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


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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.

San Luis Obispo Flower Fields – California impressionist painting – Central Coast

San Luis Obispo Flower Fields
9 x 12
oil on linen plein air panel

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This is one of the paintings that I did for the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival, sponsored by the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.

It was painted the first day of the paint out, bright and early Monday morning, along a rural road. A photographer for SLO City News saw me painting by the side of the road and spent some time taking pictures of the work in progress. It was a nice surprise to find out that it made the cover of the paper …

Montana De Oro Cliffs Painting – California Central Coast Art by Karen Winters

“Montana de Oro Cliffs”
12 x 16 oil on linen panel

California Central Coast oil painting

This plein air painting was started on location on a sunny day on California’s Central Coast. But before long – those distant soft clouds came closer and closer, then let loose with a powerful cloudburst. The light changed so completely I was forced to stop painting and to finish it in the studio based upon my memory (which sometimes works out best of all.)

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Just this side of Paradise – Los Osos Central California plein air oil painting by Karen Winters


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“Just This Side of Paradise”
8 x 10 inch
Plein air oil painting
Exhibited in the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art
during the 2011 Plein Air Festival

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This painting was done along Los Osos Valley road one morning, as rain clouds were gathering (or leaving) and the sun was trying to break through. I saw this scene while driving and hurried to turn around and park and set up my easel before the effect was lost. I liked the hay bales stacked up by the eucalyptus trees, so I put them in also.

The central peak in the background is one of the 9 sisters – the volcanic plugs which include Morro Rock and Bishop Peak. I think that one is Cerro Romualdo. It’s pyramid-shaped top is swathed in clouds.

The title comes from the fact that Paradise Lane is quite close by. I seem to run into a lot of places named Paradise – like Paradise camp in the Sierra, too.

That Sunset Glow – California landscape eucalyptus oil painting – impressionist art by Karen Winters

“That Sunset Glow”
11 x 14 oil painting
Eucalyptus Trees in California Central Coast


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Eucalyptuses resting in a golden field in California’s Central Coast. This is one theme that I will never tire of painting – a location that I saw this past October while painting at the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival.

Twilight on Back Bay- Los Osos Twilight Central Coast oil painting by Karen Winters

Twilight on Back Bay
9 x 12 oil painting on canvas

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I’m still catching up posting some of the paintings I did during the San Luis Obispo paint out early in October. This is one of my favorite semi-nocturnes, painted while the sun was in a cloud bank and was in the process of setting. Within a few minutes the sun emerged from the clouds and the whole scene was bathed in warm rosy hues, which I captured very rapidly. Then the sun dipped below the horizon and darkness came quickly.

As you can see in the photo below, I am literally standing in the marshy estuary. The prominent mountain in the distance is Hollister Peak. This work in progress photo was taken while the sun was in the cloud bank.

California Central Coast oil painting “The Kitchen Garden” – Los Osos – by Karen Winters

“The Kitchen Garden”
9 x 12 oil painting

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While I was in San Luis Obispo County for the Plein Air Festival this year, I saw this charming rural scene down a side road in Los Osos. The red barn style house provided a beautiful contrast to the vibrant green eucalyptus trees, and I liked the small vegetable garden growing nearby. It took me back to early California days, a bit of the past still thriving in the present.

California plein air seascape oil painting of Morro Bay – Montana De Oro by Karen Winters



SOLD “A Walk to the Dunes”
(Morro Bay, Montana de Oro vicinity, San Luis Obispo)
8 x 10 plein air oil painting on linen panel

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The day after the reception for the California Art Club group show at the San Luis Obispo Art Museum, the weather was perfect for some painting. In the morning I painted at Karner’s point (near Baywood Park) and in the afternoon, the destination was this spot near Montana de Oro. The hazy late afternoon light created a magical look to the whole scene. The tranquil sea can be seen beyond the distant dunes. Large eucalyptus trees shelter one of the many small houses in the area. From this viewpoint, if you were to look another 30 degrees to the right you would see Morro Rock.

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Morning at the Cove – Baywood Park, Morro Bay California Impressionist Plein Air Painting by Karen Winters

“Morning at the Cove”
8 x 10 plein air oil painting on linen panel
Cuesta Cove, Baywood Park (near Morro Bay, Los Osos area)
California Central Coast
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This plein air painting was done last weekend while I was up in San Luis Obispo attending the opening of the California Art Club “Gems of the Central Coast” show at the San Luis Obispo Art Museum. The morning after the reception, some of my painting friends and I went over to this picturesque area. When I began to paint, the tide was in and the water was very still, allowing a beautiful reflection of the eucalyptus grove. By the time an hour had passed, the wind came up and the reflection was gone. Such is the plein air life!

Fields of Peace – Los Osos Valley Road, San Luis Obispo County California Landscape Painting by Karen Winters

Fields of Peace Oil Painting, Los Osos Valley Road, San Luis Obispo County, California Central Coast, California impressionist landscape art by Karen Winters

“Fields of Peace”
11 x 14 inches oil painting on canvas
Central Coast California, near Los Osos
(San Luis Obispo County)

In late spring, the ranch land near San Luis Obispo starts to turn from green to a dusky brown. Here and there the dried remains of earlier grasses take on hues of violet and umber. Coastal scrub plants provide a stark contrast with their fresh green foliage. Eucalyptus, of course, stay green year round – the ever-constant providers of shade and windbreaks. As the marine layer moves in from the sea to the west, the clouds catch the light of the lowering sun and turn shades of peach and apricot.

See more of my California Central Coast paintings here