Batiquitos Lagoon, Carlsbad Plein Air Oil Painting – Batiquitos View – by contemporary California impressionist Karen Winters

Batiquitos Lagoon View
9 x 12 plein air oil painting
Carlsbad, California wetlands landscape art


Yesterday, my husband and I went to Carlsbad, CA (in San Diego County) where I fell in love with this beautiful eucalyptus guarding the trail to the Batiquitos lagoon. The tide seemed to be fully in at the time of our visit – late afternoon. This is the second time I’ve painted Batiquitos, and I expect it won’t be the last. Anywhere that there are eucalyptus trees and water is a winner with me. I was surprised to see so much green still in the grasses, considering that it is approaching the driest time of the year. But there was a lot of humidity in the air, so maybe that helps.

Here’s a previous Batiquitos painting which was based on a study like the one above.

Batiquitos Path
20 x 24 oil on canvas

California Landscape Oil Painting – Temecula – Vineyard Afternoon

Vineyard Afternoon
(Falkner Winery, Temecula, California)
9 x 12
Plein air – oil on linen panel

There’s something about the afternoon light in the Temecula and Fallbrook areas that just makes me melt when I see it. I love the soft peaches and gold tones that come around magic hour … and when it kisses the vines just so, it begs to be painted.

This is the second plein air painting I did on Day one of the Falkner Winery Invitational, courtesy of the Pasadena Art Gallery Association. I was an invitee of Segil Fine Art Source, and there were painters from Galerie Gabrie and Tirage as well. Some folks even came from as far away as Oregon for the event. We had a great time painting all day and enjoying fine vintages like “Luscious Lips” at our reception.

The weather couldn’t have been more cooperative – a morning fog burning away by 9 am, revealing beautiful blue skies and rolling hills of green and amber vines. By three o clock the haze moved back in, as you can see in this painting. I’m thinking this might make a good study for a larger painting as well.

More paintings to come ( I did three in total – two on day 1 and one on day 2. I called it quits early so I could spend some time visiting with friends old and new. )

Fallbrook Ranch Afternoon

“Meanwhile, back at the ranch”
10 x 12 oil
plein air painting of a ranch in Fallbrook, California

Late afternoon light casts long shadows across the pasture of this peaceful ranch in Fallbrook, California. When I was there painting, the peepers had already started their songs in the nearby irrigation canals. Spring grasses have turned to summer gold, perfect for grazing.

This weekend, June 27-28, I’ll be at the San Clemente Art Association Annual Show and Sale on the lawn by the community center. Dozens and dozens of plein air painters will be there, so I hope you can stop by if you live in that vicinity.

Westward Waves – Southern California Art – Marine Seascape Oil Painting by Karen Winters

“Westward Waves”
16 x 20 oil on canvas

Interested in this painting? Please write

This painting was done in anticipation of the San Clemente paintout and sale, which will start a week from Saturday and continue through the following Saturday and Sunday, June 27 and 28.

This will be my first year participating and I’m really looking forward to it. I have painted before in the San Diego County area, most recently for a week in Fallbrook, and I think the country is beautiful. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll be doing ocean scenes or some of the lovely inland areas, but I know it will be a great experience either way.

The small Laguna Tide Pool study sold last week at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens show, and this larger painting, based upon that study, was already under way.

A Walk in the Surf – Romantic Seascape California Marine Oil Painting

A Walk in the Surf
8″ x 6″
oil on canvas

SOLD to a collector from Santa Cruz

A romantic stroll on the beach, the water rolling up gently on the shore. If you live near a coast I’ll bet you have a memory or two, don’t you?

I’m thinking seaward these days, getting geared up for the San Clemente paint out the week of June 20 – 28, culminating with a two day show and sale. The plein air painting should be great – I’m really looking forward to it.

California Plein Air Landscape – Fallbrook Fan Palms

Fallbrook Fan Palms
12 x 12″
oil on canvas panel

I have been so busy this past week that I just woke up and realized that I haven’t posted in awhile, and I’ve had a hard time getting painting time in.

The show is going well at Gale’s and I had a wonderful turnout for my reception. Many thanks to everyone who stopped by to see my work and say hello. So many friends, family and collectors – it was a day to remember. Special thanks to our children who drove down from Palo Alto for the weekend. We celebrated every moment, and enjoyed seeing UP on Saturday night. If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t miss it.

