Moonstone Beach Moment Cambria impressionist oil painting

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Moonstone Beach Moment
6 x 6 inches
Oil

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Moonstone Beach in Cambria is one of my favorite shores to paint. This miniature 6 x 6 inch painting captures the freshness of the surf, with the mist in the air, on a beautiful fall day.

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© 2013 Karen Winters Fine Art

Big Sur Vista oil painting – seascape

Big Sur Vista
8 x 8 inches
oil on canvas plein air panel

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This is a scene I’ve enjoyed painting before, and will no doubt return to again. The location captures the majesty of the Big Sur coastline, along with the serenity of the water at a quiet moment. This is a little south of the Monterey Peninsula.

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Malibu Lagoon Sunrise oil painting

“Sunrise at Malibu Lagoon”
18 x 24 oil painting on canvas
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Malibu Lagoon, in Malibu, California is currently undergoing restoration. There were heated arguments regarding whether or not this wetland habitat should be rehabilitated or left as is. I’m not a Malibu resident so I didn’t follow it closely, but it seemed as though good points were made on both sides. At any rate, I hope that one day it returns to its former beauty, as I visualized it here. Wildlife was abundant … and it was lush and beautiful at any time of day, but especially early morning and at sunset.

Cambria Colors – Moonstone Beach Cambria oil painting San Simeon by Karen Winters

Cambria Colors
12 x 16 oil painting on canvas
Cambria, Moonstone Beach, Leffingwell Landing area

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This was painted during the San Luis Obispo Plein Air festival, 2012 where I was one of a select group of invited artists.
The colors of the beach and ocean really are amazing.

Pt. Dume Zuma Beach California seascape oil painting by Karen Winters

Pt. Dume, Zuma Beach
Giant Coreopsis
18 x 24 oil painting

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This painting was done in the springtime when the giant coreopsis are in bloom on Pt. Dume. There are a few small paths you can walk on amid the billowing plants. It’s a spectacular sight.

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:

Sailing Clouds at my Solo Show – Gale’s Restaurant



“Sailing Clouds”
18 x 24 oil on canvas
(Moonstone Beach, Cambria)

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This painting, “Sailing Clouds,” is one of about 30 currently on exhibit for sale at Gale’s Restaurant in Pasadena, in my 2nd solo show at the venue.
The opening reception is this Sunday, May 20, from 4-6 pm. All are welcome to come see some new art, and enjoy a wonderful wine and cheese event. Gale’s Restaurant is at 452 S. Fairoaks Avenue, Pasadena.

“Sailing Clouds” is from Cambria, California, on the southern edge of Big Sur. It’s an area where I love to paint small studies as well as larger studio works derived from those studies. The image is especially calming, and is a visual retreat for a busy, hectic day. You can almost see the clouds move if you sit quietly.

There’s a quote from Wordsworth that was the inspiration for this title, taken from the poem, “Written in March.” The phrase is “small clouds are sailing.”
Those words stuck with me as I saw these massive ships of vapor and moisture making stately progress across the horizon. I have always enjoyed reading poetry, both western and eastern, and find them to be good sources of ideas for titles of painting. Perhaps it’s because creating visual art and creating poetry are closely aligned. In both cases, the writer or the poet is pointing to an emotion beyond the literal representation of the subject. Much is suggested and implied rather than stated directly. Some art teachers describe a painting’s brushwork as being “poetic.” Conversely, we may describe a poem as “painting a word picture.” William Blake was one of the rare individuals who both painted and wrote poetry. Maybe one day I’ll post some of my old haiku here.

Coming up next: another plein air painting from the Tejon Ranch paint out last week.

Morro Rock Dunes – Morro Bay Oil Painting – California Central Coast Seascape Impressionist painting by Karen Winters

“Morro Rock Dunes”
9 x 12 oil on canvas

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This is another of the plein air oil paintings which I did last fall at the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival. At the end of the day, as the sun headed for the horizon, the mist from the sea blew in, partly obscuring the large rock. Ice plant provided a colorful counterpoint to the grays and browns of this massive geologic feature.

Catalina Harbor Cat Harbor California seascape oil painting by Karen Winters

Catalina Harbor
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10 x 20 oil on canvas

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The evening sun slips below the mountains of the isthmus of Catalina, separating the Two Harbors, a popular destination for sailing, hiking and other recreation. This painting was purchased by a family member in San Francisco, for another family member in Southern California as a birthday present. It was my pleasure to be in on the surprise, and I delivered the present in person this morning, to their delight.

A gift of art is something that will always be appreciated, and more than that – treasured – for many years to come. The giver doesn’t have to worry about the gift becoming outdated, or fret that Painting 2.0 will be released soon after the present is opened. Nor need they fret that the recipient may have just bought the identical item at Best Buy or Costco. A painting usually carries a message of deep emotion – a celebration of a special time together, a milestone, like an anniversary, or a meaningful shared experience like a wedding proposal or the birth of a child; the purchase of a first home. A gift of art is the making of an heirloom, and though it comes at a price, it is priceless.

When “fire season” comes in Southern California, I’ve heard people in Malibu interviewed about what they grab from their homes. The answers are always the same: First, the living creatures (people and pets); second – family photo and videos; third – original art. What does that tell you about art’s deep meaning and connectedness to our lives?

Moonstone Beach, Cambria, oil painting – California impressionist seascape by Karen Winters

Moonstone Beach
20 x 32 oil on canvas
SOLD (painted on commission)


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This painting was finished last April and in all the hustle bustle of getting ready for shows and paint outs, I neglected posting it here. It was a studio painting, based upon smaller studies that I did ‘en plein air’ on location. This is a typical way for me to work – to study a subject from life, and then to produce larger pieces in the studio when I can explore them slowly and thoughtfully. The original study was painted during a paint out with the California Art Club.