Descanso Rose Garden, Summer Pathway
11 x 14 inches, oil on plein air panel
Painted at Descanso Gardens, La Canada, California
Descanso Gardens is the closest botanical garden to our home, and it’s my go-to place whenever I want to do some plein air painting in an expansive and beautiful setting. This pathway is one that I have painted through the seasons and from different viewpoints. The San Gabriel Mountains can be seen in the distance, which also tower over our own home. The international rosarium is not only a rose garden but also contains many other perennials and flowering shrubs. It’s just a peaceful place to visit, and in which to picnic on selected summer evenings.
Azaleas in Bloom – Descanso Gardens
8 x 10 inch oil painting
The azalea bushes are in full bloom now at Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge. A true sign that spring has arrived in all its glory.
Â© 2014 Karen Winters Fine Art, all rights reserved.
“Descanso Gardens Rose Garden”
(with roses and crepe myrtle)
12 x 16 oil on canvas
This is one of the paintings I’ll be bringing to Descanso Gardens for the opening of my solo exhibition on Nov. 2. The show will hang in the Heritage Gallery in the Boddy House mansion and will continue through January 2, 2012.
My reception will be on Sunday, Nov. 13 from 1-4 pm.
The summer light filters through the trees surrounding the rose garden, and gently touches all of the floral beauty, from crepe myrtles to roses to other perennial plants. I love the look of the late slanting light.
Descanso Gardens Rose Garden (Rosarium) Wedding
16 x 20 oil on canvas
Live event painting
I had the honor of painting this live event at Descanso Gardens for some dear friends who are also collectors of my work. The occasion was the marriage of their daughter to a fine young man. The party was going to be in the evening which presented certain strategic challenges – namely, painting at the time of day that the light was changing the most rapidly. The bride and groom couldn’t be dancing in the dark under the pavilion while the sun was still shining brightly. Nor would it make sense to paint the whole thing in the dark, because then the beautiful garden couldn’t be seen. We decided on a twilight look, and I painted the garden as rapidly as I could right after the ceremony, knowing that I could always paint the sky in later. It was a lovely occasion, and one that I hope they will always remember with romantic notions, whenever they look upon the painting of that day.
Sunset On Descanso Pond – Descanso Gardens California impressionist lake oil painting by Karen Winters
“Sunset On Descanso Pond”
Descanso Gardens Art
16 x 20 oil painting
I took this new painting “Sunset on Descanso Pond” to the Colony Theatre in Burbank today for a solo show in conjunction with their presentation of “On Golden Pond,” running from July 27 – August 28, starring Hal Linden. There is a cozy gallery area inside the theater with plenty of room for the seventeen paintings I brought. Not all the paintings are of ponds or lakes, of course. There are eastern Sierra scenes, vineyards, seascapes and more.
Sunset on Descanso Pond features the bird sanctuary area, where waterfowl, turtles and other types of wildlife abound. We used to enjoy visiting that spot often when the children were young and feeding or stale bread to the ducks and geese was permitted.
Below is the Central California landscape that I painted expressly for this show as a theme piece.
The title is “Return to Golden Pond” and it is 14 x 18, oil on canvas.
Clivias, also known as bush lily, glow with bright orange colors through thickets of dark green strapping foliage. These secondary colors (orange and purple) make a nice contrast to each other. Painting this was like working a jigsaw puzzle. Every flower has dimension. The petals turn with the light, and the strappy foliage intersects the blooms in interesting patterns.
I don’t do a great number of botanical studies – especially not realistic ones – but I’m thinking of doing more this year as I redevelop my garden which will provide material for compositions. In the meantime there is always Descanso gardens, walking distance from my house, where I’ll have a solo show in the Heritage Gallery in the Boddy House mansion this November and December.
(There’s a little bit of glare at the top of the painting due to the wetness of the paint and the light source. Pretend you don’t see it.
Descanso Gardens Sunflower Garden
9 x 12 oil painting on linen
Plein air painting
Last autumn, when the flowers were completing their blooming season at Descanso Gardens, I painted this stand of Mammoth Sunflowers, caught in the afternoon sunlight. By the way the heads were bowing, I knew they wouldn’t last too much longer. The camellias are in bloom now, and I am looking forward to the tulip show at Descanso, if they have planted them this year.
Painting note: although the underpainting was done with thin transparent darks, the opaque paint on top was painted with a very limited palette of red, yellow, blue, white and gray. Amazing how many colors you can get from those few primaries.
Descanso Gardens Japanese Teahouse
22 x 30 watercolor on Arches paper
SOLD (painted on commission)
This painting has a history. Several years ago, I painted a smaller version of it, and it was exhibited for sale at a local store in La Canada. One day in April a few years ago, a car transport trailer lost its brakes on the Angeles Crest Highway and crashed through the store. Two people lost their lives in the accident, and one of the most minor casualties was that watercolor painting, of which I still have a remnant.
A very lovely woman contacted me a few months ago and asked if the original painting was for sale (it was not) but I offered to paint it again for her in a size to suit her home, and this is the result. She and her husband were married at Descanso Gardens many years ago, and the painting will be a memory of that very special day. And it makes me especially happy to know that the destroyed painting survives in a unique way. It became a study for this one, which will be in their family for years to come.
Because of my concentration on oil painting, I haven’t been painting watercolor as frequently. But I enjoyed this return to the medium so much that I will probably try to devote a little more time to it in the coming year.
Merry Christmas to all those who are celebrating it tonight and tomorrow.
Descanso Gardens Azaleas
9 x 12 oil on linen panel
Along with the bountiful spring bulbs at Descanso, the azaleas are in full bloom, a temptation for the plein air painter. This scene prompted me to paint mostly with red-green complements.
Wishing everyone a beautiful Easter!
The tulips are up at Descanso, and blooming merrily. When I was painting there a few days ago, I heard that although they planted tens of thousands, that raccoons dug up some of the bulbs, so the display is not as robust as they had hoped. The good news is there was no sign of deer grazing, so they must have shooed them out of the gardens or the blooms would be nipped off.
This is a good time to see the spring bulb show if you’ve never been to the gardens. In addition to the tulip display there are also foxgloves, azaleas, clivia, lilacs (both California native – ceanothus – and the traditional syringas) and some camellias still blooming. The wildflower meadow on the south side of the garden is beautiful now, too, as is the Japanese garden.
No wonder Descanso Gardens are becoming such a popular wedding location – it really is magical and romantic looking in the spring.