Overlooking Ojai Valley California landscape oil painting

Overlooking the Ojai Valley
8 x 10 oil on linen plein air panel

This new painting features a view of the beautiful Ojai Valley, a verdant agricultural area northwest of Los Angeles, in Ventura County. The viewpoint is looking southward from the north part of the valley. Orange trees are in abundance there. It’s late afternoon, a few hours before sunset.

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California impressionist landscape “Oaks Guarding Oranges” backroad oil painting

“Oaks Guarding Oranges”
9 x 12 oil painting
California Central Coast, near Cayucos

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Through the years, some of our most enjoyable travels have been along the many backroads that criss cross California. This small road goes inland from Cayucos, just a little north of Morro Bay. Closer to the water, the marine layer softens all the edges. The fog is soft and gray. As we drive inland, the fog burns off and takes on other colors. There are many orange and avocado groves along these country roads, which proves that the area does not often get frost. But it is hot as blazes in the summer. We will commonly see eucalyptus trees used as windbreaks to protect orange groves, but along this road the California live oak trees were doing the job.

Pear tree with fruit – oil painting by Karen Winters

Pear Tree at the Old Mill
12 x 9 oil painting on linen

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El Molino Viejo, in San Marino, California is an old adobe building where historically there was a grist mill. Growing around the far side of the building is a wonderful pear tree which continues to bear fruit in season. I’m guessing it’s a dwarf variety, and probably does not date back to the age of the building. But I think it adds a bit of old California charm to the location, along with the pomegranate trees. It suggests the kinds of trees that were abundant in California missions.

Rancho Camulos Orange Grove Heritage Valley oil painting

Rancho Camulos Orange Grove
14 x 18 inches
oil on canvas

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In the Santa Clara River Valley just northwest of Los Angeles (also known as Heritage Valley), there are numerous reminders that the old California of orange groves and agricultural fields is still very much with us. This scene was inspired by an orange grove growing near Rancho Camulos, along the highway 126 corridor.

I grew up in a house near orange groves, and I walked by them every morning on the way to the bus stop. There is something intoxicating about the scent of orange blossoms. I’m fortunate that our neighbor has numerous citrus trees in her back yard, and I still benefit from that wonderful smell whenever they are in bloom.

California Landscape Oil Painting – Orange Grove – Santa Paula Art Museum Juried Show

The Scent of Citrus
12 x 16 oil on linen panel
Citrus grove in Santa Paula, California

Accepted into the 3rd annual Art about Agriculture exhibition
Location: Santa Paula Art Museum, Santa Paula.

Artists reception: August 21, 4-6 pm

I painted this scene of a wonderful area along highway 126 – in the Santa Clara River Valley. This agriculturally rich area is probably what the San Fernando and other regional valleys were like a hundred years ago. But I’m just guessing at that. Avocados, citrus as well as row crops are abundant, and in the springtime the colors are rich. My objective in this painting was to capture the feeling of velvety green on the distant hills where the light broke through the clearing storm clouds.

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