High Water at Devil’s Gate Dam – Arroyo Seco
20 x 24 oil on canvas
I painted this to memorialize an area near and dear to me, not far from where I live. This is the boundary between La Canada Flintridge and Altadena – the upper Arroyo Seco, once known as Oak Grove Park and now known as the Hahamongna Watershed Area. Because of the silt that has accumulated above the dam, the dam has lost much of its capacity. There are plans underway to dredge this entire area, but one of the plans will remove not only the silt, but a great number of the trees and habitat that has grown up in the area. To read more about the devastation that will be caused by the County plan, visit It makes me sad to think that views such as this may soon be gone, and probably won’t return in my lifetime, unless a more thoughtful, conservation-oriented plan is adopted.
#arroyoseco #hahamongna #watershed #DevilsGateDam #lacanada #oilpainting #landscape #california
SOLD Pasadena’s Pride
(Colorado street bridge oil painting)
14 x 18 oil on canvas
I’ll be exhibiting about 30 paintings Saturday, October 13 at the Pasadena Artwalk on El Molino Street from 11-5.
This one day annual event attracts large crowds from all over Southern California.
Look for me in booth 9, just a little north of the Pasadena Playhouse, near Zona Rosa coffee, on the west side of El Molino, between Colorado Blvd. and Green Street. There’s plenty of parking nearby.
I’m down to the wire on framing and packing … See you there!
“Western Watershed – San Gabriel Mountains”
9 x 12 oil painting on plein air panel
See more of my Pasadena area paintings at http://www.pasadenapaintings.com
Click this link to write me. See more of my paintings on my website
The last remnants of spring storms course through the upper Arroyo Seco, which separates La Canada from Pasadena. Just weeks before the sandy riverbed was overflowing with a coursing river. Now, the willows and sage will take over, until winter rains come again.
“When Day is Done”
8 x 10
California landscape oil painting on plein air panel
Pasadena Arroyo Seco – Hahamongna Park – eucalyptus trees grow against a backdrop of the San Gabriel mountains, glowing in sunset light.
California impressionist landscape oil painting – Hahamongna Park, Arroyo Seco, Pasadena – by Karen Winters
“Reflections of springtime”
18 x 24 oil painting on canvas
Hahamongna Park, (Arroyo Seco)
Winter rains leave seasonal ponds that eventually evaporate – but while they are present they provide a beautiful mirrored surface on a day with fair weather cumulus. Some of the arroyo has been dredged of its silt to provide a greater water-holding area near the dam, but I hope that the reedy parts will stay as they are.
The moon serenely rises over a pond in the Arroyo Seco, San Gabriel Valley, CA. I intentionally kept this within a limited color range to capture the twilight mood. I’ve really been enjoying painting a lot of water lately. Look for more of those paintings here soon.
California impressionist landscape painting – Autumn on the Trail – La Canada Flintridge Art by Karen Winters
“Autumn on the Trail”
Flint Canyon Trail, La Canada Flintridge, California
Near Pasadena’s Arroyo Seco
11 x 14 inches
oil on canvas
The equestrian and jogging trails that wind through La Canada Flintridge are overhung with sycamore, oak and eucalyptus trees. In the fall the colors meld and fairly glow with the warm light. This stretch of trail is near Berkshire Avenue, and is popular with hikers, joggers and horseback riders alike.
The fun part of painting this, for me, was rendering the different textures of bark, turning leaves, green foliage, etc. Sycamores have a distinctively different look from eucalyptus trees, and their bark reflects light in a different way. In an area like this, the bright light is bouncing off the fallen leaves and reflecting up into the trunks and branches in interesting ways. I decided to restrict this painting to a secondary triadic color scheme (orange, green, violet) which was natural for the time of year.
To learn more about La Canada Trails, visit The La Canada Trails Council website
San Gabriel Mountains
8 x 10 inches oil on plein air panel
California is colorful all year long, not only in the springtime. Summer and fall wildflowers include buckwheat and other chapparal natives. It’s an earth-tone palette, full of greens, russets, umbers and golds. The buckwheat, when it dries, is a good match for burnt sienna.
I never tire of painting the tapestry of plant life that covers our rolling hills and mountains. The California Native Plant Society is a good resource for learning about our drought tolerant beauties.
Here’s how the painting might look in a dark frame that picks up the colors in the painting, with warm touches of coppery-gold.
I haven’t talked about framing too often here, but it’s true that the frame can have a big impact on how a painting looks. Compare how the same painting, on the same colored background appears in a gold carved frame. The dark frame creates a more rustic look, which might be appropriate for a home with western accents. The gold frame creates a lighter, more elegant appearance. Which do you think works best? Do you like seeing one of my paintings with framing suggestions, as opposed to just seeing the painting by itself?
Heavenly Light – California Tonalist Landscape Painting – Devils Gate Dam – Hahamongna Park – Arroyo Seco by Karen Winters
“Heavenly Light at Devil’s Gate Dam”
(upper Arroyo Seco –
Hahamongna Park – La Canada Flintridge, Pasadena)
9 x 12 oil on linen plein air panel
When we have heavy rain, the waters really back up behind Devil’s Gate Dam in the Upper Arroyo Seco, between La Canada Flintridge and Pasadena.
The graceful eucalyptus and willows have their feet in swampy water. I’m sure the water loving willows love it – not so sure about the eucalyptus. In time the waters will filter down into the aquifer, recharging the subterranean reservoir. But for now, they provide a beautiful reflecting surface in which to see the ever-changing skies.
“The Bridge Aglow”
(Colorado Street Bridge, Pasadena)
11 x 14
Oil painting on linen panel
The Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena is an icon that I never tire of painting. This painting was started on site last fall, and has been waiting for me to put on the finishing touches. The viewpoint is the eastern side of the Arroyo Seco, not far from the Federal Courthouse, formerly known as the Vista Del Arroyo Hotel.
There used to be monthly California Art Club paintouts at the arroyo, but I don’t think they’re doing that any longer. I liked this viewpoint for painting the bridge because it shows it in relation to both sides of the canyon, although not the entire span.