Azaleas in bloom at Descanso Gardens oil painting

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Azaleas in Bloom – Descanso Gardens
8 x 10 inch oil painting

The azalea bushes are in full bloom now at Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge. A true sign that spring has arrived in all its glory.

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© 2014 Karen Winters Fine Art, all rights reserved.

St. Francis of Assisi statue, Mission San Juan Bautista

“St. Francis of Assisi statue”
14 x 11 inches
Oil on canvas

At a recent visit to California Mission San Juan Bautista, I saw this small statue in the inner garden area and thought it would be interesting to paint. The late afternoon sunlight made the weathered granite glow. I don’t know how old the statue was, but it had certainly been softened by the elements.

See more of my California mission paintings here

Interested in this painting?
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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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Yellow rose oil painting floribunda flower art

“Walking on Sunshine – AARS Rose Selection 2011”
6 x 12 inch oil painting on linen panel

This is one of the first blooms from my garden this year, which was specifically planted to provide floral material for still lifes. It was painted from life.

I was attracted to this rose because of the numerous blooms that it produces on one stem (typical of a floribunda) as well as the rich color. As the rose blooms, the dark yellow gold fades to delicate lighter shades. To see more of my garden in progress, visit http://www.facebook.com/ArtistInTheGarden.

Descanso Gardens Train Station – Plein air California landscape oil painting

“All Aboard” – Descanso Gardens train station at sunset
9 x 12 oil on canvas panel
Plein air landscape oil painting

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Late Thursday afternoons at Descanso Gardens always bring opportunities for things to paint. Yesterday I enjoyed the view of the little train station where the engine and engineer wait to take people on a magical trip through the camellia forest. Maybe one of these days I’ll actually take the train ride, camera in hand, and see the garden from a different (low angle) point of view. An alizarin crimson underpainting (done very rapidly) imparts a warm glow to the scene.

I thought I left my big roll of brushes at home and consequently painted most of this with a medium sized filbert. Some of the fine detail on the engine and engineer was done later when I had the appropriate tools. Last week’s Descanso painting has been purchased by a lovely new collector from So. Pasadena, but this one is still available.

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