Sedona oil painting – Trail to Bear Mountain

Trail to Bear Mountain
Sedona Plein Air Oil painting
9 x 12 oil on linen plein air panel
(Along Boynton Road, Sedona Arizona)

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I painted this in February, just a few weeks ago, so the grasses are winter-white. The day I was there the Sedona Marathon was going on, and I believe this was part of the route. I painted late in the day after all the marathoners were finished. There is a trailhead in the meadow in front of me, which goes to Bear Mountain. I’d like to try that hike some time. I’ll bet it’s beautiful.

Below, painting by the roadside, while the sun played peek a boo all afternoon. It looks like I was standing in the middle of the road, but I was actually safely off to one side.

Grand Canyon plein air oil painting El Tovar view

View From El Tovar
Grand Canyon plein air oil painting
9 x 12 oil on plein air panel

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December 2012

Another of my plein air paintings from Grand Canyon, South Rim. This one was painted near the El Tovar Hotel, the majestic old inn on the edge of the canyon. The time of day is near sunset. Below, some photos of the work in progress

Grand Canyon afternoon painting near Hopi Point – Karen Winters

Grand Canyon Afternoon
Plein Air Oil Painting near Hopi Point, South Rim
9 x 12 oil painting
Available now.

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The great thing about painting at Grand Canyon is that there’s a scene practically everywhere you look. The sculptural forms of the plateaus and cliffs constantly change color as the sun moves – which adds to its beauty and provides entertainment and frustration for the artist. Our first days at the canyon we looked for locations to paint, then returned on the third day to some favorite spots. My location for this painting was somewhere between Hopi Point and Powell Point on the south rim, rim trail.

The photo below shows a good example of the difference in color temperature between seeing a painting outdoors and indoors. The photo above was taken under indoor light (as it will be seen in a home or office.) Below, the painting as it appeared under natural (blue) daylight in shadow. As a rule I try to always photograph a painting as it will appear under normal home or office conditions.

Grand Canyon plein air oil painting by Karen Winters

Maricopa Point View
Grand Canyon Maricopa Point south rim plein air oil painting
8 x 10 inches
Oil on linen plein air panel
Available

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Just a few days ago we returned from a holiday trip to the Grand Canyon, one of the great natural wonders of the world. I had never seen it covered in winter snow, and I had planned ahead with all my plein air gear. It was near freezing that morning on the South Rim, which kept the snow crisp and fresh. Later in the day a cold wind moved in and I had to layer up even more. It’s surprising how cold you get when you aren’t hiking or moving around.

I set up my easel near Maricopa Point, on the South Rim, along the Rim Trail. In the distance you can see a bit of Wotan’s Throne, an enormous mesa that is adjacent to the north rim at Cape Royal. My husband shot some video of me working on this painting, which I’ll post when we get it edited.

Because I’m almost as passionate about nature and learning as I am about painting, I found it fascinating to know that the top layers of the Grand Canyon (from the Jurassic period) have already been eroded away, so the only fossils embedded in the rocks are from the pre-dinosaur era. One finds trilobites, ferns, dragonflies, etc. but no T-rex bones.

Cambria Colors – Moonstone Beach Cambria oil painting San Simeon by Karen Winters

Cambria Colors
12 x 16 oil painting on canvas
Cambria, Moonstone Beach, Leffingwell Landing area

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This was painted during the San Luis Obispo Plein Air festival, 2012 where I was one of a select group of invited artists.
The colors of the beach and ocean really are amazing.

San Luis Obispo Flower Fields – California impressionist painting – Central Coast

San Luis Obispo Flower Fields
9 x 12
oil on linen plein air panel

SOLD

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This is one of the paintings that I did for the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival, sponsored by the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.

It was painted the first day of the paint out, bright and early Monday morning, along a rural road. A photographer for SLO City News saw me painting by the side of the road and spent some time taking pictures of the work in progress. It was a nice surprise to find out that it made the cover of the paper …

One Golden Moment San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival Invitational



One Golden Moment
12 x 16 oil on linen panel
Painted at the 2012 San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival
SOLD opening night

I returned a few days ago from a wonderful week long event at the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival. Over the next week or so, I’ll be posting the paintings I did there, many of which have already gone to new homes. Others, however, are still available.

This beautiful eucalyptus tree in Los Osos begged to be painted. Silhouetted in the late afternoon light, a field of flowers lay at its feet. The flowers are a seed crop, and I think they may have been marigolds.

If you are in the Southern California area this weekend, please visit me at the Pasadena Artwalk on El Molino Street on Saturday. I will have a booth quite near the Pasadena Playhouse, with a wide assortment of my current paintings. The address is El Molino Street, between Colorado Blvd and Green Street in the Playhouse district. The show opens between 10 and 11 (I’ll probably be set up early) and goes until 5 pm. This is a great opportunity to pick up a Christmas present – hope to see you there.

See more of my California Central Coast paintings here

San Simeon – Big Sur California Seascape oil painting by Karen Winters

“Cloudy Day at San Simeon” (Big Sur, California)
12 x 16 oil

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The southern part of Big Sur, California is at San Simeon, the site of Hearst’s Castle. The dramatic ocean cliffs frame the always changing sea. The day I painted this the sun was peeking through from time to time, but overall the scene was moody, with blowing fog and moving clouds. I actually like these sorts of days as well as the ones with bright sunshine.

Below, a photo of me working on it on location:

California Mission San Antonio de Padua, landscape oil painting by Karen Winters


Mission San Antonio Morning
(San Antonio de Padua, California Central Coast, northwest of Paso Robles)
9 x 12 inches
Oil on linen plein air panel

In early June 2012, I joined a group of other California Art Club artists to paint at Mission San Antonio de Padua, a California mission that is the most “untouched” of the chain. Although some outbuildings and residential quarters have been added, the setting is very much as it might have been hundreds of years ago. This side of the building, the facade where one enters the church, remains much as it was in the early years. By mid day this was all in shade, so morning is the time to catch it. We were up before dawn getting set up to capture the light. We were warned several times to watch out for rattlesnakes. It’s easy to become so focused on what you’re painting that you might not notice one that’s emerged from a hole while you are painting. I didn’t see one, thankfully, but I was certainly careful where I stepped.

Tejon Ranch California Oak Landscape Plein Air Painting – Welcome Shade

SOLD
“Welcome Shade”
9 x 12 oil on plein air linen panel
Painted at the Tejon Ranch, May 2012


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In the middle of a warm spring day, just about high noon, a mighty Tejon Ranch oak spreads its limbs to offer shade to all who visit. Cattle, mostly, but most likely some other critters, too. This majestic tree was silhouetted against the rolling hills and mountains of the ranch. Wherever you look, beauty surrounds you, making it a real treat for plein air painters – even during the part of the day when the light is less than dramatic. (That’s why we get up at dawn and stay painting until moonrise, when we can.

Below, a photo of my work in progress. There were occasional gusts of wind which threatened to topple my umbrella. A road hazard sawhorse came in handy. Sometimes you’ve just got to improvise.