painting

“Pasadena Arroyo Bridges – featuring the Colorado Street Bridge”
9 x 12 oil

This plein air painting was done about a month ago and I thought I had posted it to my blog but just realized that I had not. So, here it is. It was painted as part of a paint out for the California Art Club.

The viewpoint is from the east side of the arroyo, near the Casita del Arroyo, looking westward.

And speaking of the CAC, we had a fantastic time last night at the 100th anniversary celebration party of the California Art Club, held at the California Club in downtown LA. The champagne flowed freely and it was fun to see so many early California impressionist paintings decorating the walls of the club, as well as some paintings by some new California masters. It was a pleasure seeing so many old friends and making some new ones, too. No other organization does so much to preserve and promote the beauty of California as portrayed through traditional fine art, and I am always pleased to take part in their many activities. If you’re a traditional fine artist, you really should join.

These are bittersweet times for us, with many mixed emotions. On one hand I’m blessed with so many new opportunities related to art, including my show at the Bowers Museum which will hang this Friday the 16th. On the other hand our almost 12 year old American bulldog Ripley has suddenly become seriously ill and we will probably need to say goodbye in a few days. Feeling intense joy and grief is part of life, and as the wise man said … “this too shall pass …” both the very good and the very sad. I pray for equanimity during these times, savoring good memories of the past and holding optimistic expectations for the future.

California Seascape Malibu Oil Painting – Radiant Shore

Radiant Shore
Malibu coastline
18 x 24
oil on canvas

I’ll be taking this new painting to a Malibu art show this Sunday at Headwaters corner at Topanga and Mulholland (11-5 pm) for the spring show of the Allied Artists. The craggy rocks of the shoreline glisten in the light of the setting sun as the incoming tide surges through the nooks and crannies. I love how the colors intensify as the sun nears the horizon. Once again nature presents us with the perfect complementary color scheme of warms against cools, red-yellow-orange against blues and violets.

These days I’m trying to balance my time between getting handout materials ready for my solo exhibition at the Bowers Museum, keeping up with commissions and sales (shipped three yesterday) and thinking ahead about the California Art Club paint-out in San Luis Obispo for the week of April 17. Life (and art) are good, and all-absorbing!

California Poppies – Pasadena’s Arlington Garden Landscape Oil Painting

In a Poppy Garden
8 x 6″ plein air painting
oil on panel


Late yesterday afternoon, after painting at Descanso, we went for a walk in Pasadena and I took a pre-sunset hour or so to paint this small study of a beautiful Mediterranean garden in Pasadena on Arlington St, just off Orange Grove.

Along with poppies we saw blooming ceanothus, apricot mallows, climbing roses, penstemons, irises, bulbines and many other drought-tolerant Mediterranean and California plants. All inspiring as we convert one of our yards into a drought tolerant garden. While we were there we had the chance to meet Betty and Charles McKenney, the founders of this wonderful city refuge, and to learn about some of the plants and the history of the project. I’ve been a visitor to the garden many times in the past three years, but getting to meet the folks behind it was a special treat. The garden is continuing work in progress and it’s delightful to see its evolution.

Azalea Garden Plein Air Painting – Descanso Gardens

Descanso Gardens Azaleas
9 x 12 oil on linen panel

Along with the bountiful spring bulbs at Descanso, the azaleas are in full bloom, a temptation for the plein air painter. This scene prompted me to paint mostly with red-green complements.

Wishing everyone a beautiful Easter!

Owens River Painting – Landscape with White Mountains, Eastern Sierra Trout fishing spot

“Big Trout near Big Pine”
11 x 14 oil on canvas

This fishing spot on the Owens River, near Big Pine is surrounded by beauty. The White Mountains are seen in the distance, part of the Inyo National Forest. On a crisp fall day, the cottonwoods are just beginning to turn, and the river is abundant with trout. I’ll bet this painting will bring back some fond memories for fishers young and old.

This is one of the many new paintings which I’ll be bringing to my show at the Bowers Museum Tangata Restaurant, opening April 17 in Santa Ana. A portion of the proceeds of the sales will go to support the California Art Council.

If you have a question or or would like to find out if a painting is still available for sale…..

Write Me