Painting a Day – Country Roads

Original watercolor – 10.5″ x 7″ – available

Although much of Santa Barbara is cosmopolitan and sophisticated, there are some rural areas where abandoned roads still sprawl over undeveloped land in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains.

I wanted to climb over that little wire fence and see where the forgotten path would lead, but I didn’t really want to get stopped or questioned for trespassing. Now that the heat of summer has passed, it’s the very best time of year for getting out and overindulging in the beauty of nature. Within six weeks, the first of the trees will start changing in Southern California and the skies will be a little bluer as the heat haze becomes a memory, blown away by cooler autumn gusts.

It’s a dangerous time for fire, as well, and I hope that this season we don’t see the firestorms that have ravaged parts of our local mountains in previous years.

Do you have a favorite season for getting out and drawing, painting, or photographing nature? Is it this one?


  1. Renate
    October 1, 2006

    Yes, autumn ist my favorite season. I love the colors, the cooler weather and the melancholy.

  2. Katherine Tyrrell
    October 2, 2006

    I love this Karen – it has a lovely loose relaxed feel to it which seem to be very well suited to the subject matter. I think good days in Autumn can make for an absolutely marvellous time for plein air sketching/painting – I’ve just got back from having a fabulous time sketching in New England and it was so nice to be in sun without being too hot. I can’t help thinking that maybe California autumns are a little bit warmer than mine here in England though!

  3. wagonized
    October 2, 2006

    Karen, now that i have been to Santa Barbara, it makes it all the more special when i see your paintings of its scenery. Beautiful — down to the leaning posts and their shadows. My favorite season to draw outside has to be late summer, when it gets cooler in the evening but i can still wear a tank top (i find a sweater or sweatshirt almost too cumbersome to draw with!!) and ride my bicycle around.

  4. Gladys
    October 2, 2006

    True about the melancholy. I love the whole piece but most of all the sky.

  5. Frank Bettendorf
    October 2, 2006

    I love the painting because you have captured so much with, it appears, a minimum number of strokes and colors. I know the rural areas of Santa Barbara and you’ve done it justice. Thanks.

  6. Tami
    October 2, 2006

    Karen, I’m with ya, I love autumn, the nip that starts getting into the air (up here anyway), the dancing leaves, yep, all of it! This painting is so pretty, I just love the shadows across the path, don’t know why , but they just call to me.

  7. PAmela
    October 2, 2006

    I hope to. …….

  8. Kate (Cathy) Johnson
    October 4, 2006

    That’s beautiful! I was so hoping we’d find someplace quiet like that while visiting my sweetie’s parents in CA, but other than a quick drive up 39 in the Angeles National Forest we were ALWAYS in suburbs, towns, freeways, people, eep. I love drawing people, mind you, but my soul hungers for the peace your painting evokes…

  9. Brigette
    October 4, 2006

    Wow, this is so Southern California! Those Telephone poles have looked like they were about to tip over for as long as I can remember (which is quite a long time at this point).

  10. Munsie
    October 6, 2006

    I wanted to say hi after spending a wee bit of time on you site today. My names Munise so if you see my Ip address from time to time it’s just me looking to see what your most recent work is.
    Cheers Ps I have added on of my carving links just for fun..

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