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. 

Casa Romantica San Clemente Garden Plein air California Landscape painting

Casa Romantica Garden oil painting
San Clemente
11 x 14
oil on linen panel

Although this painting is sold, I have others.
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I have been meaning to post this painting which I painted at Casa Romantica, a beautiful old Spanish building which is now used for weddings and meetings. This was painted on Thursday of the San Clemente paint out, in late June.

This particular part of the garden is called The Butterfly Garden. Host plants like buddleia, milkweed, cosmos and many others are planted to attract the insects. A trellis is placed on the wall to the right where the caterpillars attach themselves and create their chrysalises (chrysales?) If you look at these precious ornaments very closely you can see the monarch wings in various states of metamorphosis. Among the flowers, I have suggested a number of butterflies in the garden. Can you find them all?

In the distance is the San Clemente pier, a local landmark. By the time I finished this, in the afternoon, the June gloom morning fog had burned off.

Yellow Ribbon -Plein Air Homecoming Oil Painting – San Clemente

“Until You Come Home”
9 x 12
oil on panel

This was the painting that I did for the QuickDraw phase of the San Clemente Art Association annual paintout. A quick draw is a timed competition – from the stamping of panels to the final horn, we had exactly 3 hours to get to a location, paint a painting, get back and frame the painting and turn it in. It may sound like a lot of time but when you take off travel time and setting up an easel and packing up, the time really flies.

The weather has been very gray in San Clemente (think: June gloom) and it hadn’t burned off by 12:30, the start time. With this in mind, I looked for something to paint the day before that would have a spot of color. When I saw this yellow ribbon hung on the balcony of an apartment building, I made it my choice. San Clemente borders Camp Pendleton, the Marine Corps base, so I’m guessing that someone who lives in that apartment has a loved one in the service, and the yellow ribbon represents waiting for their safe return from overseas. The apartment is on the corner of Santa Barbara and Del Mar, if anyone knows who lives there. The painting is currently hanging in the San Clemente Art Gallery in the Community Center. If no one takes it home before Friday, it will be in my booth for the Saturday-Sunday show.

I am continuing to paint in San Clemente and Orange and San Diego counties for the rest of the event. I’ve got three additional paintings finished, and more to come by the end of the week.

Windbreak – California landscape oil painting – Karen Winters

10 x 12 oil study

This little windbreak was interesting with its varied heights and shapes. It reminded me of a group of kids lined up for their school picture, or perhaps an a capella group getting ready to perform. I had a good time capturing the top light on the trees, which suggests the middle of the day. The short shadows communicate the time of day as well.

Studies are useful for many purposes – we learn about how to render certain types of plant life, how to capture the quality of light at a certain time of day, how to describe distant and near objects, even how the sky looks under different weather and lighting conditions.

Central California Plein Air sunset creek painting

Twilight Creek
9 x 12 plein air painting
oil on canvas

Because the light was certainly fleeting, this is my entry for illustration Friday’s theme: fleeting

Not too long ago (pre-crash) when my husband and I were on a weekend trip to see the wildflowers north of us, we saw this view at the end of a long day. Although I was tired from painting and taking pictures of the ephemeral bloom, I saw a ribbon of light by the side of the road and felt that I just “had” to paint it. “Stop the car!” I yelped to my husband. (he’s used to this – he knows what it means.) The sun was already down and I knew that I had 20 minutes, at best, before I wouldn’t be able to see the colors on my palette. (And I don’t have a hat light yet – that’s on my wish list for nocturne painting.)

So while I squeezed out some fresh paint on my palette, my love set up the Yarka on uneven ground and I started blocking in the big color shapes, aware that it was changing by the minute. When I got home I refined some of the tree shapes and the river curves, and touched up some of the canvas areas where the paint was too thin. Overall, I am very satisfied with this field study, which I might use as a reference for a larger painting, as I often do.

Plein air paintings tend to be very loose – and those that happen under changing light conditions are the loosest of all. It’s one thing to do a painting with three hours of pretty even mid-day sun … but it’s another to try to paint a scene post-sunset. But I think that’s part of the charm of it – it’s a very quick impression – colors mixed on the fly and laid down (for better or worse) with decisiveness. It’s like trying to catch “lightning in a bottle,” to quote Leo Durocher. Pretty near impossible, but fun to try.

Rialto Theater South Pasadena Plein Air Oil Painting

“The Rialto”
9 x 12
plein air oil painting on panel

Last Sunday, a group of 30 or more plein air painters affiliated with the California Art Club gathered together in South Pasadena for a paint-out at the venerable Rialto Theater, which has fallen into disrepair in the past few years. The paintings which we created will be sold in the Rialto Visions show and a portion of the proceeds will go to restoring The Rialto to its former glory. Some of us also painted other scenes of South Pasadena, which I will be posting here and on My Gallery website.

I arrived at the event in the afternoon and caught the building in partial shade from across the street.

Although there were promos on the marquee for movies and theater rentals, I opted to leave it empty so that a potential purchaser could always imagine their favorite flick playing there, and relive some fond memories.