Arroyo Seco Landmarks – Colorado Street Bridge Pasadena painting
12 x 16 oil on canvas
Original oil painting
More Pasadena paintings at this link: Pasadena paintings
This is a painting I’ve been working on for awhile, and I thought it was time I finished it up while I continue progress with my fall Sierra series.
The Colorado Street Bridge (also known as the Suicide Bridge to locals) is a major Pasadena landmark, as is the Federal Courthouse, formerly the Vista Del Arroyo Hotel, which overlooks the arroyo. From a certain angle you can see both. The bridge is very tall, but surprisingly those pines are even taller.
Along with painting, I’ve been in the throes of migrating to a new computer system. My old Mac was getting slow and a few USB and Firewire drives weren’t mounting, leading us to believe that there was a problem with those buses. Fortunately I had all my files backed up, but when two of my backup hard drives went down I knew it was time to make a change. Coincidence or causality? I don’t know if the old computer could hurt the drives but I wasn’t taking any chances. Leo LaPorte (the tech guy on the radio) is fond of saying that if you don’t have your files in at least two places, you don’t have them. Even when some of my drives were heading south, I immediately backed up the data onto a new one, plus DVDs as well. I’m thinking of subscribing to Carbonite for another layer of offsite protection.
The good thing is that this new computer is much faster, which makes light work of editing photos of my paintings and organizing and cataloging my paintings.
Anyway, upgrades are a tedious and time consuming process, so I’m hopeful that now I’ll be back in the swing of posting new paintings more regularly. But you gotta do what you gotta do, right?
If you’re interested in adding this painting to your collection, please write firstname.lastname@example.org
South Pasadena Plein Air Genre Oil Painting – Fourth of July Parade 2009
South Pasadena Fourth of July Parade
8 x 10 oil
Plein air painting
This one was a lot of fun to paint, because the crowd was so lively and colorful. Because I know some of you are thinking – how can you paint a moving parade while it’s happening. The simple answer is I paint the things that don’t move (trees, buildings, distant crowds and then roughly indicate the things that are moving and finish them later from refrence photos. In this case the tractor pulled float with balloons was the big moving thing in the scene, so I could only block in the outline as it passed. I needed a photo to get the detail on the tractor. I painted the cheerleaders from memory because they didn’t stay put for long either. If I got your uniforms wrong, sorry girls, but Go Tigers!
If anyone knows the name of the group riding on the float pulled by the tractor, and the name of the tractor driver, let me know and I’ll add their names to this blog post. I’m thinking Brownies or Girl Scouts but I couldn’t swear to it.
South Pasadena is the most wonderful slice of Americana you can imagine, and on the 4th of July you can feel like you’ve stepped backwards in time in the very best way. Parades, flags and bunting, families gathering, sack races in the park … I just love it.
Casa Romantica San Clemente Garden Plein air California Landscape painting
Casa Romantica Garden oil painting
11 x 14
oil on linen panel
Although this painting is sold, I have others.
Click this link to write me. See more of my paintings on my website
I have been meaning to post this painting which I painted at Casa Romantica, a beautiful old Spanish building which is now used for weddings and meetings. This was painted on Thursday of the San Clemente paint out, in late June.
This particular part of the garden is called The Butterfly Garden. Host plants like buddleia, milkweed, cosmos and many others are planted to attract the insects. A trellis is placed on the wall to the right where the caterpillars attach themselves and create their chrysalises (chrysales?) If you look at these precious ornaments very closely you can see the monarch wings in various states of metamorphosis. Among the flowers, I have suggested a number of butterflies in the garden. Can you find them all?
In the distance is the San Clemente pier, a local landmark. By the time I finished this, in the afternoon, the June gloom morning fog had burned off.
Yellow Ribbon -Plein Air Homecoming Oil Painting – San Clemente
“Until You Come Home”
9 x 12
oil on panel
This was the painting that I did for the QuickDraw phase of the San Clemente Art Association annual paintout. A quick draw is a timed competition – from the stamping of panels to the final horn, we had exactly 3 hours to get to a location, paint a painting, get back and frame the painting and turn it in. It may sound like a lot of time but when you take off travel time and setting up an easel and packing up, the time really flies.
