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)
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.
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”
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”
4 x 8″ oil on wooden panel
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”
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
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.
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.
“Twin Lakes, Bridgeport, California – Autumn Cottonwoods”
12 x 16 Sierra oil painting
oil on canvas
These backlit cottonwoods at Twin Lakes in the Sierra Nevada were a perfect frame for the cool blue scene beyond. Although we didn’t take the time to fish (too many things to paint!), there were a lot of fishermen out in boats and fishing from the shore. An absolutely beautiful spot, and popular, I’m sure, with many looking for rainbow and brown trout. We checked out the little village at Twin Lakes Resort and will no doubt be back for a longer stay.
This has been an exciting few weeks with openings of several small works shows, at the Segil Gallery in Monrovia and the Silvana Gallery in Glendale, California. Our local sycamores are now turning color and it’s time for me to get out and paint some studies while waiting for layers to dry on my commissioned paintings.
Eastern Sierra Oil Painting
“Lundy Creek Aspens”
12 x 12 inches
Oil on linen panel
As you go up Lundy Creek, after passing by the lake, you encounter two beaver ponds. There is evidence of a lot of beaver activity, (fallen gnawed logs) but the crew has never been working the times we’ve been there. Perhaps they were hiding out in their lodges until the humans went away. This stand of aspens were in the process of changing from green to gold, which made them look frosted on top. Later they would be yellow and orange – another equally dazzling combination.