Sycamore Shimmer – California landscape tree oil painting by Karen Winters

Sycamore Shimmer
8 x 10 oil on linen plein air panel
SOLD

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See more of my sycamore paintings here
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This painting was painted for the 2012 San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival and hung in the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.
The official festival stamp is on the back side. Sycamores are among our most beautiful California trees, and in the fall they are especially radiant as the colors change.

The active brushwork indicates the way the breeze stirs the leaves of the tree. The use of transparent color creates a luminosity that makes the leaves glow as though light was shining through them.

At the Hacienda – Mission San Antonio de Padua Plein air painting by Karen Winters

“Meanwhile, at the Hacienda”
9 x 12 oil on linen panel
plein air painting – painted at Mission San Antonio de Padua
California Central Coast area

During the California Art Club paint out at the mission, I came upon this small guest house which intrigued me as a painting subject. In the late afternoon light, I could imagine it as an old California adobe, cool inside in spite of the surrounding heat. Some early model chickens miraculously appeared where a late model car had been.

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.

California Poppy Plein Air Landscape Oil Painting – Tejon Ranch

Tejon Ranch Poppy Hillside
9 x 12
oil on plein air panel

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A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of painting at the Tejon Ranch with other artist and signature artist members of the California Art Club. It was a unique opportunity to enjoy the spring beauty of the land, which is not open to the general public. The wind gusts were intense at times, but the color made up for the distraction. This is one of the paintings I worked on over the two day period – this one was on the Antelope Valley side, not too far from the Lancaster Poppy Reserve. I’ll be posting more soon.

Garden at the Ranch – San Luis Obispo – California Plein Air Landscape Oil Painting by Karen Winters

“Garden at the Ranch”
11 x 14 oil on linen panel
San Luis Obispo Central California Coast area

See more of my California Central Coast paintings here

Interested in this painting?
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I’m still catching up on posting a year’s worth of plein air paintings that didn’t get photographed when they were created. This one is from last May, 2010 at a California Art Club paint out at a friend’s ranch in the San Luis Obispo area. Although it was a gray day, the poppies and other California natives really shone through. In fact, maybe the grayness accented their colors. Our friend has a wonderful native plant garden that would rival any garden planted with cultivated non-natives. It’s drought tolerant and seems perfectly adapted to the environment – because it is!

An almost finished work in progress photo is below – thanks to my hubby for taking it. Yep, there’s that hat again.

Lone Pine Plein Air Study – Sierra Landscape painting

Lone Pine (study)
6 x 8 oil on linen panel

More Sierra Nevada paintings here

I had hoped for a sunny day when we visited Lone Pine on one of our many Sierra trips last fall. But that time a storm was on its way in, wrapping the majestic peaks in shades of gray. But I was there and I wasn’t about to be discouraged. The muted tones actually added some interesting color that I wouldn’t have had any other way, and provided a soft contrast to the vivid yellow rabbitbrush which blooms that time of year.

I’m working on Sierra studio paintings based on this and other fall studies, and they’ll be posted over the next month or so.

By far the most annoying part of that day’s paint out was the swarm of flies that appeared as soon as I set up. I’m guessing there must have been free range cattle out there at some time – or where did they come from?

Sycamore Trail – California Plein Air Oil Painting – Landscape by Karen Winters

Sycamore Trail
9 x 12 oil
SOLD

This plein air painting was actually painted last fall, as the leaves of the sycamores were starting to turn – but somehow it escaped my scanner until now. It’s one of the paintings I’ll be bringing to the Casita Del Arroyo show and sale – presented by the California Art Club on Sunday, March 14

Here’s a google map to the sale location

It looks like the rains are tapering off this week, and the weather is warming a bit, so I’m looking forward to even more plein air painting when I’m not working on commissions. The other day I saw a rainbow over our local San Gabriel mountains – what a sight, although it didn’t last very long.

California Impressionist Plein Air Landscape Painting – A Very Good Year – Falkner Winery


“A Very Good Year”
8 x 10 oil on archival canvas panel
Plein air painting – Falkner Winery – Day 2

This is the second of the three plein air paintings I did during the paintout. Because I like to put some sharp detail into my paintings, and because that can be difficult to layer when painting alla prima, sometimes I like to let a painting set up for a few days and then add those finishing touches. For esample, I added some of the eucalyptus leaves overhanging the vineyard back in the studio. I had planned for it on site but knew that it would be easier to control on a surface that wasn’t soaking wet.

Arboretum Fountain – California plein air landscape oil painting

“First there is a fountain, then there is no fountain, then there is”
11 x 14
oil on canvas panel

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Last weekend I did a plein air painting at the Los Angeles Arboretum, which was a nice change of pace. I have a reciprocal membership with my Descanso membership, so I’m looking forward to doing this some more this fall.

This is a view of the San Gabriels that I haven’t painted before. I was enjoying blocking in the fountains, but after awhile they were turned off, so I had to do the rest from memory. If you remember a certain 70s Donovan song, the title of the painting will make perfect sense.

Some other curve balls thrown by Mother Nature. When I started blocking in the painting there was not a cloud in the sky. An hour and a half later, the sky looked like this. By the time the sun had lowered and the interesting shadows started, the clouds were all gone. So this is sort of a compressed-time view of the scene, as plein air paintings often are. You just have to adapt to the changes in a sort of Zen way – acceptance of the moment without stress. Here’s me, below, wildly gesticulating with brushes, no doubt. I hope I didn’t get any paint on that nice lady watching.

California Art Club – So. Pasadena City of Trees Show – “Arroyo Vista”

Arroyo Vista
South Pasadena
18 x 24 oil on canvas

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This is my newest painting, which I took to the South Pasadena Public Library today for display at the annual show featuring scenes of South Pasdena. This year, the theme is City of Trees. Although many people are painting historically significant trees, I have grown fond of this group, framing the Arroyo Seco, which we see on our walks in the area. When the theme of “trees” was announced, I knew just what I wanted to paint.

The following information is from the California Art Club news release about the event:

Location: South Pasadena Public Library Community Room 
1115 El Centro Avenue
South Pasadena, CA 91030

Collectors’ Preview Reception: Friday, October 2, 7 – 9:30 p.m
All submitted artwork will be on display for this special Collectors’ Preview event at the South Pasadena Public Library Community Room. Tickets $25 per person. R.S.V.P. to 626-441-2339  (Participating artists get in free.)

Saturday, October 3, 6 – 10 p.m.
The free exhibition at the South Pasadena Library Community Room continues for one more day as part of SouthPas ArtsFest, featuring live music and entertainment,wine tasting, food court and an ArtWalk featuring eight galleries.