San Simeon – Big Sur California Seascape oil painting by Karen Winters

“Cloudy Day at San Simeon” (Big Sur, California)
12 x 16 oil

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The southern part of Big Sur, California is at San Simeon, the site of Hearst’s Castle. The dramatic ocean cliffs frame the always changing sea. The day I painted this the sun was peeking through from time to time, but overall the scene was moody, with blowing fog and moving clouds. I actually like these sorts of days as well as the ones with bright sunshine.

Below, a photo of me working on it on location:

At the Hacienda – Mission San Antonio de Padua Plein air painting by Karen Winters

“Meanwhile, at the Hacienda”
9 x 12 oil on linen panel
plein air painting – painted at Mission San Antonio de Padua
California Central Coast area

During the California Art Club paint out at the mission, I came upon this small guest house which intrigued me as a painting subject. In the late afternoon light, I could imagine it as an old California adobe, cool inside in spite of the surrounding heat. Some early model chickens miraculously appeared where a late model car had been.

California Mission San Antonio de Padua, landscape oil painting by Karen Winters

Mission San Antonio Morning
(San Antonio de Padua, California Central Coast, northwest of Paso Robles)
9 x 12 inches
Oil on linen plein air panel

In early June 2012, I joined a group of other California Art Club artists to paint at Mission San Antonio de Padua, a California mission that is the most “untouched” of the chain. Although some outbuildings and residential quarters have been added, the setting is very much as it might have been hundreds of years ago. This side of the building, the facade where one enters the church, remains much as it was in the early years. By mid day this was all in shade, so morning is the time to catch it. We were up before dawn getting set up to capture the light. We were warned several times to watch out for rattlesnakes. It’s easy to become so focused on what you’re painting that you might not notice one that’s emerged from a hole while you are painting. I didn’t see one, thankfully, but I was certainly careful where I stepped.