Before the Harvest
12 x 9″ oil on board
San Luis Obispo area
California Central Coast
I’m getting warmed up for the San Luis Obispo Plein Air festival with this study of some of the agricultural areas, under splendid skies. I love the skies over the Central Coast.
“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.
9 x 12 oil on plein air linen panel
Painted at the Tejon Ranch, May 2012
In the middle of a warm spring day, just about high noon, a mighty Tejon Ranch oak spreads its limbs to offer shade to all who visit. Cattle, mostly, but most likely some other critters, too. This majestic tree was silhouetted against the rolling hills and mountains of the ranch. Wherever you look, beauty surrounds you, making it a real treat for plein air painters – even during the part of the day when the light is less than dramatic. (That’s why we get up at dawn and stay painting until moonrise, when we can.
Below, a photo of my work in progress. There were occasional gusts of wind which threatened to topple my umbrella. A road hazard sawhorse came in handy. Sometimes you’ve just got to improvise.
Sunrise in the Oaks – Tejon Ranch California plein air Landscape impressionist oil painting by Karen Winters
“Sunrise in the Oaks”
11 x 14 oil on linen plein air panel
Tejon Ranch, May 2012
See more of my oak tree paintings here
REMINDER – Artists reception for my show at Gale’s Restaurant, Sunday, May 20 – 4-6 pm, 452 S. Fairoaks Ave., Pasadena
Good morning, Tejon. A small band of intrepid California Art Club plein air painters woke at 4 am to get to the ranch and queue up in our vehicles to be on site before the sun rose. I had found my perfect spot – on Sycamore Creek, looking eastward just as the sun peeked over the hills and made the leaves of the old oak dazzle with the backlight. I had to bundle up and dress in layers, knowing that before long I’d be peeling them off as the day turned warm. This, like all of the Tejon Ranch, is absolutely beautiful – a real treat for plein air painters. We appreciate the invitation and the privilege to be there.
12 x 12 inches
Oil on linen plein air panel
Between outdoor shows, travel, commissions and paint outs, I haven’t been taking the time to update my blog, but I’m going to try to get back on top of that. This was painted last week at the Tejon Ranch on a paint out with the Kern County chapter of the California Art Club.
This grove of sycamores was growing along side a stream bed. I set up my easel near by, taking care to keep a lookout for rattlesnakes. When an artist is concentrating and working in one area for a long time, a snake can quietly move in – even next to your easel, and you wouldn’t know it. The tall grasses are a perfect hiding spot. Fortunately, this was only a broken tree limb (below). But it sure gave me a start for a moment!
When you look at the picture below you might notice that there is no dazzling light. That’s because the ending photo was taken after the moment of light was long gone. When painting outdoors you often have to hold the image in your memory because the light is constantly shifting.
If you’re in the LA area, you are invited to attend the reception for my solo show at Gale’s Restaurant in Pasadena, from 4-6 pm. Gale’s is at 452 S. Fairoaks Avenue, just south of Del Mar. More about the event tomorrow.
“The Yearling Sheep”
14 x 18 oil on canvas
This sweet young sheep was painted from a photo I took last year at the San Luis Obispo Plein air festival. I was near the grounds of the Cal Poly SLO Cheda ranch, and the animals moved close to the area where I was already painting Bishop Peak. The sheep, I read from their website, are managed by students in the Cal Poly animal husbandry program. Several students were out monitoring the flock. I found it interesting that small birds were perched on the backs of many of the sheep, presumably helping themselves to insects in the fleece. It looked like a mutually beneficial relationship. This particular young sheep (a ewe, I’m guessing) was quietly munching and looked up at me with curiosity.
12 x 16″
California impressionist oil painting
Although this painting is sold, I’m always happy to paint something similar on commission.
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See more of my paintings on my website
A quiet country road winds through the fields, pastures and vineyards of Paso Robles. What beautiful sights lie just around the bend?
“Just This Side of Paradise”
8 x 10 inch
Plein air oil painting
Exhibited in the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art
during the 2011 Plein Air Festival
This painting was done along Los Osos Valley road one morning, as rain clouds were gathering (or leaving) and the sun was trying to break through. I saw this scene while driving and hurried to turn around and park and set up my easel before the effect was lost. I liked the hay bales stacked up by the eucalyptus trees, so I put them in also.
The central peak in the background is one of the 9 sisters – the volcanic plugs which include Morro Rock and Bishop Peak. I think that one is Cerro Romualdo. It’s pyramid-shaped top is swathed in clouds.
The title comes from the fact that Paradise Lane is quite close by. I seem to run into a lot of places named Paradise – like Paradise camp in the Sierra, too.
“Walker Basin Overlook”
8 x 10 oil on plein air panel
Plein air painting in Kern County at the Rankin Ranch, September 2011
This morning view, painted on location north of Caliente, California, is in the very southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada range. Although the mountains are small in this location, they will likely be much taller some day, as the plate boundaries move and continue to elevate the peaks. The rabbitbrush is in full bloom, a welcome sight every fall in this part of California. This was painted during a paint out with the California Art Club
Plein Air art Lightner Peak Walker Basin Oil Painting – Morning Light – California impressionist landscape by karen Winters
Morning Light on Lightner Peak
9 x 12 plein air oil painting on panel
Walker Basin, view from Rankin Ranch of Lightner Peak,
Kern County oil painting
A few days ago I had an opportunity to paint at the Rankin Ranch near Caliente in the Walker Basin, Kern County. This was painted 95% on location, and corrected in minor ways in the studio when the painting was dryer. It’s one of many plein air paintings that I did during our stay, more to come.
Below, a shot of me working on it on location:
The painting looks warmer in the large photo because it was taken under indoor light (warmer) which is the way it will likely be viewed in someone’s home or office. The outdoor photo captures how it looks under shady outdoor light, which is bluer.