Mariposa Meadow – Sierra foothills California landscape oil painting

“Mariposa Meadow – Trabucco Gardens with wildflowers”
9 x 12 inches, oil on plein air panel

When spring comes to the Western Sierra foothills, the meadows light up with color. Goldfields, a small yellow flower, mixes it up with lupine and white popcorn flowers. Valley oaks, now garbed in green, provide a backdrop for the tapestry. This scene was from an area along the Golden Chain Highway, otherwise known as state highway 49, I believe. A nearby sign said “Trabucco Gardens,” so I believe they may be the owner of this spectacular property. This time of year you can set up an easel just about anywhere in California and find beauty to capture.

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California landscape oil painting – Across the Poppy Fields

Across the Poppy Fields
6 x 8 inches, oil

How about a little brightness and color as we’re approaching winter? This miniature poppy painting will cheer up a quiet corner in your home or office. Perhaps a gift for a flower loving friend? This impressionistic landscape was inspired by a spring trip to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, near Lancaster, California. What I love about painting poppy fields is the natural complementary colors (orange and blue) that are always present in this area. Framing available!

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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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Yosemite Merced River miniature oil painting

Merced Road
4 x 6 inch oil painting

This miniature oil painting captures a part of the Merced River along on one of the roads into Yosemite. Last year there was a good amount of water in the stream last year – I hate to think of how dry it might be now.

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©2014 Karen Winters Fine Art

Arroyo Impression – Pasadena Colorado Street Bridge oil painting

Arroyo Impression
12 x 16 inch
original oil painting of Pasadena’s
Colorado Street Bridge

The Colorado Street bridge in the Arroyo Seco is one of my favorite painting subjects, and I continue to find new ways to see it and to interpret it. This impressionist treatment conbines two points of view that are somewhat difficult to see simultaneously, but I think it’s faithful to the subject of both the bridge and the San Gabriel Mountains. The time of year is springtime, not so very far away with our recent rains.

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Capistrano hollyhocks – California mission garden oil painting

Capistrano Hollyhocks
12 x 9 inch oil on plein air panel

One of the lovely features of Mission San Juan Capistrano, in southern California, is the mission garden which is filled with seasonal flowers such as these hollyhocks. It’s been said that the padres called this biennial plant St. Joseph’s Staff, because of its great height. I have some growing in my own garden and they are close to seven feet tall. What I like about painting hollyhocks is that the petals are so translucent in the sunlight. Capturing the delicacy is challenging, but fun. Palm trees and blooming jacarandas can be seen in the background along with the mission architecture.

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Marin Spring Morning oil painting

SOLD
Marin Spring Morning
6 x 8 inch miniature oil painting
Oil on stretched canvas

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California Poppy time oil painting Antelope Valley

“Poppy Time”
(Antelope Valley Lancaster Poppy Preserve)
oil painting, 11 x 14 inches


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Our winter rains remind me that it won’t be long before the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve will be in full bloom, as it is in this 11 x 14 painting. The difficult thing about painting in the poppy area is the strong winds, which I experienced a few years ago painting out at the Tejon Ranch (the south side of the ranch property, facing Antelope Valley.) This year, if I go out there to paint again, I’ll have my new Soltek easel, which has a much wider stance than my favorite EasyL. At the Tejon I had to hold onto my EasyL with one hand to keep it from going over, but the painter next to me had a Soltek and it was rock solid. The disadvantage of the Soltek, however, is that the palette is much farther away from the painting. So, there are tradeoffs, as with most things.

Pt. Dume Zuma Beach California seascape oil painting by Karen Winters

Pt. Dume, Zuma Beach
Giant Coreopsis
18 x 24 oil painting

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This painting was done in the springtime when the giant coreopsis are in bloom on Pt. Dume. There are a few small paths you can walk on amid the billowing plants. It’s a spectacular sight.

Western Watershed – San Gabriel Mountains oil painting by California impressionist Karen Winters

“Western Watershed – San Gabriel Mountains”
SOLD
9 x 12 oil painting on plein air panel

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The last remnants of spring storms course through the upper Arroyo Seco, which separates La Canada from Pasadena. Just weeks before the sandy riverbed was overflowing with a coursing river. Now, the willows and sage will take over, until winter rains come again.