Carpinteria Estero Landscape Oil Painting by Karen Winters

“Carpinteria Estero”
(Central California Coast Salt Marsh)
12 x 16 landscape oil painting


See more of my Carpinteria and Santa Barbara area paintings here

There’s a beautiful salt marsh we’ve enjoyed watching for years, whenever we go to Carpinteria (and that’s been a long time.) It’s enjoyable to see the herons stilt-walking through the tall grasses in search of small fishes and wiggly eels. You never know if the tide will be in or out, because our comings and goings are not determined by tide tables, but where we happen to be on our way to … or from.

Carpinteria Bluffs Painting – Central California landscape by Karen Winters – KWinters

Carpinteria Bluffs Sunset
Oil Painting 8 x 10

See more of my California Central Coast paintings here

The end of the day at Carpinteria bluffs provides an opportunity to work out with the secondary colors – orange, violet and green. The Santa Ynez mountains glow in the fading light.

Ecologically, this is described as a coastal sage environment. Typically you will find black sage, white sage, California buckwheat (the reddish brown plant, in fall) as well as toyon and brittlebrush.

The Spanish colonists named the area Carpinteria because this was a place where Native American Chumash people once built their sea-going canoes (using tar which oozes naturally from the sea bed.) Carpinteria is spanish for “carpenter shop.”

Lake Casitas California Impressionist Landscape Oil Painting

Lake Casitas Sunset
16 x 20 oil on canvas

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One of the best bass fishing spots in California, so I’ve been told, is Lake Casitas in Ojai, not far from the Pacific Ocean and Carpinteria. The lake is formed by Casitas Dam and offers year round camping and other recreational activities. The day we were there it was late fall and more than a little crisp. I’m looking forward to returning again to be inspired by a different light and season.

What appealed to me about this location were the soft muted colors, slightly warmed by late afternoon light. Just an hour before or after it would not have revealed these jewel like tones.

Carpinteria Bluffs Sunset Oil Painting – California Impressionist Karen Winters

Carpinteria Bluffs Sunset
16″ x 16″
oil on canvas

This is one of the paintings inspired by our recent trip to Carpinteria, on California’s central coast. The late afternoon marine layer had come in, shrouding the Channel Islands in a misty glow that reminded me of those tales of Arthurian Avalon. The sky colors were both delicate and intense their various layers, and this stately eucalyptus tree was bathed in all that glorious light.

I had not had the pleasure of visiting Carpinteria Bluffs before, but it’s a place that I want to return to, especially late in the day. So many beautiful vistas to enjoy.