Carpinteria Estero Landscape Oil Painting by Karen Winters

“Carpinteria Estero”
(Central California Coast Salt Marsh)
12 x 16 landscape oil painting


See more of my Carpinteria and Santa Barbara area paintings here

There’s a beautiful salt marsh we’ve enjoyed watching for years, whenever we go to Carpinteria (and that’s been a long time.) It’s enjoyable to see the herons stilt-walking through the tall grasses in search of small fishes and wiggly eels. You never know if the tide will be in or out, because our comings and goings are not determined by tide tables, but where we happen to be on our way to … or from.

Pasadena Colorado Street Bridge Plein Air Painting – The Bridge Aglow

Colorado Street Bridge, Pasadena, oil painting from the viewpoint of the Robinson House


“The Bridge Aglow”
(Colorado Street Bridge, Pasadena)
11 x 14
Oil painting on linen panel

This painting is sold, but you can see more Pasadena paintings here

The Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena is an icon that I never tire of painting. This painting was started on site last fall, and has been waiting for me to put on the finishing touches. The viewpoint is the eastern side of the Arroyo Seco, not far from the Federal Courthouse, formerly known as the Vista Del Arroyo Hotel.

There used to be monthly California Art Club paintouts at the arroyo, but I don’t think they’re doing that any longer. I liked this viewpoint for painting the bridge because it shows it in relation to both sides of the canyon, although not the entire span.

Sunflower Garden – Descanso Gardens Landscape Oil Painting

Descanso Gardens Sunflower Garden
9 x 12 oil painting on linen
Plein air painting

See more of my Descanso Gardens paintings here

Last autumn, when the flowers were completing their blooming season at Descanso Gardens, I painted this stand of Mammoth Sunflowers, caught in the afternoon sunlight. By the way the heads were bowing, I knew they wouldn’t last too much longer. The camellias are in bloom now, and I am looking forward to the tulip show at Descanso, if they have planted them this year.

Painting note: although the underpainting was done with thin transparent darks, the opaque paint on top was painted with a very limited palette of red, yellow, blue, white and gray. Amazing how many colors you can get from those few primaries.

Windy Vineyard – Temecula Vineyard Landscape Oil Painting

“Windy Vineyard”
12 x 9 oil on canvas laid on panel
Plein air landscape, Temecula,
Falkner Vineyard. November 2010

See more of my vineyard paintings here

This was the third painting I worked on last year at the Falkner Vineyard paint out. I can’t say it was the third painting completed, because the light had changed so completely late in the afternoon (and a cloud bank rolled in) so I knew it was time to call it a day.
I finished it up back in the studio where there was considerably less wine, and a lot less wind.

The folks at the vineyard had a nice reception for us after we all finished painting for the day. After a glass of “Luscious Lips” I erroneously declared this one to be titled “Vindy Wineyard.” The alternate name stuck. So you can call it Vindy Wineyard or Windy Vineyard, depending upon how much Luscious Lips you’ve imbibed.

Have I ever mentioned here that I love to paint eucalyptuses? Only about a hundred times, right?

Karen Winters paints at Falkner Vineyard in Temecula, California

San Mateo Creek, San Clemente – California Plein Air Landscape Painting by Karen Winters

San Mateo Creek, San Clemente
9 x 12 plein air oil painting on linen panel

See more of my seascapes here

This overlook of the San Mateo Creek in San Clemente was painted last summer during the San Clemente Plein Air paint out.
I liked this location with its expansive vista of land and sea in the distance. The famous surfing spot, Trestles, is on the other side of that railroad bridge.

Grand Canyon Oil Painting – Sculpted by Time – Yavapai Point – by Karen Winters

“Sculpted by Time”
Yavapai Point, Grand Canyon
9 x 12
oil painting on linen panel
Available from Hueys Fine Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Feb. 11 – March 2011

I was happy to be learn that this painting, Sculpted by Time, will be included in the 2011 Canyonlands Show at Hueys Fine Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico. The show celebrates the beauty of the Grand Canyon and Canyon de Chelly.

I’m looking forward to visiting the canyon again sometime this winter season – perhaps combining it with a trip through northern Arizona and/or Utah. I love California but there’s a whole lot of west to explore and paint, with new vistas and new painting challenges.

One of the many things I love about the Grand Canyon is the way it naturally provides complementary colors to work with – from the red rock chiseled cliffs to the blue of the sky and distant mountains.

California Central Coast Plein Air Oil Painting – Farm near Nipomo

“Farm Near Nipomo”
8 x 10 oil painting
Central Coast, California, San Luis Obispo County

to a collector in Buffalo, NY

See more of my California Central Coast paintings here

This is the 2nd of three plein air paintings I did last spring in Nipomo, near the Dana Adobe. If you look at my previous painting posted a few days ago, you’ll see some trees and buildings in the distance. This is a “closeup” of one of those clusters of habitation. Because I wasn’t inclined to move my whole setup, I simply changed my point of view to “zoom in” so to speak, and continued with a new field study.

California Landscape Plein Air Painting San Luis Obispo County – Nipomo


Golden Hillside
(near Nipomo San Luis Obispo County)
9 x 12 plein air oil painting on linen panel

See more of my California Central Coast paintings here

This is a plein air painting that I did last springtime with the California Art Club in San Luis Obispo. We were at a historical location, the Dana Adobe, in Nipomo, and the weather was perfect. I got three paintings done that day. The next day a rainstorm moved in from the north. The fields of mustard liked it, but it wasn’t hospitable to painters. The day after this was painted we went to Moonstone Beach in Cambria (see earlier posts for those paintings.)

Paso Robles Vineyard Oak California Landscape Oil Painting

“Paso Robles Vineyard Oak”
8 x 10 oil painting on canvas on hardboard

See more of my vineyard paintings here

See more of my California Central Coast paintings here

See more of my landscapes here

The Paso Robles wine growing area has developed so much over the past few years. Every time we take a trip through there we see new vineyards and new plantings. Oaks seem to be iconic in these vineyards. Although it appears that most of the barrels are actually made in France rather than from domestic oaks, I like that some are preserved to add their beauty to the landscape.

Mt. Whitney Portal Lone Pine painting – Eastern Sierra Nevada Landscape oil painting by Karen Winters

“The Way to Mt. Whitney”
(Lone Pine, Eastern Sierra, Mt. Whitney Portal)
18 x 24 inches
Oil painting on canvas


Although this painting is sold, find more Sierra Nevada paintings here

These days I’ve been completing some of my Sierra paintings that I’ve been working on for awhile. During the holidays things got so busy that I didn’t have the time to bring them to finish.

Interesting facts about Mt. Whitney and the Lone Pine area:

Mt. Whitney (slightly right of center in the painting) is the highest mountain the lowest 48 states, and is the most-climbed peak in the Sierra and one of the most climbed mountains in the US. It is composed of granite and is a “jointed” formation. Looking at Whitney from its east face, a formation known as “The Needles” is directly to the left.

There is little rainfall most of the year, so the eastern slopes reflect that climate. Below there are alpine forests, but at the higher reaches greenery is scarce, dominated by gray granite.