Sunrise on Two Trees Hill, Ventura, landscape oil painting

Sunrise on Two Trees Hill, Ventura, California
9 x 12 oil on plein air panel

This new painting depicts very early morning in Ventura, California, with the sun rising over Two Trees Hill, a local landmark.
The plumbago bushes were in full bloom and there was quite a bit of mist in the air, adding to the interesting atmosphere.

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Malibu Lagoon Sunrise oil painting

“Sunrise at Malibu Lagoon”
18 x 24 oil painting on canvas

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Malibu Lagoon, in Malibu, California is currently undergoing restoration. There were heated arguments regarding whether or not this wetland habitat should be rehabilitated or left as is. I’m not a Malibu resident so I didn’t follow it closely, but it seemed as though good points were made on both sides. At any rate, I hope that one day it returns to its former beauty, as I visualized it here. Wildlife was abundant … and it was lush and beautiful at any time of day, but especially early morning and at sunset.

Tournament House Rose Garden Oil Painting Pasadena Wrigley Mansion commissioned painting

Tournament House Rose Garden painting
(Home of the Tournament of Roses Association, Rose Parade organizer)
11 x 14 oil
Painted on commission

This new painting is intended as a Christmas gift from the lovely woman who commissioned it, for a very special gentleman. The rose garden was where they first met. Built in 1906, the Tournament House was purchased by chewing gum magnate Wm. Wrigley in 1914. The home was given to the city of Pasadena in 1958 for use by the Tournament Association. The centennial rose garden (seen here) is spectacular in full bloom. The painting represents it in early morning light.

Don’t you just love romantic stories? I know I do, and I get a special joy from making paintings that commemorate special events – like first dates, first meetings, places where proposals happened, and so forth.

If you’re considering giving a painting as a holiday gift, this is a very good time to get in touch as things get busier as the season draws closer.

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California Mission San Antonio de Padua, landscape oil painting by Karen Winters

Mission San Antonio Morning
(San Antonio de Padua, California Central Coast, northwest of Paso Robles)
9 x 12 inches
Oil on linen plein air panel

In early June 2012, I joined a group of other California Art Club artists to paint at Mission San Antonio de Padua, a California mission that is the most “untouched” of the chain. Although some outbuildings and residential quarters have been added, the setting is very much as it might have been hundreds of years ago. This side of the building, the facade where one enters the church, remains much as it was in the early years. By mid day this was all in shade, so morning is the time to catch it. We were up before dawn getting set up to capture the light. We were warned several times to watch out for rattlesnakes. It’s easy to become so focused on what you’re painting that you might not notice one that’s emerged from a hole while you are painting. I didn’t see one, thankfully, but I was certainly careful where I stepped.

Sunrise in the Oaks – Tejon Ranch California plein air Landscape impressionist oil painting by Karen Winters

“Sunrise in the Oaks”
11 x 14 oil on linen plein air panel
Tejon Ranch, May 2012

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REMINDER – Artists reception for my show at Gale’s Restaurant, Sunday, May 20 – 4-6 pm, 452 S. Fairoaks Ave., Pasadena

Good morning, Tejon. A small band of intrepid California Art Club plein air painters woke at 4 am to get to the ranch and queue up in our vehicles to be on site before the sun rose. I had found my perfect spot – on Sycamore Creek, looking eastward just as the sun peeked over the hills and made the leaves of the old oak dazzle with the backlight. I had to bundle up and dress in layers, knowing that before long I’d be peeling them off as the day turned warm. This, like all of the Tejon Ranch, is absolutely beautiful – a real treat for plein air painters. We appreciate the invitation and the privilege to be there.

Golden morning – Heritage Valley California impressionist oil painting

Golden Morning in Heritage Valley
9 x 12 oil painting on wood panel
(near Santa Paula, highway 126)

Whenever we go up the coast to San Luis Obispo, we inevitably take the scenic drive through Heritage Valley, also known as California highway 126. This highway goes through beautiful peaceful farming land filled with strawberry fields and citrus groves. Eucalyptus trees serve as windbreaks along the way.

Morning’s First Light – California tonalist landscape oil painting by Karen Winters

Mornings First Light
8 x 10 inches – oil painting on linen panel


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This dramatic small painting of eucalyptus trees on Malibu Bluffs will be available through Segil Fine Art for their 9th annual Small Works Show. The artists reception will be Saturday, December 3, from 5-7 pm. The Segil Gallery is in Old Town, Monrovia, CA

Plein Air art Lightner Peak Walker Basin Oil Painting – Morning Light – California impressionist landscape by karen Winters

Morning Light on Lightner Peak
9 x 12 plein air oil painting on panel

Walker Basin, view from Rankin Ranch of Lightner Peak,
Kern County oil painting

A few days ago I had an opportunity to paint at the Rankin Ranch near Caliente in the Walker Basin, Kern County. This was painted 95% on location, and corrected in minor ways in the studio when the painting was dryer. It’s one of many plein air paintings that I did during our stay, more to come.

Below, a shot of me working on it on location:

The painting looks warmer in the large photo because it was taken under indoor light (warmer) which is the way it will likely be viewed in someone’s home or office. The outdoor photo captures how it looks under shady outdoor light, which is bluer.

San Luis Obispo Plein Air Landscape Painting – When Sunrise Fills the Sky – SLO Art by Karen Winters

SOLD to a collector from Nipomo …

“When Sunrise Fills the Sky”
11 x 14 oil on linen plein air panel
Near Nipomo, San Luis Obispo County
Plein Air Landscape Oil Painting

I thought that I had photographed all the paintings I did last year at the CAC paint out, but I recently came across this one and thought I’d wait until spring to post it. It was painted near the Dana Adobe near Nipomo, as were the other two done that day at the California Art Club paint out.

In the early morning the sun broke through the moody fog with the promise of a beautiful day.

See more of my California Central Coast paintings here

My paintings have been recently featured in an article “Top 15 oil painting blogs” on this site. Thanks to the site owner, Andrea.

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

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!