Sycamore Quartet – California landscape painting at the Tejon Ranch

Sycamore Quartet”
12 x 12 inches
Oil on linen plein air panel

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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!

Tree limb looks like a snake

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.

Walker Basin Creek – Kern County, Southern Sierra California Oil Painting

Walker Basin Creek
12 x 16
oil on canvas

Last summer we spent several pleasant days with other California Art Club artists at the Rankin Ranch in the Southern Sierra in Kern County. This oil painting was inspired by that trip. The hills are used for grazing by the range cattle owned by the ranch. This small stream serves as a water source for part of the herd. The tree growing by the water didn’t seem to be a willow, but no doubt it was a water-loving species. I liked the way it made a spot of lush green among the dusky tones of the surrounding hills. The area is not far from Bodfish, Caliente and other Southern Sierra towns.

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California Golden Hills Landscape Plein Air Oil Painting by Karen Winters – Walker Basin Overlook -

“Walker Basin Overlook”
8 x 10 oil on plein air panel
Plein air painting in Kern County at the Rankin Ranch, September 2011

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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.