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.

Return to Golden Pond (On Golden Pond) California Tonalist Landscape Oil painting by Karen Winters

“Return to Golden Pond”
14 x 18 inches
Oil on canvas

Central California – Western Sierra Foothills painting

This painting was done for an upcoming exhibition at the Colony Theater Gallery in Burbank, in conjunction with the performance of “On Golden Pond.” In addition to a dozen or more other paintings which will be exhibited, I painted this one to tie in very specifically with the theme of the play. Although the play is set in the eastern United States, I decided to do my own take on it, as a California landscape painter. The location is a pond bordering the western foothills of the Sierras. I don’t usually paint in a tonalist/monochromatic style, but it seemed perfect for this project.

More details on the show will follow as the opening approaches.

Tom’s Truck – Cat in 53 Chevy 3100 Red Pickup Truck – Animal Portrait Painting

“Tom’s Truck”
14 x 18 oil on canvas

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A few years ago, on our anniversary in March 2004, my husband and I were driving out to Malibu and came across a wonderful commercial nursery near Somis. It appeared that it was occasionally open to the public and, from what we could tell, was used for special events. We saw several lovely arbors and pergolas that seemed to be wedding bowers. As we were walking around the grounds, what caught my eye was an old derelict 53 Chevy pickup truck which a cat had made his home. He was proudly seated on some blankets or comforters and a pile of plastic bags and his lordly manner told us that he was the master of this domain. The lack of a door, windshield and windows didn’t bother him a bit. We didn’t disturb his rest and he gave us leave to take a few pictures and then, you know, suggested we move along. (I suppose the cat may have been a female, but I like the idea of calling him Tom.) The fact that there were blankets there led me to suspect that some kind human had done their part to give his bachelor pad a little creature comfort.

I wish now that I had written down the name of the nursery, but a little map research leads me to believe that it may be the Hartley Botanica and recent photos indicate it has grown even more beautiful through the years. There was a large aviary which held peacocks at the time we visited, and I don’t know if it is still there. I would like to think that “Tom” probably had a good time watching those birds every now and then. It’s been 7 years and I don’t know how old he was, but I hope he’s still prowling around.

California Poppy Plein Air Landscape Oil Painting – Tejon Ranch

Tejon Ranch Poppy Hillside
9 x 12
oil on plein air panel

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See more of my wildflower paintings here:

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of painting at the Tejon Ranch with other artist and signature artist members of the California Art Club. It was a unique opportunity to enjoy the spring beauty of the land, which is not open to the general public. The wind gusts were intense at times, but the color made up for the distraction. This is one of the paintings I worked on over the two day period – this one was on the Antelope Valley side, not too far from the Lancaster Poppy Reserve. I’ll be posting more soon.

San Luis Obispo Plein Air Landscape Painting – When Sunrise Fills the Sky – SLO Art by Karen Winters

SOLD to a collector from Nipomo …

“When Sunrise Fills the Sky”
11 x 14 oil on linen plein air panel
Near Nipomo, San Luis Obispo County
Plein Air Landscape Oil Painting

I thought that I had photographed all the paintings I did last year at the CAC paint out, but I recently came across this one and thought I’d wait until spring to post it. It was painted near the Dana Adobe near Nipomo, as were the other two done that day at the California Art Club paint out.

In the early morning the sun broke through the moody fog with the promise of a beautiful day.

See more of my California Central Coast paintings here

My paintings have been recently featured in an article “Top 15 oil painting blogs” on this site. Thanks to the site owner, Andrea.

Central California Sierra Foothills Oil Painting “The Hay Barn” by Karen Winters

“The Hay Barn”
6 x 6 inches
Central California Sierra Foothills (western side)
Original Oil painting on plein air panel


More Sierra Nevada paintings here

While attending a California Art Club paint out in the Sierra foothills a few years ago, I came upon this scene of an old hay barn framed by eucalyptus with wildflower hills in the background. I thought the setting was a perfect representation of some of my favorite California things. Eucalyptus, of course … wildflowers in the hills … and rural agriculture. This small study will be a starting point for a larger painting on the same theme.

Peaceful Pasture – Equestrian Miniature California Landscape Painting

Peaceful Pasture
(Central California)
6 x 6 inches, oil painting on canvas

Last weekend we spent some time up in San Luis Obispo for the opening of the California Art Club’s “Gems of the Central Coast” show at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. We had a great time seeing old friends and making some new ones, too. Once you get out of Los Angeles you really begin to appreciate the rural beauty of the state and the quiet moods of hills, pastures, marshes and mountains. Driving up the 101 we saw many ranches with scenes just like this.

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Fields of Peace – Los Osos Valley Road, San Luis Obispo County California Landscape Painting by Karen Winters

Fields of Peace Oil Painting, Los Osos Valley Road, San Luis Obispo County, California Central Coast, California impressionist landscape art by Karen Winters

“Fields of Peace”
11 x 14 inches oil painting on canvas
Central Coast California, near Los Osos
(San Luis Obispo County)

In late spring, the ranch land near San Luis Obispo starts to turn from green to a dusky brown. Here and there the dried remains of earlier grasses take on hues of violet and umber. Coastal scrub plants provide a stark contrast with their fresh green foliage. Eucalyptus, of course, stay green year round – the ever-constant providers of shade and windbreaks. As the marine layer moves in from the sea to the west, the clouds catch the light of the lowering sun and turn shades of peach and apricot.

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Garden at the Ranch – San Luis Obispo – California Plein Air Landscape Oil Painting by Karen Winters

“Garden at the Ranch”
11 x 14 oil on linen panel
San Luis Obispo Central California Coast area

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I’m still catching up on posting a year’s worth of plein air paintings that didn’t get photographed when they were created. This one is from last May, 2010 at a California Art Club paint out at a friend’s ranch in the San Luis Obispo area. Although it was a gray day, the poppies and other California natives really shone through. In fact, maybe the grayness accented their colors. Our friend has a wonderful native plant garden that would rival any garden planted with cultivated non-natives. It’s drought tolerant and seems perfectly adapted to the environment – because it is!

An almost finished work in progress photo is below – thanks to my hubby for taking it. Yep, there’s that hat again.

California Landscape Painting – Central Coast- Sycamore Breezes

Sycamore Breezes
8 x 10 inches oil on linen panel

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A fully leafed out sycamore dances with the passing breeze in California’s Central Coast ranchland, near Jolon. A distant barn provides shelter for the herd. But if I were a cow, I’d rather be lazing around under one of these big, beautiful trees.