California poppy oil painting – plein air poppies


“Plein Air Poppies”
6 x 8 inches, oil on plein air canvas panel

This was painted in Lancaster near the Poppy Reserve in Southern California’s Antelope Valley. It was late in the day and the colors were just getting more and more intense as I kept working on it, making changes and modifications.

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Below, a few pictures of the work in progress



Asilomar – Monterey seascape plein air oil painting – California impressionist art

Asilomar Waves (Near Pacific Grove, Monterey Peninsula, California)
8 x 10 inches, plein air oil painting

In the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to travel up and down California’s west coast, enjoying the spring wildflowers and the clear skies over the oceans. One of my favorite painting spots is Asilomar, near Pacific Grove, on the Monterey Peninsula. My little Strada mini easel set up so quickly I was painting in no time. Whenever I paint ocean scenes, it takes more time to get into the rhythm of the scene. With other landscapes there’s little movement except for perhaps cloud shadows. The ocean is a whole different challenge and its dynamic nature takes more concentration.

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Bluebonnets and Oak Trees California landscape oil painting

Bluebonnets and Oak Trees
9 x 12 inches
oil on linen plein air panel

Another springtime painting, from my plein air travels in past years. I think the blues and violets of the bluebonnets (lupine) go well with the yellows and greens of fresh spring leaves.

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Here’s how it might look in a nice dark walnut stained frame:

Hillside Sycamores California landscape oil painting

“Hillside Sycamores”
9 x 12 inches
California impressionist plein air oil painting

In the springtime, the warmer weather invites me to do more plein air painting, and to visit areas where the trees and flowers are bursting with life. And nowhere is that more apparent than in California’s Central Coast, in San Luis Obispo County. These sycamores were growing in a little clump on the side of a hill, with last year’s sage at their feet. It was late in the day, and within a half an hour the trees were starting to be covered with shadows.

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South Lake, Bishop, sierra oil painting


South Lake, Bishop, California
11 x 14 original oil painting on canvas

This is a painting of South Lake, west of Bishop, up Bishop Creek, in the Eastern Sierra Range.
Apparently fall is the best time for fishing at South Lake. We saw a lot of fisherman around the lake when we were there.

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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.

Carmel Bay, Quiet Day oil painting by Karen Winters

Quiet Day on Carmel Bay
11 x 14 inch oil painting
SOLD

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It was a quiet day when we were on the Monterey Peninsula. There was a slight mist in the air which softened some of the colors. The waters of Carmel Bay truly reflected the word “Pacific” – peaceful. This view of Carmel Bay looks slightly to the south and Point Lobos, where I have painted before.

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.