“Montana de Oro Cliffs”
12 x 16 oil on linen panel
California Central Coast oil painting
This plein air painting was started on location on a sunny day on California’s Central Coast. But before long – those distant soft clouds came closer and closer, then let loose with a powerful cloudburst. The light changed so completely I was forced to stop painting and to finish it in the studio based upon my memory (which sometimes works out best of all.)
“Just This Side of Paradise”
8 x 10 inch
Plein air oil painting
Exhibited in the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art
during the 2011 Plein Air Festival
This painting was done along Los Osos Valley road one morning, as rain clouds were gathering (or leaving) and the sun was trying to break through. I saw this scene while driving and hurried to turn around and park and set up my easel before the effect was lost. I liked the hay bales stacked up by the eucalyptus trees, so I put them in also.
The central peak in the background is one of the 9 sisters – the volcanic plugs which include Morro Rock and Bishop Peak. I think that one is Cerro Romualdo. It’s pyramid-shaped top is swathed in clouds.
The title comes from the fact that Paradise Lane is quite close by. I seem to run into a lot of places named Paradise – like Paradise camp in the Sierra, too.
Twilight on Back Bay
9 x 12 oil painting on canvas
I’m still catching up posting some of the paintings I did during the San Luis Obispo paint out early in October. This is one of my favorite semi-nocturnes, painted while the sun was in a cloud bank and was in the process of setting. Within a few minutes the sun emerged from the clouds and the whole scene was bathed in warm rosy hues, which I captured very rapidly. Then the sun dipped below the horizon and darkness came quickly.
As you can see in the photo below, I am literally standing in the marshy estuary. The prominent mountain in the distance is Hollister Peak. This work in progress photo was taken while the sun was in the cloud bank.
Alone in the Sunset – Sunset Tree Portrait – Placerita Canyon, Santa Clarita Plein air painting by Karen Winters
“Alone in the Sunset”
(Placerita Canyon, Santa Clarita Valley, CA)
10 x 8 plein air oil painting
Most of the time when I paint landscapes, the trees are part of a whole scene, rather than dominating it. In this case, the tree is featured as if in a portrait. An individual portrait is to a crowd scene as a tree portrait is to a grove. Some times, it’s fun to just study the branches and structure of a plant and to note its behavior – how it has been bent by the forces of nature. That was my objective in this painting, experimenting with the warms and cools and the way the light plays around the edges of forms at the end of the day.
“Walker Basin Overlook”
8 x 10 oil on plein air panel
Plein air painting in Kern County at the Rankin Ranch, September 2011
This morning view, painted on location north of Caliente, California, is in the very southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada range. Although the mountains are small in this location, they will likely be much taller some day, as the plate boundaries move and continue to elevate the peaks. The rabbitbrush is in full bloom, a welcome sight every fall in this part of California. This was painted during a paint out with the California Art Club
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.
Batiquitos Lagoon, Carlsbad Plein Air Oil Painting – Batiquitos View – by contemporary California impressionist Karen Winters
Batiquitos Lagoon View
9 x 12 plein air oil painting
Carlsbad, California wetlands landscape art
Yesterday, my husband and I went to Carlsbad, CA (in San Diego County) where I fell in love with this beautiful eucalyptus guarding the trail to the Batiquitos lagoon. The tide seemed to be fully in at the time of our visit – late afternoon. This is the second time I’ve painted Batiquitos, and I expect it won’t be the last. Anywhere that there are eucalyptus trees and water is a winner with me. I was surprised to see so much green still in the grasses, considering that it is approaching the driest time of the year. But there was a lot of humidity in the air, so maybe that helps.
Here’s a previous Batiquitos painting which was based on a study like the one above.
20 x 24 oil on canvas
Descanso Gardens Rose Garden (Rosarium) Wedding
16 x 20 oil on canvas
Live event painting
I had the honor of painting this live event at Descanso Gardens for some dear friends who are also collectors of my work. The occasion was the marriage of their daughter to a fine young man. The party was going to be in the evening which presented certain strategic challenges – namely, painting at the time of day that the light was changing the most rapidly. The bride and groom couldn’t be dancing in the dark under the pavilion while the sun was still shining brightly. Nor would it make sense to paint the whole thing in the dark, because then the beautiful garden couldn’t be seen. We decided on a twilight look, and I painted the garden as rapidly as I could right after the ceremony, knowing that I could always paint the sky in later. It was a lovely occasion, and one that I hope they will always remember with romantic notions, whenever they look upon the painting of that day.
Tejon Ranch Poppy Hillside
9 x 12
oil on plein air panel
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.
San Luis Obispo Plein Air Landscape Painting – When Sunrise Fills the Sky – SLO Art by Karen Winters
SOLD to a collector from Nipomo …
“When Sunrise Fills the Sky”
11 x 14 oil on linen plein air panel
Near Nipomo, San Luis Obispo County
Plein Air Landscape Oil Painting
I thought that I had photographed all the paintings I did last year at the CAC paint out, but I recently came across this one and thought I’d wait until spring to post it. It was painted near the Dana Adobe near Nipomo, as were the other two done that day at the California Art Club paint out.
In the early morning the sun broke through the moody fog with the promise of a beautiful day.
My paintings have been recently featured in an article “Top 15 oil painting blogs” on this site. Thanks to the site owner, Andrea.