California Landscape Spring Oil Painting – Eaton Canyon Pasadena

“Gentle Springtime”
11 x 14 oil painting on hardboard panel
Eaton Canyon, near Pasadena, California

See more Pasadena paintings here

I started this plein air painting a few years ago and got distracted with other things and didn’t finish it up. Now that it’s almost springtime again, it seemed like a good time to revisit it and complete it. Since then, I’ve bought an artworks essentials EasyL which is much easier to transport, and doesn’t require a separate easelmate to hold things, like this Yarka did. I like the fact that I can raise the tripod with the Easy L so I’m not looking down at the painting. I’m tall and I always ended up with a backache at the end of the day from slightly bending over at the waist. A good friend of mine said that the Yarka is great for carrying pastels outdoors, however, so I might set it up with that. Almost every plein air painter I know has a collection of easels that they try, in search of the perfect one. The biggest advantage of this old Russian Yarka is that it’s light and sets up in about 1 minute. The down side is its height and lack of adaptability to carry wet panels of all sizes.

California plein air landscape painting – Eaton Canyon Waters – Karen Winters

Eaton Canyon Waters
9 x 12 in.
oil on archival linen panel
SOLD but I have more Pasadena Paintings

This morning, after days of gray skies and pouring rain, we woke up to bright blue skies and snow in the San Gabriel Mountains above us. I knew the watershed of Eaton Canyon would be filled with flowing streams, and I was determined to go see for myself. My original intention was just to get a few photos (my ankle is still healing and long standing is uncomfortable) but I knew I would kick myself if the scene looked highly paintable and I had left my plein air gear at home. So I packed the car and headed out, and was not disappointed. The mountains were a palette of soft blues, grays and violets and water was coursing among the big boulders. I resisted climbing down the bank – I don’t want to sprain myself again – but set up my easel along one of the trails.

A photographer came by on a hike and kindly took a photo of me with my camera. (Thanks, Miguel!) He shot a batch himself with his Canon – I’m looking forward to seeing them.

Days like this are just made for plein air painting. Although I was plenty weary toward the end of the afternoon painting (#2 painting for the day) I was in my element.

I used a hand-held palette today instead of my usual glass one. I found it easier to match color when I could hold it up parallel to the plane of the canvas.

Pasadena Skyline Oil Painting – Pasadena California City Hall complex

Pasadena Skyline
11 x 14 oil on hardboard panel


Although this painting is sold, I have more Pasadena area paintings at this link:
See more Pasadena paintings here

I am also happy to paint on commission.
Click this link to write me.

Karen Winters California Impressionism New Works Show at Gale’s Restaurant, Pasadena

If you’ve been following my blog, you know I’ve been preparing for this event for some time.
So, if you’re in the LA area and would like to see my work in person, I invite you to come to my show of California impressionist fine art.

Place: Gale’s Restaurant
Address: 452 S. FairOaks in Pasadena, California
Dates: Sat. May 16 – Friday, July 10
Reception: Sunday afternoon, May 31, 4-6 pm.


Eaton Canyon Landscape Oil Painting – Eaton Canyon Springtime

Eaton Canyon Springtime
16 x 20 oil on canvas
SOLD to a collector from Pasadena

Interested in this painting? Please write.

This spring, be sure to mark your calendar to visit Eaton Canyon in Altadena when the wildflowers are in bloom. There has been enough rain that we should probably have a good show again.

Eaton Canyon is one of my favorite painting spots within an easy drive of my home. Sometimes if I see that there are interesting clouds in the sky I try to get over there to have a look or paint a little.

Yesterday I enjoyed visiting the LA Art Show, sponsored by FADA (Fine Art Dealers Association.) Several of the dealers featured paintings by Edgar Payne and William Wendt, both of whom are icons of California impressionism. If I had a spare 80 or 90 thousand dollars maybe I’d buy a small one. But since I don’t, I contented myself with gazing at them longingly, and making mental notes about the painting. At home, I’ve been reading Nature’s Temple, a catalog of Wendt’s work and Edgar Payne’s classic book on composition. It’s a good thing I enjoy being a perpetual student of art in all its manifestations. There is always something new to see and to learn from.

Eaton Canyon Oil Landscape Painting Study

Eaton Canyon Color
5 x 7
oil on canvas on board

These small color studies are fun to do when I don’t have time to dedicate to a larger painting. I guess that’s the essence of being a “daily painter” isn’t it? No one really expects us to finish a large painting every day, but, like Jello, there’s always room for a small study.

Although there’s not a lot of wildflower color this time of year, the remnants of autumn brush still glow against the greys and browns of winter. Buckwheat is one plant that adds a ruddy hue to any landscape. I like the white boulders that gleam in the sunlight – I think they add an interesting sculptural touch and provide contrast to the soft foliage.

This small study may be the basis for a larger work sometime soon. And speaking of larger paintings, I’ve been working on a larger Eaton Canyon oil painting, 16 x 20 inches, and I will be putting it here soon.

Eaton Canyon Swift Water – Karen Winters Watercolor

“Swift Water – Eaton Canyon” SOLD

15 x 22 watercolor on paper

Well, today was the day from computer hell. Once in a very long time my Mac system gets corrupted and I need to reinstall system. However it got balky it now seems resolved. I painted this yesterday but didn’t have time to put any finishing touches on it until I got the puter back in order today. Many thanks to my dear husband for helping with the troubleshooting.

This painting was inspired by the winter and spring rain we had at Eaton Canyon in Altadena (near Pasadena.) Although the water wasn’t deep it was abundant in the wide ravine and fun to paint.

Eaton Canyon Stream – Karen Winters Daily Painting

Eaton Canyon Stream – 9 x 12 oil on canvas on board

Eaton Canyon, in Altadena (near Pasadena, California) is running with water this time of year. This painting is of the east side of the riverbed, looking southward.

Eaton Canyon Trail – Pasadena – Karen Winters Plein Air Daily Painting

Eaton Canyon Trail
8 x 10 oil on canvasboard
A plein air adventure SOLD

Although I had a wonderful time enjoying the company of my art pal Wendee while painting out in nature, today, just about everything that could go wrong, did.

When we got to the location, I discovered that I had left my palette at home. I had brushes and paint but no palette. After rooting around in the trunk of the car I found an empty Fedex envelope that served the purpose.

When you absolutely, positively have to paint.

It was quite breezy out there. So breezy, in fact, that the panel kept flying off the easel and landing on the palette. Yuk. So I ended up holding the painting in one hand (like the palette I didn’t have) instead of on the easel. It worked out ok.

By the time I got this far, the light had changed too much to continue. So I took a picture and finished it at home, in studio. (As above.) Thus ends the tale of lemonade from lemons, and one woman’s determination to enjoy her paintout day, no matter what.

Eaton Canyon Trail – Pasadena

“Eaton Canyon Trail” 9 x 12 – watercolor on paper

The show prepping continues as I went to the frame store this morning and got some gorgeous plein air gilded frames. I put the paintings in them and loved the effect. Tomorrow is watercolor framing day and time to take a break with a visit to another art group in the region. I don’t know what the program’s going to be, but I’m sure it will be educational and entertaining. Today’s painting is in the same theme of looseness, wet into wet and negative painting. I’m having a very good time with it. Can you tell?