The weather has been very gray in San Clemente (think: June gloom) and it hadn’t burned off by 12:30, the start time. With this in mind, I looked for something to paint the day before that would have a spot of color. When I saw this yellow ribbon hung on the balcony of an apartment building, I made it my choice. San Clemente borders Camp Pendleton, the Marine Corps base, so I’m guessing that someone who lives in that apartment has a loved one in the service, and the yellow ribbon represents waiting for their safe return from overseas. The apartment is on the corner of Santa Barbara and Del Mar, if anyone knows who lives there. The painting is currently hanging in the San Clemente Art Gallery in the Community Center. If no one takes it home before Friday, it will be in my booth for the Saturday-Sunday show.
I am continuing to paint in San Clemente and Orange and San Diego counties for the rest of the event. I’ve got three additional paintings finished, and more to come by the end of the week.
Colorado Street Bridge – Summer Landscape California Oil Painting
Pasadena Bridge – Summer Days
(Colorado Street Bridge)
8 x 10 oil on canvas
SOLD but I have other bridge paintings
This California landscape is one that is familiar to residents of Pasadena and the communities surrounding the Arroyo Seco. The Colorado Street Bridge , seen here looking northward, rises over the grassy fields that are now turning golden. Only the evergreen eucalyptus, oaks, willows and other natives keep their colors. The 134 freeway bridge can be seen in the distance. On these late spring days it’s not uncommon to see thunderheads building over the San Gabriel Mountains – you can feel the humidity build up at those times.
I am counting down the days until my reception at Gale’s Restaurant in Pasadena. Sunday, May 31, 4-6 pm. If you’re local, I hope you can come!
Book tip of the day: Kevin McPherson’s Landscape Painting Inside and Out: Capture the Vitality of Outdoor Painting in Your Studio With Oils. I do plein air painting as often as I can … but I have learned a lot from this book and others about keeping the fresh plein air feeling while painting in studio. Check it out!
Pasadena bridge landscape oil painting – Arroyo Springtime
Pasadena’s Colorado Street Bridge painting
16 x 20 oil on canvas
This painting has been sold but I have others. Please write.
See more Pasadena paintings here
This painting, of Pasadena’s Colorado Street Bridge in the setting of the Arroyo Seco, is one of my favorite renditions of the area so far. Because it is so close to my home, I can visit frequently and observe the changing foliage through the seasons. In the springtime the wide meadow leading down to the river is covered with wild mustard. The mustard is an invasive imported species, not a native, so it tends to crowd out the indigenous plants. But it does lend a beautiful color to these open areas when the light strikes it just so.
Every time we go down there we see something different and interesting. One time it was ranger on horseback patrolling to make sure that dogs were on-leash. Another time it was a group of people with a flock of (leashed) goats. Never a dull moment in the arroyo!
My show at Gale’s has been going very well. So far three paintings have been sold, and I’ve replaced them with new ones. You can see some of the sold paintings in the left hand column at http://www.karensblog.com
This weekend we’re going to the reception of the On Location in Malibu show, presented by the California Art Club. I’m sure it will be a wonderful event as all of their shows are. Art, Malibu, hanging out with painters … what could be better?
Arroyo Seco Trail – Pasadena California Landscape Oil Painting
Arroyo Seco Trail
16 x 20 inches
Oil on Canvas
SOLD to a collector from Pasadena
See more Pasadena area paintings are here
This painting of the Arroyo Seco, featuring the Colorado Street Bridge, will be available starting May 17 at Gale’s Restaurant in Pasadena, where I will be having a solo show from mid May until early July. I will likely be using it on my postcard, so I need to hold it for the show.
Spring and fall are my favorite seasons in California, and I’d have a hard time deciding which I prefer. Fall is great for the foliage in the Sierras, but spring is wonderful for wildflowers and just the feeling of lush abundance.
I’m not sure about the name of the plant that has purple flowers. I’m guessing that it’s a ceanothus but I can’t be sure. If there’s a botanist in the house and you happen to take a walk down by the bridge, maybe you could ID it and let me know. (It’s not a garden lilac because they’re not in bloom yet and it didn’t have a lilac scent.) Maybe a native lilac species?
