California Byway

California Byway – 7″ x 5″ – watercolor

A peaceful country road in the Ojai area, a little northwest of Los Angeles.
There are still agrarian areas, even in Southern California, where the landscape still looks much as it did a hundred years ago (as long as you don’t notice the late model SUVs zipping by.)

When we take road trips we seek out these out of the way places off the beaten path where the late afternoon sun reminds us that it really is a golden state.

Art advice from watercolorist Rex Brandt:
“I advocate the study of other artists’ ways and indeed, I am suspicious of the student or teacher who professes neither knowledge nor concern about the ways of the masters of his field.”


  1. Don West
    April 10, 2007

    I really like this one Karen. Reminds me of just being nowhere. Sometimes that’s a good place to be :-)

  2. Karen
    April 11, 2007

    Don, you’ve got it exactly. It was one of those small roads that just felt peaceful and calm. I believe it may be the main road up to Happy Valley School, a college prep boarding school near Ojai founded by Aldous Huxley, Krishnamurti and others. No wonder it felt so peaceful there!

  3. Casey
    April 11, 2007

    This is the way I imagine California used to be. A lovely painting, and so full of atmosphere.

  4. Terry Banderas
    April 11, 2007

    It’s difficult to make a nice painting any more basic than this one. All of your brush strokes are beautifully simple.

  5. Linda
    April 11, 2007

    Karen, I love the wetness of this one (if that makes any sense?) The colors are so clear and bright! It’s what I always imagine old California was, too.

  6. Jana Bouc
    April 14, 2007

    Glorious sky and sunny scene. I feel a sense of peace when I look at. Your shadows are marvelous!

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