Under Sunny Skies – Salinas ranch oil painting

Under Sunny Skies
24 x 30 inch oil painting
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The Salinas, California area is famous for agriculture, exported worldwide. This tranquil strawberry field seems to stretch on forever … under sunny skies. Painted on commission.

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Canyon Vision – California landscape chapparal painting – Eaton Canyon art

Canyon Vision, Eaton Canyon, California
8 x 10 oil on plein air panel

As summer draws to an end, the grasses and trees of Eaton Canyon take on a dreamy, dusty glow that looks especially beautiful toward sunset. We have been trying to take at least one walk a day, sometimes two, morning and night. Eaton Canyon in Altadena is one of our favorite places to hike, and one of my favorite local painting spots.

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Sunrise on Two Trees Hill, Ventura, landscape oil painting

Sunrise on Two Trees Hill, Ventura, California
9 x 12 oil on plein air panel

This new painting depicts very early morning in Ventura, California, with the sun rising over Two Trees Hill, a local landmark.
The plumbago bushes were in full bloom and there was quite a bit of mist in the air, adding to the interesting atmosphere.

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California landscape – Summertime Oak tree oil painting

Summertime Oak
(near Willits, CA, along the Redwood Highway, northern California)
8 x 10 oil

The summer fields are fully golden, the perfect complement to the violet distant hills. The leaves of live oaks rustle in the breeze, waiting the coming of fall. It’s been a cool summer in So. Cal, maybe in Northern California, too.

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Vineyard country road – California landscape oil painting

Vineyard Country Road
8 x 10 oil painting

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Fresh from last week’s trip to California’s Central Coast, this oil painting features one of California’s indigenous live oak trees towering over rolling vineyard hills. The vines are all leafed out, now, and look beautiful in the late afternoon light.

Paso Robles Vineyard Sunset California landscape oil painting

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Paso Robles Vineyard Sunset
12 x 16 oil painting on canvas
Off highway 46, near Paso Robles, California in wine country

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This is a painting I’ve been meaning to paint for a long time – the beautiful colors of sunset drenching a warm California landscape. The vines had just been harvested and a mid autumn chill was in the air. How I love the central coast – it’s such an inspiring place to paint.

Tournament House Rose Garden Oil Painting Pasadena Wrigley Mansion commissioned painting

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Tournament House Rose Garden painting
(Home of the Tournament of Roses Association, Rose Parade organizer)
11 x 14 oil
Painted on commission

This new painting is intended as a Christmas gift from the lovely woman who commissioned it, for a very special gentleman. The rose garden was where they first met. Built in 1906, the Tournament House was purchased by chewing gum magnate Wm. Wrigley in 1914. The home was given to the city of Pasadena in 1958 for use by the Tournament Association. The centennial rose garden (seen here) is spectacular in full bloom. The painting represents it in early morning light.

Don’t you just love romantic stories? I know I do, and I get a special joy from making paintings that commemorate special events – like first dates, first meetings, places where proposals happened, and so forth.

If you’re considering giving a painting as a holiday gift, this is a very good time to get in touch as things get busier as the season draws closer.

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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.

California Mission San Antonio de Padua, landscape oil painting by Karen Winters


Mission San Antonio Morning
(San Antonio de Padua, California Central Coast, northwest of Paso Robles)
9 x 12 inches
Oil on linen plein air panel

In early June 2012, I joined a group of other California Art Club artists to paint at Mission San Antonio de Padua, a California mission that is the most “untouched” of the chain. Although some outbuildings and residential quarters have been added, the setting is very much as it might have been hundreds of years ago. This side of the building, the facade where one enters the church, remains much as it was in the early years. By mid day this was all in shade, so morning is the time to catch it. We were up before dawn getting set up to capture the light. We were warned several times to watch out for rattlesnakes. It’s easy to become so focused on what you’re painting that you might not notice one that’s emerged from a hole while you are painting. I didn’t see one, thankfully, but I was certainly careful where I stepped.

The Yearling Sheep oil painting – San Luis Obispo

“The Yearling Sheep”
14 x 18 oil on canvas
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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.