Alone in the Sunset – Sunset Tree Portrait – Placerita Canyon, Santa Clarita Plein air painting by Karen Winters

“Alone in the Sunset”
(Placerita Canyon, Santa Clarita Valley, CA)
10 x 8 plein air oil painting

Most of the time when I paint landscapes, the trees are part of a whole scene, rather than dominating it. In this case, the tree is featured as if in a portrait. An individual portrait is to a crowd scene as a tree portrait is to a grove. Some times, it’s fun to just study the branches and structure of a plant and to note its behavior – how it has been bent by the forces of nature. That was my objective in this painting, experimenting with the warms and cools and the way the light plays around the edges of forms at the end of the day.

California Golden Hills Landscape Plein Air Oil Painting by Karen Winters – Walker Basin Overlook –

“Walker Basin Overlook”
8 x 10 oil on plein air panel
Plein air painting in Kern County at the Rankin Ranch, September 2011

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This morning view, painted on location north of Caliente, California, is in the very southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada range. Although the mountains are small in this location, they will likely be much taller some day, as the plate boundaries move and continue to elevate the peaks. The rabbitbrush is in full bloom, a welcome sight every fall in this part of California. This was painted during a paint out with the California Art Club

Lucky Fortune Cookie Oil Painting by Karen Winters

“Lucky Fortune Cookie”
6 x 6 oil painting

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I will leave it to your imagination what the whole text of the fortune is. Maybe it says “In love you will be lucky.” Or “Today is the day you’ll be lucky.” Or, if you’re more of a pessimist than an optimist, it may say “One of these days you might finally get lucky.”

Add a little luck to your life with this miniature (6 x 6″) original oil still life.

Plein Air art Lightner Peak Walker Basin Oil Painting – Morning Light – California impressionist landscape by karen Winters

Morning Light on Lightner Peak
9 x 12 plein air oil painting on panel

Walker Basin, view from Rankin Ranch of Lightner Peak,
Kern County oil painting

A few days ago I had an opportunity to paint at the Rankin Ranch near Caliente in the Walker Basin, Kern County. This was painted 95% on location, and corrected in minor ways in the studio when the painting was dryer. It’s one of many plein air paintings that I did during our stay, more to come.

Below, a shot of me working on it on location:

The painting looks warmer in the large photo because it was taken under indoor light (warmer) which is the way it will likely be viewed in someone’s home or office. The outdoor photo captures how it looks under shady outdoor light, which is bluer.

Half Dome, Yosemite painting, from Glacier Point by Karen Winters

Half Dome, from Glacier Point, Yosemite
12 x 16″ original oil painting

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From the valley floor, Yosemite’s Half Dome is a lofty structure. But it is only from Glacier point, when you can look across the valley at it, that you see the true size of Yosemite’s massive landmark. This painting depicts the monumental formation in early summer, when there is still some snow evident on its flanks. Soon, the snows will come and shroud it in whiteness once again.

Sunset Palms in California – Impressionist Landscape Oil Painting

“Sunset Palms”
9 x 12 oil on birch ply panel

In Los Angeles you can look almost anywhere and see rows of palm trees in the distance, lining a street. This group just happens to be adjacent to my house, which comes in handy for painting. The sunset was spectacular a few nights ago – presenting a veritable rainbow of hues from blue violet through pink, yellow and orange. If there ever was a subject that said “California” – this is it.

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Sierra Seasons – Sierra Nevada creek oil painting by California landscape painter Karen Winters

Sierra Seasons
11 x 14 inches – California Sierra landscape oil painting
(Sierra Creek, eastern Sierra Nevada, California)

This painting is now SOLD, but I have many more Sierra paintings – see the link below.
As the summer heat melts away, fall comes to the Sierra, and the cooler nights start to turn the creek-side willows from bright green to gold. The spires of evergreens catch the last light of the day.

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Mary-Linns Bridal Shop Pasadena – Urban Oil Painting Wedding Dress shopping art

‘When you find ‘The One'”
11 x 14 oil painting on canvas
Wedding gown shoppers at Mary Linn’s Bridal Shop in Pasadena, California

For a long time, I’ve wanted to paint a charming bridal shop in Pasadena named Mary Linns. I’m guessing that it has been there a very long time and no doubt contributed to the joy of thousands and thousands of brides. This young couple was window shopping. I can only imagine what was going through both their minds. I think this has a nice narrative quality to it. It happense to be Pasadena, but it could really be anywhere that young lovers plan their future.

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Bishop Creek Oil Painting Miniature Sierra Nevada Fall Color Art by Karen Winters

Bishop Creek Reflections (near Lake Sabrina)
6 x 6 inch oil painting
Sierra Nevada fall color art

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When the aspens turn, they are never lovelier than when their color is reflected in a mountain stream, as it is in this view of Bishop Creek, in the Eastern Sierra.

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Yosemite Falls Painting Art – Sierra Nevada landscape by Karen Winters

Yosemite Falls
(waterfall view from Yosemite Valley Floor)
8 x 10 oil painting on linen panel

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My husband and I have been visiting Yosemite since we honeymooned there (a very long time ago) and it never fails to captivate me, no matter the season or the weather. One of my favorite views is that of Yosemite Falls from the valley floor. The water is roaring more than ever this year, with the melting snow waters. With autumn on the way, it won’t be long before these peaks are snow clad again. We were told that many of the trees are going to be removed from the valley floor because their growth is obscuring the geological features that people come to see. I hope they don’t remove too many, though. The stately pines and deciduous trees add to the overall beauty of the park.

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