Crystal Crag Mammoth Lakes – oil painting

“Crystal Crag – Mammoth Lakes”

8 x 10 inches, oil on linen panel


Crystal Crag is an iconic granite structure towering over the Mammoth Lakes basin. It can be seen from Lake Mamie, Lake Mary, Lake George and Crystal Lake. The peak of the monolith is 10,364 feet high. This is a late summer/early autumn view. 

This painting is now sold, but there are many others on my website – please get in touch. 

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June Lake Beach, Eastern Sierra California painting art

“June Lake Beach – Eastern Sierra, California”
11 x 14 inch oil painting

You would think that with all the painting I’ve done in the Eastern Sierra that I would have spent some time at June Lake Beach, but this is a new location for me.
The autumn colors were starting to fade, but it still looked beautiful this year. I am hoping that with another good snowpack that the trees will be just as magnificent next year, and the lake at a high water mark, a welcome sight after all the drought years.

Our family has fond memories of the June Lake area as it was where we went skiing when our children were growing up. We haven’t been back to ski in many years, but I enjoy it still for painting and relaxing. Especially the Tiger Bar in town, right?

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High Water at Devil’s Gate Dam – California landscape oil painting

High Water at Devil’s Gate Dam – Arroyo Seco
20 x 24 oil on canvas

I painted this to memorialize an area near and dear to me, not far from where I live. This is the boundary between La Canada Flintridge and Altadena – the upper Arroyo Seco, once known as Oak Grove Park and now known as the Hahamongna Watershed Area. Because of the silt that has accumulated above the dam, the dam has lost much of its capacity. There are plans underway to dredge this entire area, but one of the plans will remove not only the silt, but a great number of the trees and habitat that has grown up in the area. To read more about the devastation that will be caused by the County plan, visit It makes me sad to think that views such as this may soon be gone, and probably won’t return in my lifetime, unless a more thoughtful, conservation-oriented plan is adopted.

#arroyoseco #hahamongna #watershed #DevilsGateDam #lacanada #oilpainting #landscape #california

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)

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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.

Arroyo Moonrise – Arroyo Seco California nocturne oil painting by Karen Winters

Arroyo Moonrise
18 x 24 oil on canvas

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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.

Fall at Convict Lake Eastern Sierra California oil painting by Karen Winters

“Fall at Convict Lake”
12 x 16
oil on canvas

Convict Lake is one of the most accessible High Sierra lakes – and in the fall, when the aspens turn color, it’s especially captivating. Some day I’ll spend the whole day there, just watching the light play across the faces of the granite mountains, as the clouds slowly drift, disappear and reform. I’m not sure what kind of fish were biting that day, but there were a lot of fishermen enjoying the freshness of fall.

Breeze from the Lake – California Central Coast impressionist oil painting by Karen Winters

“Breeze from the Lake”
4 x 8″ oil on wooden panel


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Late afternoon breezes stir the waters of Laguna Lake in San Luis Obispo County

If you live in Southern California, I invite you to visit my solo exhibition at Descanso Gardens in La Canada. Now through January 2, 2012.
Approximately 30 paintings are on display at all times. As one is sold, it is taken by the buyer and I replace it with a new one from my inventory. I will be at the show weekends unless it’s raining, and some weekday afternoons.

Return to Golden Pond (On Golden Pond) California Tonalist Landscape Oil painting by Karen Winters

“Return to Golden Pond”
14 x 18 inches
Oil on canvas

Central California – Western Sierra Foothills painting

This painting was done for an upcoming exhibition at the Colony Theater Gallery in Burbank, in conjunction with the performance of “On Golden Pond.” In addition to a dozen or more other paintings which will be exhibited, I painted this one to tie in very specifically with the theme of the play. Although the play is set in the eastern United States, I decided to do my own take on it, as a California landscape painter. The location is a pond bordering the western foothills of the Sierras. I don’t usually paint in a tonalist/monochromatic style, but it seemed perfect for this project.

More details on the show will follow as the opening approaches.

Heavenly Light – California Tonalist Landscape Painting – Devils Gate Dam – Hahamongna Park – Arroyo Seco by Karen Winters

“Heavenly Light at Devil’s Gate Dam”
(upper Arroyo Seco –
Hahamongna Park – La Canada Flintridge, Pasadena)
9 x 12 oil on linen plein air panel

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When we have heavy rain, the waters really back up behind Devil’s Gate Dam in the Upper Arroyo Seco, between La Canada Flintridge and Pasadena.
The graceful eucalyptus and willows have their feet in swampy water. I’m sure the water loving willows love it – not so sure about the eucalyptus. In time the waters will filter down into the aquifer, recharging the subterranean reservoir. But for now, they provide a beautiful reflecting surface in which to see the ever-changing skies.

See more Pasadena area arroyo seco paintings here

Descanso Gardens Teahouse Watercolor Painting – California Landscape Art Gallery

Descanso Gardens Japanese Teahouse
22 x 30 watercolor on Arches paper
SOLD (painted on commission)

This painting has a history. Several years ago, I painted a smaller version of it, and it was exhibited for sale at a local store in La Canada. One day in April a few years ago, a car transport trailer lost its brakes on the Angeles Crest Highway and crashed through the store. Two people lost their lives in the accident, and one of the most minor casualties was that watercolor painting, of which I still have a remnant.

A very lovely woman contacted me a few months ago and asked if the original painting was for sale (it was not) but I offered to paint it again for her in a size to suit her home, and this is the result. She and her husband were married at Descanso Gardens many years ago, and the painting will be a memory of that very special day. And it makes me especially happy to know that the destroyed painting survives in a unique way. It became a study for this one, which will be in their family for years to come.

Because of my concentration on oil painting, I haven’t been painting watercolor as frequently. But I enjoyed this return to the medium so much that I will probably try to devote a little more time to it in the coming year.

Merry Christmas to all those who are celebrating it tonight and tomorrow.