San Mateo Creek, San Clemente – California Plein Air Landscape Painting by Karen Winters

San Mateo Creek, San Clemente
9 x 12 plein air oil painting on linen panel

See more of my seascapes here

This overlook of the San Mateo Creek in San Clemente was painted last summer during the San Clemente Plein Air paint out.
I liked this location with its expansive vista of land and sea in the distance. The famous surfing spot, Trestles, is on the other side of that railroad bridge.

Casa Romantica San Clemente Garden Plein air California Landscape painting

Casa Romantica Garden oil painting
San Clemente
11 x 14
oil on linen panel

Although this painting is sold, I have others.
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See more of my paintings on my website

I have been meaning to post this painting which I painted at Casa Romantica, a beautiful old Spanish building which is now used for weddings and meetings. This was painted on Thursday of the San Clemente paint out, in late June.

This particular part of the garden is called The Butterfly Garden. Host plants like buddleia, milkweed, cosmos and many others are planted to attract the insects. A trellis is placed on the wall to the right where the caterpillars attach themselves and create their chrysalises (chrysales?) If you look at these precious ornaments very closely you can see the monarch wings in various states of metamorphosis. Among the flowers, I have suggested a number of butterflies in the garden. Can you find them all?

In the distance is the San Clemente pier, a local landmark. By the time I finished this, in the afternoon, the June gloom morning fog had burned off.

California Golden Hills – Oak Landscape Plein Air Oil Painting

California Golden Hills
11 x 14
Plein air oil painting

Interested in this painting? Please write

This painting is currently on exhibition in the San Clemente Art Association Gallery, in San Clemente, CA.

Much of the week in San Clemente we experienced “June gloom” – that cool gray marine layer that covers the seacoast until early afternoon. Although paintings in the gloom do have a certain mystery to them, I was looking for a more colorful subject, and so we traveled inland along the Ortega Highway to find this vista at Caspers Park. But really, it could be anywhere in the state – the golden hills studded with oaks is so typical of our scenery.

Just for fun, I included a photo of me, mid-painting, on location. You can see my preliminary sketch on the easel, above the canvas. If I have the time I always try to do a sketch because it helps me to organize my thoughts and not to “get lost” as I strive to capture the scene on canvas. Here are the steps I usually take:
1) select an appealing scene
2) do a value sketch
3) draw the “bones” of the scene on canvas
4) put in the darks
5) put in the lights
6) refinement

If the light is rapidly changing, though, all bets are off, and sometimes you just have to paint whatever is most ephemeral. In this case, I knew that the cloud shadows might go away, so I painted them first, saving the golden grasses for last.

More paintout paintings to come …

Above San Clemente Coastal Plein Air Seascape Skyline Painting

“Above San Clemente”
8 x 10 oil
The view from Salvador Drive, high above San Clemente, about 5:30 in the evening

This painting is on exhibit at the San Clemente Art Association Gallery, until July 31.
If you are not in the area but are interested in purchasing, please write me and I will contact the gallery.

This was one of the paintings I did for the plein air paintout – at the end of a very long day painting in other locations. It portrays the silvery bay in late afternoon light from the vantage point of Salvador Drive, up Presidio, east of the city. The sun was just out of the frame, and I was trying to keep it under the brim of my hat – not easy! My husband took this picture of the painting on the easel at the end, just as the sky was starting to turn warmish. I thought it looked kind of neat backlit by the sun.

More of my work from the paint out will be posted all this week, so please check back.

Yellow Ribbon -Plein Air Homecoming Oil Painting – San Clemente

“Until You Come Home”
9 x 12
oil on panel

This was the painting that I did for the QuickDraw phase of the San Clemente Art Association annual paintout. A quick draw is a timed competition – from the stamping of panels to the final horn, we had exactly 3 hours to get to a location, paint a painting, get back and frame the painting and turn it in. It may sound like a lot of time but when you take off travel time and setting up an easel and packing up, the time really flies.

The weather has been very gray in San Clemente (think: June gloom) and it hadn’t burned off by 12:30, the start time. With this in mind, I looked for something to paint the day before that would have a spot of color. When I saw this yellow ribbon hung on the balcony of an apartment building, I made it my choice. San Clemente borders Camp Pendleton, the Marine Corps base, so I’m guessing that someone who lives in that apartment has a loved one in the service, and the yellow ribbon represents waiting for their safe return from overseas. The apartment is on the corner of Santa Barbara and Del Mar, if anyone knows who lives there. The painting is currently hanging in the San Clemente Art Gallery in the Community Center. If no one takes it home before Friday, it will be in my booth for the Saturday-Sunday show.

I am continuing to paint in San Clemente and Orange and San Diego counties for the rest of the event. I’ve got three additional paintings finished, and more to come by the end of the week.

Westward Waves – Southern California Art – Marine Seascape Oil Painting by Karen Winters

“Westward Waves”
16 x 20 oil on canvas

Interested in this painting? Please write

This painting was done in anticipation of the San Clemente paintout and sale, which will start a week from Saturday and continue through the following Saturday and Sunday, June 27 and 28.

This will be my first year participating and I’m really looking forward to it. I have painted before in the San Diego County area, most recently for a week in Fallbrook, and I think the country is beautiful. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll be doing ocean scenes or some of the lovely inland areas, but I know it will be a great experience either way.

The small Laguna Tide Pool study sold last week at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens show, and this larger painting, based upon that study, was already under way.

A Walk in the Surf – Romantic Seascape California Marine Oil Painting

A Walk in the Surf
8″ x 6″
oil on canvas

SOLD to a collector from Santa Cruz

A romantic stroll on the beach, the water rolling up gently on the shore. If you live near a coast I’ll bet you have a memory or two, don’t you?

I’m thinking seaward these days, getting geared up for the San Clemente paint out the week of June 20 – 28, culminating with a two day show and sale. The plein air painting should be great – I’m really looking forward to it.