Pasadena afternoon – Cityscape urban oil impressionist oil painting – Karen Winters

El Molino Afternoon
11 x 14 oil on board
SOLD to a collector from Pasadena

Strong sunlight streamed through the alley just south of the Pasadena Playhouse in the Playhouse District.
I enjoy the feeling of painting on board. Although it lacks the “spring” of stretched canvas, the paint glides on smoothly and can be pushed around in different ways.

Thanks for all the comments left here in support of my 5 years in blogging. Connecting with others through Facebook is another new and interesting direction that promises to bring other opportunities to be creative and connect with other creative people. I’m really enjoying it a lot. It’s not just for college kids, anymore! There are groups based around common interests (like art) as well as other relaxing activities like playing Scrabble and organizing get togethers. So much fun!

Flint Canyon Trail, Autumn – Five Years of Blogging

Flint Canyon Trail – Autumn – La Canada Flintridge
16 x 20 oil on canvas

Celebrating five years of blogging


Today marks 5 years of blogging from when I first opened an account on Live Journal. It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed all the learning and friendships that have come out of it. Back in the day, there was no artwork on my blog. I didn’t feel like sharing my sketchbooks and journals, but eventually took the plunge.

In five years, I’ve seen the power of social networking to help people make connections, discover new techniques, teach each other and experience each others’ triumphs and tragedies, artistic and otherwise. I know that my life has been enriched by not only the daily discipline of making art and blogging but the encouragement I’ve received from so many of my readers. I hope that I’ve been able to pay that good will forward when I can.

One of the great things about blogging, as opposed to just building a static website, like mine, is the daily interactivity it allows. I know that if I ran into a dead end trying to answer a question or track down an art supply, that I could post a question and some kind soul would know the answer and help me out. So even though we may work alone, we are still part of a vital, supportive and interactive community.

Recently, I’ve taken another step – to get involved in the Facebook community. So if you’ve got an account look me up

River Run – California Impressionist Oil painting by Karen Winters

River Run (study)
5 x 7 oil
Click the image to see it actual size.

I did this study today to practice painting with a very limited palette and to make a plan for a larger painting . Want to guess what three colors I used? (Not including white.)

Santa Barbara Meadow – Karen Winters California Impressionist Oil Painting

Santa Barbara Meadow (at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden)
12 x 16 oil on canvas

Whenever we visit Santa Barbara, I try to make some time to visit their beautiful botanic garden which features native plants in natural settings. Last week my husband went to a seminar up in Santa Barbara and I tagged along to take pictures, visit the museum and the mission and of course, the botanic garden. It was late afternoon when I arrived there, but close to the solstice the days are long. Although the poppies were gone many other summer perennials were blooming, surrounded by sages and plants of every texture and description. The experience has persuaded me to turn part of our yard into a natives habitat – and then not worry so much about watering!

Granted, Santa Barbara’s coastal climate is most likely moister and more even in temperature than our inland valley, but I saw plants that I think would be at home with us.

This is one of the paintings I’ll likely be bringing to our show at Descanso starting August 23, unless it finds a home before then.

Foothill Pines – California Impressionist Oil Painting – Karen Winters

Foothill Pines
6 x 8 oil on canvas

A gentle road winds through California’s Gold Rush Country, where the oaky foothills give way to the first pines of the Sierras. The morning fog lifts in a slight breeze to reveal the radiant hills of mid summer. A moment of pure tranquility!

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Sunset Magic – California Impressionist Painting by Karen Winters

Sunset Magic
12 x 16 oil on canvas – California impressionist landscape

My latest larger sized landscape draws inspiration from the works of George Inness – a Hudson Valley painter who gradually evolved into an impressionistic style (even though he always rejected the term “impressionist” when it was applied to him.) I have been studying his work for the past few weeks, having seen some of his paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago, and then seeing Sun Shower, at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Inness had a unique way of combining realism and impressionism that I admire. And no doubt it was because of the era in which he worked – in the transitional period between the two movements.

Here’s how it looks a dark frame. I wouldn’t put a bright gold frame on a painting like this – the brightness would compete with the sunset.

Tuscan Hillside – Karen Winters Daily Painting

6 x 6 oil on canvas on board
Tuscan Hillside

I’m exploring the same theme, from a different angle.

I’m really tired today – must be the heat. Or, it could be resting up from yesterday’s trip to Santa Barbara, Montecito and Carpinteria. While my husband took a work-related seminar I made a whirlwind trip to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art to see some of their collection. Then, off to the Mission grounds and olive garden and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden – all with camera in hand. Later in the day we headed south to Carpinteria where I shot photos of the salt marsh, beach scenes and a fabulous sunset. All told, I covered a lot of ground – uphill and down, then back to LA and up at 7 to get ready to paint with friends at 9. Yes, exhausting! The painting I started today is of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, and I think it’s going to turn out really well. Now I’ve got to let the under painting dry enough to work on the details in a few days.

I am now counting down the days until my show at Descanso Gardens begins – August 22. Unlike last year this time, I have plenty of paintings to draw from, including many that have never been shown before. But there are still prints and cards to get ready, plus working on publicity. Lot of work, not much time!

Tuscan Flavor 1 – Fennel and Mushroom

“Tuscan Flavor – Fennel and Mushroom”
6 in x 6 in

Remember how I said I was watching more food network and less politics for the moment? As part of that trend, I’ve enjoyed shopping for some vegetables I don’t usually prepare, among them, fennel. This delicate vegetable and its companion mushroom called for a quick portrait before their trek to the salad bowl, and I obliged.

This is the first in a series … more Tuscan Flavor still lives to come. Oooh, this means more shopping, doesn’t it?

Tuscan Vineyard Sunset – Karen Winters Impressionist Oil Painting

Tuscan Vineyard Sunset 6 x 8 oil on canvas


Although this painting is sold, you can see more of my vineyard paintings here

I am happy to paint on commission if you are interested in a vineyard sunset painting in any size.

Click this link to write me.
See more of my paintings on my website

Onion and Peppers – Still life by Karen Winters

“Onion and Peppers” 5 x 7 oil on canvas

After months of watching virtually nothing but election news on TV and radio, I decided that I am finding the whole thing too stress producing and have switched some of my viewing habits to Food Network. Yeah, I still keep tabs on what’s going on, but I no longer choose to have political speak as the soundtrack for my life. With that influence, I’ve probably seen more closeups of peppers and onions and garlic cloves in the past week than I have in years. And they’re really fun to paint, too!

So here’s a closeup view of some ingredients headed for the chopping block. Get em while they’re hot … the pepper, that is.