Monday morning we took my entire show down at Gale’s to make room for her annual Taste of Art show – this year benefitting Pasadena’s Ronald McDonald House, which provides housing for families visiting sick children. I donated a painting of the Casita Del Arroyo Garden, and was delighted to discover that the same couple bought it who bought one of my bridges last year. It was a great party – delectable appetizers and drinks, and good cheer all around for a good cause. Tuesday morning we rehung my show, which will continue now through July 10.

Now I’m framing 25 additional paintings to take to Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens this Saturday and Sunday, June 6 and 7, in Claremont for the Art in the Garden show and sale. This is the third annual juried event and I’m happy to be participating for the 2nd time. The gardens are at 1500 N. College Drive if you live in the inland empire and would like to come say hello. I’ll have original oils and watercolors, framed and unframed, as well as prints and cards.

Because things have been so busy, I am posting a plein air painting that I did in late April, but I haven’t had time to get it photographed. Three or four stately fan palms bordered a path through an open grassy ara. The late afternoon light wrapped everything in a warm glow.

Pretty soon I’ll be back in the groove of everyday painting again. I miss it, but I have to take care of business, too.

Fallbrook Landscape Oil Painting by California Impressionist Karen Winters

fallbrook california oil painting

Spring to Summer in Fallbrook
9 x 12 oil painting on canvas
A country ranch road in Fallbrook, California

This painting is sold but I have others from the area. Please write me.

Here’s another little landscape inspired by my Fallbrook trip. There were several mornings when the marine layer had moved in and was cloaking the hillsides with a gauzy look. Around 8 o clock the mist would start to burn off. You can see where the grasses on one part of the field have already started to turn golden. Other foliage still maintains the fresh spring look.

I haven’t posted in a few days because it’s been very busy getting ready for my show at Gale’s Restaurant, celebrating Mothers’ Day and taking care of other family responsibilities.

Did you know that if you want to see all of my paintings in any one category – such as all Fallbrook paintings, or all mountain paintings that you can filter these posts by categories? Look for the pulldown menu in the left sidebar.

Windbreak – California landscape oil painting – Karen Winters

10 x 12 oil study

This little windbreak was interesting with its varied heights and shapes. It reminded me of a group of kids lined up for their school picture, or perhaps an a capella group getting ready to perform. I had a good time capturing the top light on the trees, which suggests the middle of the day. The short shadows communicate the time of day as well.

Studies are useful for many purposes – we learn about how to render certain types of plant life, how to capture the quality of light at a certain time of day, how to describe distant and near objects, even how the sky looks under different weather and lighting conditions.

California plein air oil painting – Days End in Fallbrook


Days End in Fallbrook
California landscape plein air painting
11 x 14 oil on canvas

At the end of the first day of Libby Tolley’s workshop, which was held in the classroom, I was excited to get outside and find a location to paint. All day the temperatures soared into the high 90s, maybe even 100 degrees, and we were all relieved to paint and practice indoors. As evening came, it had cooled off enough to be tolerable. But on top of that there was a brush fire nearby which filled the air with smoke and gave the sky a warmer than usual color. The color combination was irresistible.

What attracted me to this scene was the beautiful eucalyptus, and the layers of color and foliage disappearing in the smoke back to the distant mountain range. On any given day, the scene may have looked entirely different. A little earlier in the year and the foreground grasses would have been green. On a fire-free day the atmosphere would not have provided the interesting sky effects of warm and cool, intermixed. In the morning, everything would have been lit from the opposite direction. This is one of the things I love about plein air painting – the practice of capturing a very specific moment in time that may never occur again.

While I was there, next to a curb on a culdesac where no houses were built, a man who lived nearby hailed me with a wave and I told him what I was doing. He and his sons came over to watch me paint for awhile, and then I packed my things up. It turns out he’s in the agricultural business and knew a number of places to paint where there are reflective pools of water. Like I’ve said before, I think I could be in the middle of the wilderness and still draw a crowd. It always happens and because I’m a social person, I don’t mind sharing my love of painting.

Fallbrook Landscape Oil Painting – Morning Breeze – by Karen Winters

Morning Breeze (Fallbrook, California)
16 x 12″
oil on canvas

As the week progressed in Fallbrook, the weather cooled and large clouds would appear every morning. This painting, inspired by my visit there, depicts a view looking eastward across a small creek that helped irrigate the ranch where we were painting. Clouds are among my favorite subjects to paint and in this case they are the primary interest.

If this painting is dry, I might be bringing it to the Montrose Art Walk this Saturday on Honolulu Avenue in Montrose. I can’t promise, because it may not be dry enough. But on the other hand, at a plein air event, the patrons buy paintings at the end of a QuickDraw event, and they are soaking wet, painted just an hour before. So I might very well bring this one along.