Sierra Oil Painting – Lundy Creek Aspens – Eastern Sierra Landscape by Karen Winters KWinters

Eastern Sierra Oil Painting
“Lundy Creek Aspens”
12 x 12 inches
Oil on linen panel

More Sierra Nevada paintings here

As you go up Lundy Creek, after passing by the lake, you encounter two beaver ponds. There is evidence of a lot of beaver activity, (fallen gnawed logs) but the crew has never been working the times we’ve been there. Perhaps they were hiding out in their lodges until the humans went away. This stand of aspens were in the process of changing from green to gold, which made them look frosted on top. Later they would be yellow and orange – another equally dazzling combination.

California Plein Air Vineyard Painting – Vineyard Dawn Temecula

Vineyard Dawn, Temecula
Wine Country Oil Painting
8 x 10 inches
oil on linen plein air painting

See more of my vineyard paintings here

This is another in the group of paintings that I did recently at the Falkner Vineyard in Temecula, in San Diego County’s wine country. We arose early so that I could be in the vineyard as the sun came up over the distant hills. The light cloud cover kept the sun from shining quite so sharply in my eyes, which was a real benefit.

This painting was shot under warm incandescent light. Under outdoor light or window light, it will probably look a little bit different. It’s amazing how different things look under different lighting conditions – for example, outdoors while I am painting something, and indoors in a gallery or living room setting, depending upon the color temperature of the lighting instruments.

Some time in the next month, I hope to get up into central and northern California wine country to paint in some of those vineyards. If you know of some particularly beautiful ones, I’d love to hear your recommendations.

High Sierra landscape miniature oil painting – This Side of Paradise – by Karen Winters

“This Side of Paradise”
Bishop, California
Eastern Sierra oil painting
6 x 8″ miniature
Oil on linen panel

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This little study features an area along highway 395 near the Sherwin grade, as the road climbs out of Bishop and leads up to June Lake and Mammoth Lakes.
In October the aspens are starting their transition from green to gold, and the first dusting of snow can be seen on the high peaks. The grazing meadows have turned golden and fairly glow in the afternoon sun.

This painting is for sale. It was photographed under bright incandescent light, indoors. It may look warmer or cooler on your monitor.

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Sunset Walk – Los Osos Central Coast California Oil Painting by Karen Winters KWinters

Sunset Walk
Los Osos, Central California
Oil Painting
9″ x 12″
oil on canvas on hardboard

See more of my California Central Coast paintings here

When we were in the Central Coast area of California last spring, this scene suddenly caught my eye as we were driving back from Montana de Oro. The towering eucalyptus trees (a favorite of mine) framed a long walkway into the sunset. Although it’s a simple composition, it puts me back in that place with the dusty road, the sweet smell of gum trees, the haze in the air and the sun lowering and glowing through it all.

Last Sunday, we had the rare opportunity to watch a demonstration by noted painter Mian Situ for the California Art Club. It’s one of the many things that I really appreciate about being a member – there are so many occasions to learn something new and to be inspired by the “greats.” In addition to doing a masterful portrait in a very short period of time, Mian’s endearing personality and generous sharing of information made the occasion all the more special.

California Vineyard Painting – Morning at the Vineyard – Karen Winters

“Morning at the Vineyard
Plein Air Oil Painting
9 x 12 oil on linen panel”

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Last Saturday we spent an enjoyable but busy day at the Falkner Vineyard 2010 invitational paint out hosted by Segil Fine Art. The weather was fine, starting with a stunning pink clouded dawn (painting to follow in a few days), a hot air balloon launch, and the glory of vines turning golden.

I will be taking this painting – along with many others – to the Montrose Artwalk this Saturday, November 13 – corner of Ocean View and Honolulu. Look for me by the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

Carpinteria Bluffs Painting – Central California landscape by Karen Winters – KWinters

Carpinteria Bluffs Sunset
Oil Painting 8 x 10

See more of my California Central Coast paintings here

The end of the day at Carpinteria bluffs provides an opportunity to work out with the secondary colors – orange, violet and green. The Santa Ynez mountains glow in the fading light.

Ecologically, this is described as a coastal sage environment. Typically you will find black sage, white sage, California buckwheat (the reddish brown plant, in fall) as well as toyon and brittlebrush.

The Spanish colonists named the area Carpinteria because this was a place where Native American Chumash people once built their sea-going canoes (using tar which oozes naturally from the sea bed.) Carpinteria is spanish for “carpenter shop.”

Yosemite Half Dome Oil Painting – California Sierra Landscape – Karen Winters KWinters

Half Dome, Yosemite
Oil painting on canvas
8 x 10 inches


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In the summer, Half Dome, the iconic representation of Yosemite (it’s even their park logo) rises about a meadow filled with marshy grasses and strewn with wildflowers. When we were there in mid summer, I noticed something moving not far from me in the meadow. Suddenly, a large mule deer stood up. He had four prongs on each antler so I guess that would make him an 8-point buck. After looking around and seeing us, he casually walked a few yards, then settled down again. I got a decent photo of him. Maybe I’ll paint that some day.

Sierra Breezes Oil Painting – California Sierra Landscape by Karen Winters KWinters

Sierra Breezes
11 x 14 oil on canvas
Sierra oil painting


More Sierra Nevada paintings here

For the last few years, fall means visits to the Sierra and, at its feet, the Owens Valley. Not only do I love it for its serenity but also the exhilarating complementary color palette. This time of year everything is orange/gold and blue. Leaves tumble with every breeze that passes through. Sometimes a storm barrels through and turns a brilliantly colored tree into a sleeping skeleton in one night. My attempt in this painting was to capture a more gentle mood near Bishop – a lightly breezy day before the soon-to-arrive storms.

In a little less than 2 weeks, I’ll be taking some of my new work to the last Montrose Art Walk of the year. This will be my last outdoor show this season.