Eastern Sierra Bishop Cottonwood Oil Painting Art by California landscape painter Karen Winters

Cottonwood Road, early autumn
9 x 12 inches
Bishop, eastern sierra nevada oil painting
SOLD, but I have more Sierra and cottonwood paintings, see link below

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September is just around the corner, and soon the cottonwoods of the Owens Valley, in the shadow of the Sierra, will be starting to turn from green to gold. This transitional period provides an interesting color palette as the warm colors overtake the cool leafy shades.

Pasadena City Hall Oil Painting – Rainy Night – California Art Club Show at the Old Mill

A Rainy Night at City Hall
(Pasadena, California)
14 x 11 inch oil painting

This painting will be included in the next California Art Club show at the Old Mill in San Marino as part of the ten-year anniversary celebration: Urban California II. The address for the Old Mill is 1120 Old Mill Road, San Marino, CA.

The show will run from September 7, 2011 through January 8, 2012, with an artists reception on Thursday, September 15, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.

I loved the colors as they shimmered in the wet pavement. The scene reminded me of those architectural renderings of buildings, where the sidewalks and streets are always shiny and fresh as though it has just rained.

Lone Pine Afternoon – Mt. Whitney Sierra Landscape Oil Painting by Karen Winters

“Lone Pine Afternoon”
(Lone Pine Mountain, Mt. Whitney Portal, Eastern Sierra)
14 x 18 inches oil painting on canvas

As fall approaches, my thoughts turn to the color of the eastern Sierra, one of my favorite places to paint. I’m hoping I’ll get away for more Sierra painting this year, but show commitments might prevent that. We’ll have to play it by ear.

Batiquitos Lagoon, Carlsbad Plein Air Oil Painting – Batiquitos View – by contemporary California impressionist Karen Winters

Batiquitos Lagoon View
9 x 12 plein air oil painting
Carlsbad, California wetlands landscape art


Yesterday, my husband and I went to Carlsbad, CA (in San Diego County) where I fell in love with this beautiful eucalyptus guarding the trail to the Batiquitos lagoon. The tide seemed to be fully in at the time of our visit – late afternoon. This is the second time I’ve painted Batiquitos, and I expect it won’t be the last. Anywhere that there are eucalyptus trees and water is a winner with me. I was surprised to see so much green still in the grasses, considering that it is approaching the driest time of the year. But there was a lot of humidity in the air, so maybe that helps.

Here’s a previous Batiquitos painting which was based on a study like the one above.

Batiquitos Path
20 x 24 oil on canvas

California impressionist landscape painting – Autumn on the Trail – La Canada Flintridge Art by Karen Winters

“Autumn on the Trail”
Flint Canyon Trail, La Canada Flintridge, California
Near Pasadena’s Arroyo Seco

11 x 14 inches
oil on canvas

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The equestrian and jogging trails that wind through La Canada Flintridge are overhung with sycamore, oak and eucalyptus trees. In the fall the colors meld and fairly glow with the warm light. This stretch of trail is near Berkshire Avenue, and is popular with hikers, joggers and horseback riders alike.

The fun part of painting this, for me, was rendering the different textures of bark, turning leaves, green foliage, etc. Sycamores have a distinctively different look from eucalyptus trees, and their bark reflects light in a different way. In an area like this, the bright light is bouncing off the fallen leaves and reflecting up into the trunks and branches in interesting ways. I decided to restrict this painting to a secondary triadic color scheme (orange, green, violet) which was natural for the time of year.

To learn more about La Canada Trails, visit The La Canada Trails Council website

Laguna Beach Main Beach Sunset Oil Painting – “Laguna Main Beach Sunset” by California Impressionist Karen Winters

Laguna Main Beach Sunset
8 x 10 oil painting
Linen plein air panel

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Beautiful days and glorious sunsets … no wonder Laguna Beach is such a romantic and popular tourist destination. If there are any clouds in the sky at all – even a “marine layer” moving in and out, you can count on a spectacular sunset. One of the things that I really enjoy about painting seascape sunsets is that they often have built in complementary pairs – blues and oranges, yellows and violets, warms and cools. When nature provides you with a palette – go with it.

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Descanso Gardens Rosarium Wedding Painting – Live event wedding painter

Descanso Gardens Rose Garden (Rosarium) Wedding
16 x 20 oil on canvas
Live event painting

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I had the honor of painting this live event at Descanso Gardens for some dear friends who are also collectors of my work. The occasion was the marriage of their daughter to a fine young man. The party was going to be in the evening which presented certain strategic challenges – namely, painting at the time of day that the light was changing the most rapidly. The bride and groom couldn’t be dancing in the dark under the pavilion while the sun was still shining brightly. Nor would it make sense to paint the whole thing in the dark, because then the beautiful garden couldn’t be seen. We decided on a twilight look, and I painted the garden as rapidly as I could right after the ceremony, knowing that I could always paint the sky in later. It was a lovely occasion, and one that I hope they will always remember with romantic notions, whenever they look upon the painting of that day.

Morro Rock Morro Bay Sunset Fishing Boats Oil Painting – “Home for the Day”

“Home For the Day”
Morro Rock, Morro Bay
Fishing Boats painting
9 x 12 oil on plein air panel

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See more of my Morro Bay paintings here

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There’s something about the light on California’s Central Coast that always captivates me. This painting was inspired by a sunset at Morro Rock, in Morro Bay, when the fishing vessels had come home for the day. Or perhaps some of them were preparing to go night fishing? The two boats in the foreground are named “Nyusa” (the closest one) and the one right behind it is named “Michael Too”

Below, how it might look in a dark frame. I think the dark frame really makes the sunset glow even more.