California Golden Hills and Oaks
18 x 24 inches, oil on canvas
This is a theme and location that I will keep returning to — California’s beautiful rolling hills, studded with majestic live oak trees. The rain has been light this year, so the hills are not as green as we have seen them in the past; which means the swaying grasses will not be as tall this summer and fall. But it’s all a cycle and will be repeated again and again. I’ve even seen some of the local oaks starting to re-sprout that were scorched by last fall’s fire. Nature renews itself endlessly.
El Capitan Summer
9 x 12 inches
oil painting on oil primed linen
The view of El Capitan from the Merced River is one of my favorite sights in Yosemite. I always enjoy returning to paint there, any time of year. One of these days I’ll brave the elements and do a winter painting with snow capping the rocks. For now, the summer greens decorate the scene.
15 x 30 inches oil painting
I don’t usually paint in series, but lately I’ve been focusing on different explorations of California’s golden rolling oak covered hills. This is the first wide-format one that I’ve done. The other most recent ones were both 20 x 24 inches.
This painting represents the California Central Coast region, near Cambria, Morro Bay, Cayucos and Paso Robles. I wonder how much the oaks have recovered this year following the several years of drought.
“Rolling and Golden”
Central Coast California oak covered hills
20 x 24 inches
Oil on canvas
I’m continuing my series exploring California’s beautiful rolling golden hillsides. This one is from the Central Coast, where the grass is currently long, lush and green. But very soon the rains will fade and the grass will turn the most beautiful shade of ochre and amber. According to historical accounts, California’s hills weren’t always like this. The golden color comes from wild oats which were imported to feed livestock during the Spanish colonial period. Native species were edged out in the process.
Enjoy this painting in your own home and have golden California glory with you year round.
To see more oak tree landscape paintings please also visit: Karen Winters Oak Tree Paintings
“Ojai Afternoon Sunset”
9 x 12 oil painting on canvas
This oil painting comes out of my travels to Ojai, north of Los Angeles and east of Santa Barbara. The Ojai Valley is a popular resort type community, filled with places to relax and restore, hike, dine and more. I think the valley is especially beautiful at sunset when the TopaTopa mountains are brightened with warm sunset light. I hear it’s a fantastic wedding destination, too! I haven’t painted a wedding in Ojai yet, but I’d like to. See my work here … Live event wedding painter
“Along Highway One”
9 x 12 oil painting on plein air panel
This California landscape impressionist painting is from recent travels in the Central Coast, along Highway One, just a little north of Morro Bay.
Cypress trees are abundant in that area, and mix it up with the local oaks. Although the hills are brown and golden, typical for the summer, there is more grass evident than in the past few drought years.
8 x 10 oil painting
Colorado plein air style oil painting, near Cortez
This painting came out of my 2015 summer trip to Colorado. We passed through many beautiful meadow and farming areas, and were pleased to see how green and healthy the trees were, with adequate water – as compared to California with its persistent drought. I used some palette knife work and a rougher than usual canvas to capture a bit of the feeling of the blowing leaves. I think it works pretty well.
© Karen Winters Fine Art 2016
Stone and Stillness –
Twin Lakes, Mammoth Lakes, CA
9 x 12 oil on hardboard
This is a painting from this past summer when we visited Mammoth Lakes, California, which is probably now covered in snow.
The huge granite cliffs towering over Twin Lakes attracted me to the scene. If you’ve ever taken a canoe or small boat on the lake or gone fishing from the bridge, you probably have fond memories of the place, too. Every time we’ve been there – except in winter – there are always people enjoying the recreation.
Descanso Rose Garden, Summer Pathway
11 x 14 inches, oil on plein air panel
Painted at Descanso Gardens, La Canada, California
Descanso Gardens is the closest botanical garden to our home, and it’s my go-to place whenever I want to do some plein air painting in an expansive and beautiful setting. This pathway is one that I have painted through the seasons and from different viewpoints. The San Gabriel Mountains can be seen in the distance, which also tower over our own home. The international rosarium is not only a rose garden but also contains many other perennials and flowering shrubs. It’s just a peaceful place to visit, and in which to picnic on selected summer evenings.
“Virgin River, Zion National Park”
9 x 12 oil on plein air panel
A beautiful summer day in Zion National Park, Utah, down by the river. The water level was low, but flowing. We had just returned from a hike up to the Emerald Pools, and the water looked so refreshing. This was the first time I’ve visited Zion, but it won’t be the last.