Call of the Desert – Pinyon Crest

“Call of the Desert” – 12 x 16 – oil on canvas

This new painting – of an Inland Empire desert scene – will be one that I’ll display at the Redlands Centennial Plein Air show and sale this Saturday at the University of Redlands. It depicts a typical byway on the road to Idyllwild – up highway 74 – in a little community called Pinyon Crest. If you live in that area you know just the kind of terrain I’m talking about. Very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. The sale includes not only paintings of the University of Redlands and the city of Redlands but also scenes of the surrounding Inland Empire area – including San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.

Last Saturday’s paintout was a great deal of fun. I got three paintings done that day – two 8 x 10 sized ones of campus buildings, and one small 5 x 7 painting, done feverishly at sunset – showing a long view of the quad with students lounging on the grass. Surprisingly, it was not windy on Saturday and the weather was in the low 80s, quite mild. There’s another paintout tomorrow but I don’t think I’ll be going – too much wind on the freeways bouncing around big 18 wheelers.


  1. Jenny
    October 22, 2007

    This one is so beautiful. I love everything about it. All of your recent paintings have been outstanding.

  2. Lisa
    October 23, 2007


    This is beautiful. Your colors are so yummy in this and all of your recent paintings, very rich, and with depth.


  3. Jana Bouc
    October 24, 2007

    Hi Karen, I’m glad your something hot is just a dessert scene. I’ve been worried about you with all the forest fires and was hoping you were safe and not in the path of the fire. These latest paintings are absolutely wonderful. This one perfectly captures that very bright light that you see when there’s so little moisture in the air to create those gauzy “curtains” of atmosphere. I see you’re working larger now too. Great stuff!

  4. Wendee
    October 25, 2007

    Oh my goodness, I *LOVE* the grey foliage and boulders and the purple mountains. Just love it. Yum. Beautiful, Karen! hugs!

  5. Sherie
    April 28, 2008

    Absolutely beautiful! And the scenery is, too.

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