“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 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.
Yosemite Chapel in Autumn
10 x 8 inches
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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“Sunny Day, Laguna Beach”
12 x 16 inches, oil painting
This plein air style painting was fun to paint, capturing the breezy, easy warmth and salt spray of Laguna Beach, California. Marine paintings and seascapes always take me to a happy place.
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15 x 30 inches oil painting
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.
Carmel Bay Shimmer
8 x 10 inches, oil painting on plein air panel
Carmel Bay, Monterey County California
This new painting features one of my favorite ocean scenes – Carmel Bay on the Monterey Peninsula. This viewpoint is looking southward across the bay toward Monastery Beach. The Carmel River enters the bay on the left. I’m not sure what kind of rocks these are – they seem harder than sandstone or I think they’d be more worn away … but they are certainly rounded into interesting shapes via wave action. There’s something about them that reminds me of Henry Moore sculptures.
“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.
To see more oak tree landscape paintings please also visit: Karen Winters Oak Tree Paintings
To Walk Through Hills of Gold
18 x 24 inches
California landscape impressionist oil painting
This is another in my series of California hilly landscapes. This one is in the Central Coast area and features a large live oak tree, as well as smaller oaks in the background. This is a typical look from late May through December. After that time, the earliest rains start to make the hills green. This year we may see green sticking around for a little longer.
Mt Emerson, Bishop, California, Sierra Nevada range
California impressionist landscape oil painting
9 x 12 inch oil painting
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.
For The Glory of the Skies
20 x 24 inches
Oil on canvas
This new painting was inspired by the old hymn “For the Beauty of the Earth,” a song of Thanksgiving I learned as a child. I recalled the second line … “for the glory of the skies” … the moment I saw this scene in California’s Owens Valley, in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada, near the June Lake loop. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas seemed an apt time to share it for the first time. If you are in Southern California, you are welcome to see the painting in person in my home studio.