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
“The Yearling Sheep”
14 x 18 oil on canvas
This sweet young sheep was painted from a photo I took last year at the San Luis Obispo Plein air festival. I was near the grounds of the Cal Poly SLO Cheda ranch, and the animals moved close to the area where I was already painting Bishop Peak. The sheep, I read from their website, are managed by students in the Cal Poly animal husbandry program. Several students were out monitoring the flock. I found it interesting that small birds were perched on the backs of many of the sheep, presumably helping themselves to insects in the fleece. It looked like a mutually beneficial relationship. This particular young sheep (a ewe, I’m guessing) was quietly munching and looked up at me with curiosity.
9 x 12 oil on linen
Devereux Slough in Santa Barbara
This painting was accepted into the 101st annual California Gold Medal show, opening Saturday night at a gala party at the Autry National Museum in Los Angeles.
The slough is just on the border of the University of California at Santa Barbara. The morning I was there a marine layer was partly cloaking the beautiful eucalyptus trees, which made created wonderful reflections in the water.
“Breeze from the Lake”
4 x 8″ oil on wooden panel
Late afternoon breezes stir the waters of Laguna Lake in San Luis Obispo County
If you live in Southern California, I invite you to visit my solo exhibition at Descanso Gardens in La Canada. Now through January 2, 2012.
Approximately 30 paintings are on display at all times. As one is sold, it is taken by the buyer and I replace it with a new one from my inventory. I will be at the show weekends unless it’s raining, and some weekday afternoons.
10 x 20 oil on canvas
Interested in commissioning a Catalina painting?
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The evening sun slips below the mountains of the isthmus of Catalina, separating the Two Harbors, a popular destination for sailing, hiking and other recreation. This painting was purchased by a family member in San Francisco, for another family member in Southern California as a birthday present. It was my pleasure to be in on the surprise, and I delivered the present in person this morning, to their delight.
A gift of art is something that will always be appreciated, and more than that – treasured – for many years to come. The giver doesn’t have to worry about the gift becoming outdated, or fret that Painting 2.0 will be released soon after the present is opened. Nor need they fret that the recipient may have just bought the identical item at Best Buy or Costco. A painting usually carries a message of deep emotion – a celebration of a special time together, a milestone, like an anniversary, or a meaningful shared experience like a wedding proposal or the birth of a child; the purchase of a first home. A gift of art is the making of an heirloom, and though it comes at a price, it is priceless.
When “fire season” comes in Southern California, I’ve heard people in Malibu interviewed about what they grab from their homes. The answers are always the same: First, the living creatures (people and pets); second – family photo and videos; third – original art. What does that tell you about art’s deep meaning and connectedness to our lives?
Malibu Canyon Ranch
8 x 10 inches
oil on linen panel
This little painting was commissioned as a surprise birthday present by a client of mine for whom I’ve previously done three paintings. She was looking for something western and we agreed upon this subject, which is a location not far from where her son did post-graduate work. It was fun to paint – the Santa Monica Mountains in early spring, just as some of the trees are still getting their leaves.
The day after the reception for the California Art Club group show at the San Luis Obispo Art Museum, the weather was perfect for some painting. In the morning I painted at Karner’s point (near Baywood Park) and in the afternoon, the destination was this spot near Montana de Oro. The hazy late afternoon light created a magical look to the whole scene. The tranquil sea can be seen beyond the distant dunes. Large eucalyptus trees shelter one of the many small houses in the area. From this viewpoint, if you were to look another 30 degrees to the right you would see Morro Rock.
Sierra Oil Painting – Sierra Daybreak – Owens Valley. California landscape painting by Karen Winters
6 x 12 inches
Oil on canvas laid on panel
Light peeks over the rim of the White Mountains to the east of Owens Valley, at the base of the Sierras. If you turned and looked westward, you would see Mt. Tom, almost touched by alpenglow. It was cold and clear that November morning. Thankfully I had a hot thermos of coffee with me. It was autumn, and the dry grasses and wildflowers were ruddy looking at sunrise. A perfect complement to the cool blueviolet mountains.
“Pasadena Arroyo Bridges – featuring the Colorado Street Bridge”
9 x 12 oil
This plein air painting was done about a month ago and I thought I had posted it to my blog but just realized that I had not. So, here it is. It was painted as part of a paint out for the California Art Club.
The viewpoint is from the east side of the arroyo, near the Casita del Arroyo, looking westward.
And speaking of the CAC, we had a fantastic time last night at the 100th anniversary celebration party of the California Art Club, held at the California Club in downtown LA. The champagne flowed freely and it was fun to see so many early California impressionist paintings decorating the walls of the club, as well as some paintings by some new California masters. It was a pleasure seeing so many old friends and making some new ones, too. No other organization does so much to preserve and promote the beauty of California as portrayed through traditional fine art, and I am always pleased to take part in their many activities. If you’re a traditional fine artist, you really should join.
These are bittersweet times for us, with many mixed emotions. On one hand I’m blessed with so many new opportunities related to art, including my show at the Bowers Museum which will hang this Friday the 16th. On the other hand our almost 12 year old American bulldog Ripley has suddenly become seriously ill and we will probably need to say goodbye in a few days. Feeling intense joy and grief is part of life, and as the wise man said … “this too shall pass …” both the very good and the very sad. I pray for equanimity during these times, savoring good memories of the past and holding optimistic expectations for the future.
“Arches of Light” – Colorado Street Bridge in the Arroyo Seco, Pasadena
11 x 14
oil on canvas
Although this painting is sold, I have many more Pasadena paintings at this link: Pasadena paintings
This painting is a study for a larger work which I hope to be doing pretty soon – a view of the Colorado Street Bridge from an angle I’ve not painted before. This time of year the trees have not yet turned their glorious autumn colors. But soon they should be more golden, which will present other creative possibilities. This view is from the side of the arroyo between the Colorado Street Bridge and the 134 freeway bridge. The morning light makes the stone (or concrete) structure glow with beautiful colors.