La Canada Flintridge Bridle Trail Landscape Oil Painting

I haven’t posted in a week, but more art will be coming soon. I was painting in South Pasadena last weekend, follwed by an out of town trip followed by a close relative having a serious stroke. I’ve been painting in the midst of it all but there hasn’t been time to get it shot and uploaded. So here is one from the archives that is still available.

Descanso Gardens Path – California Impressionist Landscape

Descanso Gardens Path
9.7 x 7.6 inches
Acrylic on paper

People often ask me what the word “Descanso” means. It comes from the Spanish verb, descansar meaning “to repose or rest”. So, Descanso Gardens suggests a place of rest and relaxation.

To counteract today’s politically and economically charged climate, I thought I’d paint something that you would find restful and energizing. A place of repose and calm. A place to recharge and restore your soul. My friend Ruth told me the other day that she likes the ‘paths of light’ that I put into my paintings. It made me happy that she noticed that because they are a prominent feature of many of my landscapes. So today’s painting features all the restful elements I can conjure up … a cared-for well-tended garden, a place of rest and a path of light, beckoning to brighter times ahead.

My Secret – My Confession – Artists Reception Saturday at The Marengo Collection

This Saturday, October 4, please join me at The Marengo Collection on 494 S. Marengo Ave. in Pasadena from 2-6 pm for the opening of the 25th annual Day of the Dead event, jointly presented by The Folk Tree and the Marengo Collection.

This painting “My offering – my confession” will be on display at the Marengo Collection for the month leading up to El Dia de Los Muertos, concluding Nov 2.

Today, our local newspaper, The La Canada Valley Sun, did an Entertainment Section feature on me and the artwork, and I’m absolutely thrilled!

The online article is here: Karen Winters Day of the Dead Watercolor

Sunset Soiree – California Impressionist Plein Air Genre Painting

“Sunset Soiree” SOLD
9 x 12 oil on canvas
Plein air painting

A few nights ago I had the pleasure of doing a plein air sunset painting while listening to the sweet sounds of The Crown City Brass Quintet. Wine, music, art, lovely people, gardens. It just doesn’t get any better than this!

And now, a few words about painting at sunset when much of the color has gone. What do you do? You invent it and you paint the color the way it might have been. Or, in the words of the late artist Milford Zornes “paint it the way you want it to be.” And so I did.

By the time I arrived at the event, around 6:30, the sun had settled behind the majestic pines and oaks. But what remained were hints of warm color that I exaggerated to create a mood. Painting in settings like this is a special treat for me because, unlike in a restaurant, cafe or on the beach, the people remain seated for the duration, so one’s painting isn’t ruined by the sudden rearrangement of of the models! This culture loving group gave me a rare opportunity to paint a genre scene in a leisurely hour and a half.

Arroyo Trail – California Impressionist Oil Painting by Karen Winters

Arroyo Trail
11 x 14 oil

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The Arroyo Seco continues to be one of my favorite subjects for landscapes. In the distance are the San Rafael Hills, part of the communities of La Canada Flintridge and Pasadena.

San Gabriel Summer – California Impressionist plein air style Oil painting

San Gabriel Summer
5 x 7 oil on panel

This quick impression of Hahmongna park captures the feeling of the San Gabriel mountains when summer thunderheads bring rain to the high desert. The weather has been hot and humid, and the thunderheads are the evidence. The heat is keeping people away from Descanso Gardens, much to our disappointment. But the weather is supposed to improve, and the weekend will be in the mid 80s … a big drop from the close to 100 degrees we’ve been experiencing.

Flint Canyon Trail, Autumn – Five Years of Blogging

Flint Canyon Trail – Autumn – La Canada Flintridge
16 x 20 oil on canvas

Celebrating five years of blogging


Today marks 5 years of blogging from when I first opened an account on Live Journal. It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed all the learning and friendships that have come out of it. Back in the day, there was no artwork on my blog. I didn’t feel like sharing my sketchbooks and journals, but eventually took the plunge.

In five years, I’ve seen the power of social networking to help people make connections, discover new techniques, teach each other and experience each others’ triumphs and tragedies, artistic and otherwise. I know that my life has been enriched by not only the daily discipline of making art and blogging but the encouragement I’ve received from so many of my readers. I hope that I’ve been able to pay that good will forward when I can.

One of the great things about blogging, as opposed to just building a static website, like mine, is the daily interactivity it allows. I know that if I ran into a dead end trying to answer a question or track down an art supply, that I could post a question and some kind soul would know the answer and help me out. So even though we may work alone, we are still part of a vital, supportive and interactive community.

Recently, I’ve taken another step – to get involved in the Facebook community. So if you’ve got an account look me up

California Impressionist Oil Painting -La Canada Memories – San Gabriel Mountains – Karen Winters

12 x 16 oil on canvas
“La Canada Memories – Oak Grove Park”

This one is not for sale but was a last Christmas gift to my daughter. But it wasn’t really practical for her to schlep it back on the plane to Northwestern U. so we agreed I’d get it framed up for her to take to her new place in the SF Bay area. So, it’s all finished up and here it is.

This is a scene of Hahamongna Park looking northward to the San Gabriel Mountains. (Formerly Oak Grove Park.) It is right across the street from the high school where Kelly and her brother went to school, as well as right next door to their preschool. So this truly is a hometown painting. Hahamongna Park is also known as the northern part of the Arroyo Seco, an area I’ve painted often and will again in the very near future!

We Two – La Canada Flintridge Trail – Karen Winters Oil Painting

“We Two” – (La Canada Flintridge Trail) – 12 x 16 oil on canvas

UPDATE … I took the painting to the show today (Saturday) and was happy to find out that it won Best in Show. So I think I made a good decision to choose this one to enter.

Like the study that preceded it (Fall in Winter in La Canada), this painting was inspired by a walk my husband and I took last winter along the Flint Canyon Trail in La Canada, our home town. The sycamores were blazing with autumn color, even though winter was on the way. I am keeping this painting for sentimental reasons, but if anyone is interested, I can make prints. I’m entering this in an upcoming show, one of the many I’ve been preparing for.

If you live in or near La Canada, the location of this painting is very near the little old stone bridge at Berkshire which goes over the Flint Canyon creek. This is a part of the equestrian trail that is to one side of the creek.

Spring Memories – Karen Winters Daily Painting

“Spring Memories” 12 x 16 oil on canvas

Yes, spring is here – the hillsides covered with fresh green grass, the birds singing in every tree, and gentle breezes replacing the harsher winds of winter. Well, as harsh as it gets in Southern California – which is not much, all things considered.

This particular scene is a pathway in Descanso Gardens. But it could be just about anywhere in So. Cal this time of year.

Still, we welcome springtime as does everyone else. The wildflowers have already begun blooming and I’m looking forward to some poppy painting soon.