At the Hacienda – Mission San Antonio de Padua Plein air painting by Karen Winters

“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.

Arroyo Ducks – Colorado Street Bridge Painting

Arroyo Ducks
(by Pasadena’s Colorado Street Bridge)
12 x 16
oil on linen panel


The previous painting in this series sold very quickly at Gale’s Restaurant during the Art for the Animals show, so I decided to paint another version of it, this time horizontal. There are always ducks paddling around down there, as we’ve discovered from our frequent walks, so this may not be the last exploration of the theme.

This past weekend we enjoyed some time closer to home and our own natural habitat, which we had been sorely neglecting as I’ve been painting all up and down the coast. So we cleared off the porches, gave the Boston ferns a good haircut and deep watering, trimmed back the geraniums and took cuttings to propagate new plants. I’m hopeful that all of these projects will provide abundant plant material for future still life paintings, or, at the very least, for our enjoyment.

This Saturday from 9-4 you’ll find me at the Montrose Artwalk in Montrose, at the corner of Honolulu and Ocean View – see map below. I’m on the sidewalk next to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, where they have great iced coffees! You might even find me doing some painting.

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Saturday evening from 5-7, I’m delighted to be at the artist’s reception of Segil Fine Art’s First Annual Works on Paper show. Address is 110 West Lime in Monrovia. I’m honored to have my pastel painting “Wildflower Sunset” included in this inaugural show.

Pasadena Arroyo Seco Oil Painting — Morning Swim in the Arroyo

“Morning Swim in the Arroyo Seco”
16 x 12 inches
oil on canvas

Ducks gently paddle in the pond beneath Pasadena’s Colorado Street Bridge … a scene of rural tranquility in the heart of Pasadena’s Arroyo Seco. Readers of this blog will remember the great duck adventure a few years back, as we watched a mother lead her ducklings up the flood control channel to the safety of the pond – including scaling a 45 degree incline covered with moss. But all the ducklings made it eventually, safe from hawks and owls. Perhaps some of these paddlers are those little ducks, all grown up with families of their own.

Sold at the Art for the Animals show at Gale’s Restaurant in Pasadena this past week, benefitting the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA.

His Eye is on the Sparrow – baby bird oil painting

“His Eye is on the Sparrow”
11 x 14 oil


This painting is a tender subject that I have painted before, in watercolor, but this time I decided to paint it in oil for the Art for the Animals show at Gale’s Restaurant. (452 S. Fair Oaks, Pasadena.) The reception is this Sunday, June 27, from 3-6 pm. A portion of the proceeds of sales will go to benefit the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA. The SPCA will also be bringing their adoption wagon with lots of lovable animals looking for forever homes.

For those field biologists who are interested in technical accuracy, I think the bird is actually a baby robin. But the familiar spiritual hymn is “His Eye is on the sparrow” so there you go (disclaimer.)

Thirteen artists are participating in the Art for the Animals show. I have 8 paintings hanging and am also happy to discuss commissioned animal portraits. If you attend, please mention that you read about the show on my blog.

If you are interested in this painting, click this link to write me.

Leo Carrillo Beach Oil Painting – Pelican Rock – Malibu seascape art

Cormorant Rock, Malibu,
Leo Carrillo State Park Beach

5 x 7 oil painting

At Leo Carrillo Beach, I came across a rock that had a flock of cormorants roosting briefly before their next fishing mission. Their silhouettes against the fading sun intrigued me, and I thought they made a nice composition. A wedding was underway just the other side of a big rock structure, a beautiful sunset setting. I thought at first they were pelicans, but I was mistakden.

This limited palette painting was fun to do. The rocks take on different colors depending upon the lighting conditions and time of day, which presents a lot of creative possibilities.

California’s Brown Pelicans have been in the news recently as sick and dying birds have been found a distance from usual home. Their feathers are often discolored with some unknown substance. Whether is the result of red tide (algae bloom) or some other pollutant is unknown. A similar die-off happened around February of 2009. One supposition is that weather and oceanographic influences may disrupt the pelicans usual feeding patterns, causing them to starve and weaken. El Nino conditions may be a contributory factor. These birds were on home turf and looked well-feathered and plump. I love to watch them flying just over the waves, single file.