Sunset Soiree – California Impressionist Plein Air Genre Painting

“Sunset Soiree” SOLD
9 x 12 oil on canvas
Plein air painting

A few nights ago I had the pleasure of doing a plein air sunset painting while listening to the sweet sounds of The Crown City Brass Quintet. Wine, music, art, lovely people, gardens. It just doesn’t get any better than this!

And now, a few words about painting at sunset when much of the color has gone. What do you do? You invent it and you paint the color the way it might have been. Or, in the words of the late artist Milford Zornes “paint it the way you want it to be.” And so I did.

By the time I arrived at the event, around 6:30, the sun had settled behind the majestic pines and oaks. But what remained were hints of warm color that I exaggerated to create a mood. Painting in settings like this is a special treat for me because, unlike in a restaurant, cafe or on the beach, the people remain seated for the duration, so one’s painting isn’t ruined by the sudden rearrangement of of the models! This culture loving group gave me a rare opportunity to paint a genre scene in a leisurely hour and a half.


  1. Donn
    September 29, 2008

    Beautifully done, Karen. I really like the mood you presented here too. A lot can be learned just by studying this painting!

  2. M. Nova
    September 30, 2008

    Excellent, Karen! Love the lighting, actually. You know how to push that paint around for sure!

  3. Carol
    September 30, 2008

    Your work is so stunning…Just Beautiful.

  4. Judybec
    September 30, 2008

    This is beautiful Karen! I love all the colors

  5. Dianne Mize
    October 1, 2008

    I love the glow you made.

  6. Leentje
    October 1, 2008

    Very beutiful paintings, drawings. I love it!!!

  7. Liz & Borromini
    October 2, 2008

    Great painting and sounds like a lovely evening!

  8. Chris
    October 4, 2008

    This is lovely. I can’t imagine trying to paint in those light conditions. You did a wonderful job of “invention”.
    Do you still find time to do watercolors?

  9. Karen
    October 7, 2008

    Hi Chris Good to hear from you. Yes, I still do watercolors although it’s easier to paint in oil in a public place because if I’m interrupted and make an error I can easily fix it. Not so easy in watercolor!

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