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
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.
The San Gabriel mountains provide a backdrop to a riparian environment where eucalyptus, willow and other trees and shrubs grow in the watershed area known as Hahamongna Park. Formerly known as Oak Grove Park, it is a popular recreation area for hikers, frisbee players and mountain lions. (Just kidding, but they have been spotted occasionally in the area.) This view features one of the beautiful eucalyptus trees and the wildflowers and grasses that flourish in the springtime.
“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.
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
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.
“Trail through the Foothills”
9 x 12 oil painting
The sunlight floods the Crescenta Canada Valley in the early morning. Oak trees and other chapparal scrub frame a view of tranquility. Down below, people are gearing up to get to work. Up here, it is a reminder of how the valley used to look before it was developed, back when the early California impressionists painted. it. Remnants of buckwheat provide a warm contrast to the cool blue shadows.
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.
Mt. Whitney Portal Lone Pine painting – Eastern Sierra Nevada Landscape oil painting by Karen Winters
“The Way to Mt. Whitney”
(Lone Pine, Eastern Sierra, Mt. Whitney Portal)
18 x 24 inches
Oil painting on canvas
These days I’ve been completing some of my Sierra paintings that I’ve been working on for awhile. During the holidays things got so busy that I didn’t have the time to bring them to finish.
Interesting facts about Mt. Whitney and the Lone Pine area:
Mt. Whitney (slightly right of center in the painting) is the highest mountain the lowest 48 states, and is the most-climbed peak in the Sierra and one of the most climbed mountains in the US. It is composed of granite and is a “jointed” formation. Looking at Whitney from its east face, a formation known as “The Needles” is directly to the left.
There is little rainfall most of the year, so the eastern slopes reflect that climate. Below there are alpine forests, but at the higher reaches greenery is scarce, dominated by gray granite.