Chasing Clouds – Carmel Valley Road landscape oil painting

“Chasing Clouds”
8 x 10 oil
Carmel Valley Road landscape,
Monterey Peninsula

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On our way back from the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival this year, we drove up highway 1 through Big Sur, spent a night in Carmel, then returned via Carmel Valley Road. This beautiful “back road” features wonderful hills covered with oaks. The day we passed through, the clouds were spectacular, so I decided to focus on them in this painting.

If you look to the left side of the blog, you’ll see I’ve gotten around to updating my sold painting list. I haven’t put my new sold paintings there since January, and this year’s almost 50 sold works are now featured. I sort of wish that I could see a pattern in what appeals to my wonderful collectors, but it appears that their tastes and interests are as broad as mine. Some paintings are large, some very small. There are seascapes, animals, genre paintings, flowers, fruit, landscapes … and the subject matter is from every part of California.

Rancho Camulos Orange Grove Heritage Valley oil painting

Rancho Camulos Orange Grove
14 x 18 inches
oil on canvas

More Heritage Valley Highway 126 paintings here

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In the Santa Clara River Valley just northwest of Los Angeles (also known as Heritage Valley), there are numerous reminders that the old California of orange groves and agricultural fields is still very much with us. This scene was inspired by an orange grove growing near Rancho Camulos, along the highway 126 corridor.

I grew up in a house near orange groves, and I walked by them every morning on the way to the bus stop. There is something intoxicating about the scent of orange blossoms. I’m fortunate that our neighbor has numerous citrus trees in her back yard, and I still benefit from that wonderful smell whenever they are in bloom.

Paso Robles Pathway – Central Coast California impressionist ranch oil painting

Paso Robles Pathway
8 x 10 oil on plein air panel
Painted for the 2012 San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival

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Not far from Paso Robles, in San Luis Obispo County, rural roads wind through some of the most beautiful countryside I’ve ever seen. This ranch was tucked into the hills and surrounded by big, beautiful oak trees. A few cattle were grazing in the distant pasture.
This painting bears the official stamp of the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival, 2012, on the reverse side.

Six of my 2012 SLO paintings have already found new homes. If you’re interested in having one for your own, don’t wait. I’ve updated my website to include these new works, so you don’t have to wait for them to be posted here on my blog.

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.

Spring Pasture in the Western Sierra Foothills Oil Painting by California Landscape artist Karen Winters

“Spring Pasture in the Western Sierra”
8.75 x 4.75″ oil on linen on board

I had a leftover piece of linen from a plein air panel making project, so I decided to put it to use with this small horizontal study of a farm in the western Sierra foothills in California. Eucalyptus trees shelter the outbuildings.

Breath of Springtime – Central California Spring Wildflower Oil Painting by Karen Winters


Breath of Springtime
11 x 14 oil on plein air panel

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Eucalyptus and Goldfields flowers growing in fields in the Western foothills of the Sierra, southeast of Visalia. Spring brings intense color to the rolling hills that form the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. Other flowers, like poppies and “popcorn” flowers join the party in a festival of spring color.

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Walker Basin Creek – Kern County, Southern Sierra California Oil Painting

Walker Basin Creek
12 x 16
oil on canvas

Last summer we spent several pleasant days with other California Art Club artists at the Rankin Ranch in the Southern Sierra in Kern County. This oil painting was inspired by that trip. The hills are used for grazing by the range cattle owned by the ranch. This small stream serves as a water source for part of the herd. The tree growing by the water didn’t seem to be a willow, but no doubt it was a water-loving species. I liked the way it made a spot of lush green among the dusky tones of the surrounding hills. The area is not far from Bodfish, Caliente and other Southern Sierra towns.

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California Central Coast oil painting “The Kitchen Garden” – Los Osos – by Karen Winters

“The Kitchen Garden”
9 x 12 oil painting

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While I was in San Luis Obispo County for the Plein Air Festival this year, I saw this charming rural scene down a side road in Los Osos. The red barn style house provided a beautiful contrast to the vibrant green eucalyptus trees, and I liked the small vegetable garden growing nearby. It took me back to early California days, a bit of the past still thriving in the present.

San Gabriel View – California impressionist eucalyptus painting – Oak Grove Park, La Canada

“San Gabriel View”
Original 9 x 12 oil painting of eucalyptus trees in
Oak Grove Park, AKA Hahamongna Park
between Pasadena and La Canada, CA

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The San Gabriel mountains provide a backdrop to a riparian environment where eucalyptus, willow and other trees and shrubs grow in the watershed area known as Hahamongna Park. Formerly known as Oak Grove Park, it is a popular recreation area for hikers, frisbee players and mountain lions. (Just kidding, but they have been spotted occasionally in the area.) This view features one of the beautiful eucalyptus trees and the wildflowers and grasses that flourish in the springtime.

Many thanks to my lovely collector who took home “All on a Fine Spring Day” today.

Mojave Desert Sunset Oil Painting – Abode of the Desert Rat by Karen Winters

“Abode of the Desert Rat”
Mojave Desert, somewhere off the beaten path between Tehachapi and Rosamond
9 x 12 oil on linen

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This painting was inspired by a trip back from Kernville a few months ago, coming back from a paint out with the California Art Club. The sun was starting to come out from under a cloud bank, and a storm was threatening. The brilliance of the sun contrasted with the dark shapes of the poplars. I imagined that some recluse was living in the trailer, enjoying the constantly changing weather patterns and quiet solitude. Not long after this the rains started coming. Those heavily rain laden clouds suggested a flash flood and we headed for high ground.

Here’s a closer detail shot: