Los Olivos Twilight, with oak tree California impressionist oil painting

“Los Olivos Twilight … with oak tree”
Backroads California impressionist oil painting
11 x 14 inches, oil on plein air linen panel

We attended a friend’s wedding in Los Olivos many years ago, and while we were in the area, we saw this remarkable sunset with incredibly vivid pinks, oranges and violets. The silhouette of the old oak tree made a lasting impression on me, and I’ve always wanted to paint the scene. If you look carefully, you can see golden grapevines on the left side of the road.


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California Golden Hills and Oak Trees oil painting

California Golden Hills and Oaks
18 x 24 inches, oil on canvas

This is a theme and location that I will keep returning to — California’s beautiful rolling hills, studded with majestic live oak trees. The rain has been light this year, so the hills are not as green as we have seen them in the past; which means the swaying grasses will not be as tall this summer and fall. But it’s all a cycle and will be repeated again and again. I’ve even seen some of the local oaks starting to re-sprout that were scorched by last fall’s fire. Nature renews itself endlessly.


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Yosemite Chapel in Autumn oil painting California impressionist contemporary art

Yosemite Chapel in Autumn
10 x 8 inches
oil painting

Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of year at Yosemite, and this little wedding chapel is never more charming than when framed with fall color. The deep afternoon blues of the walls are a perfect complement to the warm colors of the trees. I wonder how many thousands of weddings have been celebrated here?


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Cottonwood Breeze Owens Valley Sierra fall oil painting

“Cottonwood Breeze”
Owens Valley 14 x 18 inch oil painting
Eastern Sierra, California

Owens Valley was a blaze of color last fall. The cottonwoods fairly glittered in the sun. This is one of my favorite locations to paint, near Swall Meadow, Round Valley.
The blues and golds complement each other so well.

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Golden Panorama California rolling hills oaks oil painting

“Golden Panorama”
15 x 30 inches oil painting
SOLD

I don’t usually paint in series, but lately I’ve been focusing on different explorations of California’s golden rolling oak covered hills. This is the first wide-format one that I’ve done. The other most recent ones were both 20 x 24 inches.

This painting represents the California Central Coast region, near Cambria, Morro Bay, Cayucos and Paso Robles. I wonder how much the oaks have recovered this year following the several years of drought.

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Rolling and Golden – California oak tree hill landscape oil painting

“Rolling and Golden”
Central Coast California oak covered hills
20 x 24 inches
Oil on canvas

I’m continuing my series exploring California’s beautiful rolling golden hillsides. This one is from the Central Coast, where the grass is currently long, lush and green. But very soon the rains will fade and the grass will turn the most beautiful shade of ochre and amber. According to historical accounts, California’s hills weren’t always like this. The golden color comes from wild oats which were imported to feed livestock during the Spanish colonial period. Native species were edged out in the process.

Enjoy this painting in your own home and have golden California glory with you year round.

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To see more oak tree landscape paintings please also visit: Karen Winters Oak Tree Paintings

Peak Performance – Mt. Emerson, Bishop, Sierra oil painting

Peak Performance
Mt Emerson, Bishop, California, Sierra Nevada range
California impressionist landscape oil painting
9 x 12 inch oil painting

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This plein air painting was painted last spring up in “Buttermilk Country” west of Bishop, in the foothills of the Eastern Sierra. We had as our guide a friend of ours who grew up in the area and knew every back road and one lane gullied path through the sagebrush. Eventually we ended up at this beautiful wilderness location.

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Along the River Road – California golden hills impressionist oil painting landscape

Along the River Road
20 x 24 inches, oil on canvas
(The old river road, Monterey County, near Salinas)

This stretch of road is one of the prettiest in Central California for classic views incorporating mountains, golden fields and majestic oak trees. I painted the similar area before in “Fields of Gold,” and will no doubt return to that section of the state again and again.

Remembering the Light – California Central Coast eucalyptus landscape oil painting, plein air style

Remembering the Light
California Central Coast eucalyptus sunset oil painting
16 x 20 inches, oil on canvas

There’s a place I like to go traveling up highway 101, where the eucalyptus trees grow so gracefully, sculpted by ocean breezes. No matter the time of day, the light seems to do amazing things with these trees. This one, in particular, catches my imagination with every visit.

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California landscape eucalyptus painting – Beside Still Waters

“Beside Still Waters”
18 x 24 inch oil painting
On the road to Yosemite, through California’s Central Valley

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This scene has intrigued me from when I first saw it a few years ago, in the spring. California’s Central Valley was green with a plentitude of winter rain, and the distant Sierra foothills provided a beautiful cool contrast to the warm wildflower covered foreground. The pond, which seemed to be dammed up for cattle grazing, looked so inviting. If it wasn’t on fenced off private property, I would have liked to sit by it and dangle my feet in that cool fresh water. Eucalputus remain among my favorite trees to paint, although they are less plentiful the further you drive to the foothills. Oaks seem to dominate there. The day we were there, the clouds were drifting by constantly, creating beautiful shadows which I took full advantage of.