Cottonwood Breeze Owens Valley Sierra fall oil painting

“Cottonwood Breeze”
Owens Valley 14 x 18 inch oil painting
Eastern Sierra, California

Owens Valley was a blaze of color last fall. The cottonwoods fairly glittered in the sun. This is one of my favorite locations to paint, near Swall Meadow, Round Valley.
The blues and golds complement each other so well.

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Song of Still Waters – Santa Barbara lagoon sunset oil painting


Song of Still Waters
Devereux Slough, near UC Santa Barbara
16 x 20 oil painting on canvas

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Inspired by a slough in Santa Barbara, at sunset, as seen in spring. There was a lot of moisture in the air, creating a warm sunset glow.
If you’re in town this Saturday, come see me at the Montrose Artwalk, where I will be showing my work in front of the Chase Bank, near the corner of Honolulu and Ocean View in Montrose. On Sunday you’ll find me at the Pasadena Society of Artists Art Fair, at the Pasadena Museum of History, corner of Orange Grove and Walnut in Pasadena. I’ll be in booth 13, east side of the Fenyes mansion.

Sedona oil painting – Trail to Bear Mountain

Trail to Bear Mountain
Sedona Plein Air Oil painting
9 x 12 oil on linen plein air panel
(Along Boynton Road, Sedona Arizona)

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I painted this in February, just a few weeks ago, so the grasses are winter-white. The day I was there the Sedona Marathon was going on, and I believe this was part of the route. I painted late in the day after all the marathoners were finished. There is a trailhead in the meadow in front of me, which goes to Bear Mountain. I’d like to try that hike some time. I’ll bet it’s beautiful.

Below, painting by the roadside, while the sun played peek a boo all afternoon. It looks like I was standing in the middle of the road, but I was actually safely off to one side.

Grand Canyon plein air oil painting by Karen Winters

Maricopa Point View
Grand Canyon Maricopa Point south rim plein air oil painting
8 x 10 inches
Oil on linen plein air panel

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Just a few days ago we returned from a holiday trip to the Grand Canyon, one of the great natural wonders of the world. I had never seen it covered in winter snow, and I had planned ahead with all my plein air gear. It was near freezing that morning on the South Rim, which kept the snow crisp and fresh. Later in the day a cold wind moved in and I had to layer up even more. It’s surprising how cold you get when you aren’t hiking or moving around.

I set up my easel near Maricopa Point, on the South Rim, along the Rim Trail. In the distance you can see a bit of Wotan’s Throne, an enormous mesa that is adjacent to the north rim at Cape Royal. My husband shot some video of me working on this painting, which I’ll post when we get it edited.

Because I’m almost as passionate about nature and learning as I am about painting, I found it fascinating to know that the top layers of the Grand Canyon (from the Jurassic period) have already been eroded away, so the only fossils embedded in the rocks are from the pre-dinosaur era. One finds trilobites, ferns, dragonflies, etc. but no T-rex bones.

San Luis Obispo Creek Oil Painting

San Luis Obispo Creek
9 x 12 inch oil painting

(this view features a bridge over the creek. I chose an angle that did not show the cement walkways, as I prefer the natural look.)

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San Luis Obispo Creek winds through the Central California city of San Luis Obispo, before emptying into the Pacific Ocean near Avila Beach. Numerous restaurants line the banks of the creek, and if you eat on one of their patios during the summer, you’ll be treated to the sounds of a chorus of frogs. Occasionally steelhead trout can be seen in the waters. An annual cleanup day keeps the creek in good condition, a source of pride for the community.

Chasing Clouds – Carmel Valley Road landscape oil painting

“Chasing Clouds”
8 x 10 oil
Carmel Valley Road landscape,
Monterey Peninsula

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On our way back from the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival this year, we drove up highway 1 through Big Sur, spent a night in Carmel, then returned via Carmel Valley Road. This beautiful “back road” features wonderful hills covered with oaks. The day we passed through, the clouds were spectacular, so I decided to focus on them in this painting.

If you look to the left side of the blog, you’ll see I’ve gotten around to updating my sold painting list. I haven’t put my new sold paintings there since January, and this year’s almost 50 sold works are now featured. I sort of wish that I could see a pattern in what appeals to my wonderful collectors, but it appears that their tastes and interests are as broad as mine. Some paintings are large, some very small. There are seascapes, animals, genre paintings, flowers, fruit, landscapes … and the subject matter is from every part of California.

Tournament House Rose Garden Oil Painting Pasadena Wrigley Mansion commissioned painting

Tournament House Rose Garden painting
(Home of the Tournament of Roses Association, Rose Parade organizer)
11 x 14 oil
Painted on commission

This new painting is intended as a Christmas gift from the lovely woman who commissioned it, for a very special gentleman. The rose garden was where they first met. Built in 1906, the Tournament House was purchased by chewing gum magnate Wm. Wrigley in 1914. The home was given to the city of Pasadena in 1958 for use by the Tournament Association. The centennial rose garden (seen here) is spectacular in full bloom. The painting represents it in early morning light.

Don’t you just love romantic stories? I know I do, and I get a special joy from making paintings that commemorate special events – like first dates, first meetings, places where proposals happened, and so forth.

If you’re considering giving a painting as a holiday gift, this is a very good time to get in touch as things get busier as the season draws closer.

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Sweet Springs Oil Painting – The Sweet Spot – Los Osos, California


The Sweet Spot
Sweet Springs, Los Osos
14 x 11 oil painting on linen plein air panel

This painting is now in a private collection but I have other Central Coast paintings.
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More painting at the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival. This lovely spot is Sweet Springs, a 24 acre nature sanctuary in Los Osos, California. Towering eucalyptus groves shelter a quiet pond where flocks of birds feed and rest from their migratory flights. I understand the grove is sometimes a shelter for Monarch butterflies, too.

Sycamore Shimmer – California landscape tree oil painting by Karen Winters

Sycamore Shimmer
8 x 10 oil on linen plein air panel

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This painting was painted for the 2012 San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival and hung in the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.
The official festival stamp is on the back side. Sycamores are among our most beautiful California trees, and in the fall they are especially radiant as the colors change.

The active brushwork indicates the way the breeze stirs the leaves of the tree. The use of transparent color creates a luminosity that makes the leaves glow as though light was shining through them.

One Golden Moment San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival Invitational

One Golden Moment
12 x 16 oil on linen panel
Painted at the 2012 San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival
SOLD opening night

I returned a few days ago from a wonderful week long event at the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival. Over the next week or so, I’ll be posting the paintings I did there, many of which have already gone to new homes. Others, however, are still available.

This beautiful eucalyptus tree in Los Osos begged to be painted. Silhouetted in the late afternoon light, a field of flowers lay at its feet. The flowers are a seed crop, and I think they may have been marigolds.

If you are in the Southern California area this weekend, please visit me at the Pasadena Artwalk on El Molino Street on Saturday. I will have a booth quite near the Pasadena Playhouse, with a wide assortment of my current paintings. The address is El Molino Street, between Colorado Blvd and Green Street in the Playhouse district. The show opens between 10 and 11 (I’ll probably be set up early) and goes until 5 pm. This is a great opportunity to pick up a Christmas present – hope to see you there.

See more of my California Central Coast paintings here