Once a month the California Art Club comes to the arroyo to paint. I’m usually busy on those days but this month I think I’ll try to join in the paint out with my CAC friends. It’s just the most beautiful time of the year, I think.
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Chinatown, Los Angeles oil painting – California Art Club Plein Air Paint Out
11 x 14
plein air painting
oil on canvas panel
Good times just don’t get any better than this. The California Art Club, which is celebrating its centennial this year, invited all members to a big paintout in Los Angeles’ historic Chinatown. Although rain had been threatened, morning brought fair skies and the promise of a picture perfect day. We arrived around 10 am to a very well-organized reception, complete with coffee and pastries – and then we were free to roam the streets of Chinatown looking for the best angles.
CAC members were there at the gracious invitation of the Chinatown Business Improvement District and we were impressed by their hospitality, including the delicious artists’ reception which refreshed us at the end of the day.
To paint, I found an angle just off the main plaza on Broadway, looking toward two of the most colorful buildings. As I explained to people who passed by and stopped to chat with me as I painted, I’m more of a tree and mountain sort of gal (as you blog readers know) – but there’s something about the ornate facades of these beautiful historic buildings that just steal an artist’s heart. In the late afternoon the warm sun makes everything radiant. At that hour, once again, it’s the Chinatown I remember visiting as a child, throwing coins into the fountain to make a wish, buying candied ginger and imported seashells from faraway shores.
The smell of the sea, joss sticks, firecrackers, oolong tea, fried shrimp … the sounds of music emanating from every shop, the babble of conversation in Spanish, Chinese, English and the tinkle of wind chimes … the cool breeze riffling the hanging lanterns and flags … a visit to Chinatown is a sensual delight not to be missed. If you’re an Angeleno and you haven’t been there lately – it’s time to discover it again.
And speaking of things to discover … if you’re an artist living in California, come join us in the CAC and become a part of a grand artistic tradition.
Langham Huntington Hotel Wedding reception – plein air painting – Karen Winters
Courtyard Wedding Reception, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008 at the Huntington Langham Hotel
Original plein air painting, 9 x 12 oil on linen on board
This past Saturday I had the pleasure of painting at the Huntington Langham Hotel in San Marino as a participant in an “artist in residence” program. I was the participant sponsored by the Segil Fine Art gallery in Monrovia. Because a wedding reception was planned for the early evening, I passed the afternoon painting indoors and brought a photo reference to work from. As night fell, wedding guests filtered in from the ceremony which was held in the garden. Although my painting time was up, I couldn’t leave, transfixed by the beautiful party. Within a short period of time it became very difficult to see the guests, so I used a little imagination to fill in the spaces and to make up for my myopia.
I don’t know the happy couple but perhaps some day they will google their wedding date and the name of the Huntington Hotel and find this memory of a very special occasion, and I hope it will bring them a smile. I think I heard someone say that the bride grew up in Shanghai, but that was only a snippet of a conversation overheard in passing.
And yes, I would love to do this again. So if you’re planning a wedding and want a plein air painter to create a unique fine art memory of your event – in a garden, a meadow, a beach or any special place, please feel free to ask.
South Pasadena Watercolor Painting – Buster’s Coffeehouse
Buster’s Coffeehouse – South Pasadena Landmark on Mission Street
11 x 15 watercolor on paper
See more of my Pasadena area paintings here
This is the third painting that I submitted for the Rialto Visions benefit art show and sale, proceeds of which will help restore the Rialto Theater on Fair Oaks Avenue in South Pasadena.
Buster’s is a favorite hangout of ours when we’re in South Pasadena. Not only do they have great coffee and the small neighborhood atmosphere you can’t find in the ubiquitous ChainBucks stores, but they sell Fosselman’s ice cream, which is truly wonderful. It’s sort of like the Cheers of coffeehouses – you always run into someone you know when you go there.
About 100 paintings were submitted for the show. Tonight at 7 pm, there’s a Collector’s Preview at the South Pasadena Library Community Room on El Centro Street. The $25 admission fee (for non-participating artists) will help support the theater’s restoration. Come meet the artists and see a lot of art, fresh off the easel.