Trail into Springtime
Tejon Ranch plein air oil painting
9 x 12 inches, oil on linen panel
One of California’s unspoiled treasures is the Tejon Ranch, north of Los Angeles and south of Bakersfield, up in the Los Padres Forest.
I had the pleasure to do some plein air painting there, and this is one of the pieces that came from the trip. Free range cattle roam through the hillsides, and you’re as likely to meet a steer as a rattlesnake or a cottontail rabbit. It’s Old California in the very best way. I’d love to get back there again sometime to paint.
The Light in the Forest (California redwoods)
16 x 20 inch oil painting
SOLD but I have more forest paintings on my website, see link below.
These magnificent Sequoia redwoods are growing in the Armstrong Grove in Northern California, not far from Guerneville, which is on the Russian River. It is an old growth forest, protected, and will never be cut down. I love being in the redwoods and I love painting them, too. They impart a certain feeling of peace, grandeur and spirituality that is almost overwhelming. I try to capture the feeling of being there in every redwood painting that I do.
Let me know if you are interested in a redwood theme in perhaps a larger size. I do a lot of painting on commission, and the redwoods are one of my favorite subjects.
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.
White Cactus Flower Painting – Botanical Southwestern Oil Painting of Cereus cactus by Karen Winters
White Cactus Flowers on a Cereus Peruvianus cactus
Oil painting 16 x 20
This wonderful cactus plant was at least ten feet tall, and covered in flowers so large and radiant that it took my breath away. The blossoms were as wide across as my hand, easily.
Those tireless workers, bees, were swarming all over them, harvesting pollen. However I chose not to paint those busy folk on this occasion. I love bees but not everyone feels the same way and I wouldn’t want their presence to prevent the painting from finding a new home. Maybe if I paint the subject again – I took many photos of this proud beauty.
White flowers are never truly white because they pick up color from everything around them – the blue violet sky light in shadow, the warm light of the sun, and so on. The value range of white varies greatly, too. Painting this was like trying to solve a large jigsaw puzzle. A bit frustrating at times, but a lot of fun.
The June Lake loop (off highway 395, in California) has several areas where you can pull off the road and look down onto meandering streams. This viewpoint of Rush Creek (between Silver Lake and Grant Lake) was on a bright overcast day, and the hazy whitened sky made the stream look more white then blue. I liked the striking contrast with the straw colored marsh-meadow and the deep blue shaded mountainside in the distance. I used a very limited palette for this study – mostly ultramarine blue, yellow ochre and cadmium yellow light. A few tiny bits of burnt sienna and cad red added warm notes.
I have it on good authority that all those little nooks and crannies along the creek are filled with hungry rainbow and brown trout. Is it true? Fisherfolk, do tell!
Lundy Creek Cabin
5 x 7 oil study
It was last fall when I started this small study of a cabin, closed for the winter, up Lundy Creek in the Eastern Sierra. But I put it aside for awhile as I thought about some changes I wanted to make with regard to the color temperature and how it affected the shadowed mountains and the brilliant fall leaves. As we arrived at the scene, the sun was close to the horizon and every moment brought color shifts and changing shadow patterns. This cabin, which seemed to be owned by the campground, was boarded up for the winter. The tin roof captured the cool light of the sky, which I liked a lot, seeing it contrasting with the golden colors of the trees. There are two pairs of complements working in this little study: red/green and yellow/violet. It was painted with red yellow and blue primaries and a little white – nice and simple.
When I returned to this study to rework it a bit, I made some decisions about where I wanted the light to fall, and I like it much better now.
This week, starting Wednesday, I will be painting in the Arroyo Seco for the Casita del Arroyo paint out and sale sponsored by the California Art Club and benefitting both the club and the Casita del Arroyo Foundation, with its beautiful display of drought tolerant plants. I may not be there all day, every day, so if you want to know where I’ll be painting, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll let you know.