A Wedding Painting in Arizona – Karen Winters Live Event Painter

The Wedding Reception of Stacey and Todd
May 1, 2010 – Scottsdale, AZ
24 x 36
SOLD – wedding oil painting on canvas

This week I shipped the painting I’ve been working on over the past few months – a wedding painting based upon plein air sketches done at the event. I heard tonight that it had been happily received by the newlyweds who are no doubt reliving memories of a wonderful event.

My on-site study provided all the information I needed to do this studio piece for their new home. They were a pleasure to work with every step of the process, and I hope this piece will bring them joy for many years to come.

The couple selected the wedding reception location based in part on the beauty of the courtyard tree, illuminated at night, so that was the focus of the painting. They were not interested in having recognizable people, but rather wanted to capture the mood and romance of the setting, allowing the forms of the guests to merge with the background as abstract shapes.

The clutter of tables and chairs would also be a distraction, so we eliminated them. On the night of the reception, the lights didn’t work in the bougainvillea in the background, but I painted them as they would have been had the lighting gone as planned. Improvisation is part of the plein air painter’s bag of tricks – and with each experience we learn new ways to adapt and create.

A lot of people ask me if it stresses me out to do this kind of painting. Surprisingly, it doesn’t. Maybe it’s because I do a lot of live event painting – the first time was certainly more challenging. But I think it’s also that the happiness of the event keeps my energy going. And as a live event painter I’m there not only to capture a visual impression of the evening but to be one of the “cast of players” who provide entertainment. Interacting with the guests and talking about what I’m doing is part of the job. So my husband and I made a weekend of it, enjoying the sights of Sedona along the way, making memories and charming new friends, too.

Have a wedding coming up in California or the western states?
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Cambria Pines Oil Painting – Santa Rosa Creek Trail, Central Coast, California

“Cambria Pines Sunset”
(on the Santa Rosa Creek Trail)
Oil Painting
16 x 12 inches
Oil on Canvas

Among the places we painted in Central Coast was the Santa Rosa Creek Trail, which goes inland from Cambria.
The trail is a part of the land cared for by the San Luis Obispo Land Conservancy, which hosted us on our paint out.
Santa Rosa Creek winds through beautiful hills and valleys until it finds its outlet.

See more of my Cambria paintings here

Bishop Peak Oil Painting, San Luis Obispo, Central Coast California Art

“Farm at Bishop Peak”
San Luis Obispo, Central Coast
oil painting
14 x 18 inches

See more of my California Central Coast paintings here

When I was painting in San Luis Obispo County earlier this spring with the California Art Club, I was especially attracted to the numerous large peaks that rise from the city of San Luis Obispo out to the sea, the last of which is Morro Rock. Bishop Peak (sometimes called Bishop’s Peak) is one of the Nine Sisters. Technically they are “volcanic plugs,” and the volcanoes that rose above them are long gone. Bishop Peak is the tallest of the formations, and it was noted in the diary of John Muir who wrote:

“The trail brings the traveler suddenly in sight of
Bishop Peak … The town is fairly encircled with beautiful hills…
the one just named being most conspicuous.”

The soft afternoon light and atmospheric mist from the sea made this a picture of rural tranquility that held great appeal for me.

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco painting – Baker Beach Oil Painting

“Golden Grandeur”
San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge oil painting
18 x 24 oil on canvas

The Golden Gate bridge stretches gracefully across the bay as sailboats return from a day’s excursion. The viewpoint is from Baker Beach, the romantic site of countless wedding proposals and weddings.

I’m so accustomed to doing Colorado Street Bridge paintings (Pasadena, California) that I thought it was about time that I painted one of the most famous bridges of all. To be sure, it won’t be the last time.

The day we were out there it was cool and breezy and the fog and clouds were swirling around the bridge in beautiful patterns. When we viewed the bridge later, the sky was crystal clear. The following morning, from our hotel room, all we could see of the bridge was the tops of the tallest towers. It was quite a view.

Click this link to write me.

Pasadena Rose Bowl Painting – First Night Fireworks – Pasadena Pops

“First Night Fireworks
Pasadena Pops at the Rose Bowl”

16 x 12 oil on wood panel

See more Pasadena and Rose Bowl paintings here

This painting is the 2nd place winner of the 2010 Pasadena Artwalk Competition. The Artwalk will be held Saturday, October 9, from 10 – 5 pm on El Molino Street in Pasadena, between Colorado Blvd. and Green Street.

The theme of this year’s Artwalk competition was “Art and Culture in Pasadena.” Because the Pasadena Pops and Pasadena Symphony orchestras bring so much cultural richness to the city, I decided to paint the closing act of the first show of the 2010 season. This year, the Pops is at a new venue on the lawn next to the Rose Bowl and fireworks provided an exciting finish to the June concert. I have not painted fireworks before (and this was a studio painting, not from life) but it was a lot of fun to do. Who knows, there may be other explosions in my future. Look closely and you’ll see that of course, there are eucalyptus trees in it – silhouetted by the pyrotechnics.

In 2008, this painting of mine, “El Molino Afternoon,” took First Prize and went home with a nice family who lived on the street.

Avalon Harbor Catalina Island Oil Painting – Avalon Dreams

“Avalon Dreams”
Avalon Harbor Oil Painting
8 x 10 inches

This is the last of my 5 paintings that will be exhibited at Segil Fine Art Source Gallery in Monrovia – reception is Saturday, September 11 from 5 – 7 pm

This viewpoint of Avalon Harbor is from Mt. Ada, which receives the first light on the island in the morning, and the last rays of light at sunset. Mt. Ada was named for Ada Wrigley, wife of William Wrigley, who purchased 99% of the island of Catalina in the 1919.

This Saturday and Sunday from 10 – 4 I’ll be showing work at the Bowers Museum Invitational Show and Sale. The Bowers is on Main Street in Santa Ana, just off the 5 freeway. I hope you can come.

Catalina Painting – Catalina Harbor Painting – pastel – at Two harbors

Catalina Harbor painting, a pastel painting of Cat Harbor at Twin Harbors, Catalina Island/

Catalina painting
Catalina Harbor sunset
(at Two Harbors)
8 x 16 inches

See more Catalina Island paintings here

This is another of my paintings that will be exhibited at Segil Fine Art Source Gallery in Monrovia – reception is Saturday, September 11 from 5 – 7 pm

Catalina Harbor is also known as “Cat Harbor” – it’s on the opposite side of the island from Avalon, and faces south, out to sea, rather than the mainland. The warm and cool colors in this scene made it an interesting challenge to paint in pastel.

Catalina Island Oil Painting – Little Harbor, Peaceful Cove


Little Harbor, Catalina Island,
Oil painting, 16 x 20
“Peaceful Cove”

See more Catalina Island paintings here

Eucalyptus, rolling hillsides, ocean waves – this painting incorporates some of my favorite subjects and themes, and was a real pleasure to paint.