“Rolling and Golden”
Central Coast California oak covered hills
20 x 24 inches
Oil on canvas
I’m continuing my series exploring California’s beautiful rolling golden hillsides. This one is from the Central Coast, where the grass is currently long, lush and green. But very soon the rains will fade and the grass will turn the most beautiful shade of ochre and amber. According to historical accounts, California’s hills weren’t always like this. The golden color comes from wild oats which were imported to feed livestock during the Spanish colonial period. Native species were edged out in the process.
Enjoy this painting in your own home and have golden California glory with you year round.
To see more oak tree landscape paintings please also visit: Karen Winters Oak Tree Paintings
To Walk Through Hills of Gold
18 x 24 inches
California landscape impressionist oil painting
This is another in my series of California hilly landscapes. This one is in the Central Coast area and features a large live oak tree, as well as smaller oaks in the background. This is a typical look from late May through December. After that time, the earliest rains start to make the hills green. This year we may see green sticking around for a little longer.
“Along Highway One”
9 x 12 oil painting on plein air panel
This California landscape impressionist painting is from recent travels in the Central Coast, along Highway One, just a little north of Morro Bay.
Cypress trees are abundant in that area, and mix it up with the local oaks. Although the hills are brown and golden, typical for the summer, there is more grass evident than in the past few drought years.
9 x 12 inch oil painting
on wood panel
In late winter, California fields and meadows think it’s spring. The first bit of rain brings back the green grass and a scattering of flowers.
I decided to paint this one with a secondary triadic color scheme, ignoring some of the actual color in favor of adding a bit of harmony from a limited palette.
That means, in non art-speak, that I chose to impose a color scheme upon the scene rather than painting exactly what nature gave me. And the color scheme I chose uses not primary colors (red yellow and blue) but the secondary colors they can be mixed to produce – orange, green and violet.
“Mariposa Meadow – Trabucco Gardens with wildflowers”
9 x 12 inches, oil on plein air panel
When spring comes to the Western Sierra foothills, the meadows light up with color. Goldfields, a small yellow flower, mixes it up with lupine and white popcorn flowers. Valley oaks, now garbed in green, provide a backdrop for the tapestry. This scene was from an area along the Golden Chain Highway, otherwise known as state highway 49, I believe. A nearby sign said “Trabucco Gardens,” so I believe they may be the owner of this spectacular property. This time of year you can set up an easel just about anywhere in California and find beauty to capture.
“High Desert Color”
9 x 12 inches, oil painting on plein air panel
Antelope Valley High Desert area
After our welcome rains that came a few days ago, my husband and I saw the sky was still filled with beautiful cumulus clouds – the kind we see around here too infrequently. So we decided to take a drive up to the high desert to see the wide open spaces. It was a picture perfect day and we found ourselves in the small community of Valyermo. Although the wind and rain may have taken away some of the glory of the cottonwoods, there was still some color left, and the paint brush took care of the bare spots.
This is a view of one of those cottonwood groves. I liked the contrast of the yellow golds against the blue violet mountains in the background. Those happen to be the San Gabriels, the closest range to our home. So now I’ve painted them from ‘both sides, now’.
Across the Poppy Fields
6 x 8 inches, oil
How about a little brightness and color as we’re approaching winter? This miniature poppy painting will cheer up a quiet corner in your home or office. Perhaps a gift for a flower loving friend? This impressionistic landscape was inspired by a spring trip to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, near Lancaster, California. What I love about painting poppy fields is the natural complementary colors (orange and blue) that are always present in this area. Framing available!
Gold Rush Country Ranch
20 x 24 inches
oil on canvas
SOLD, but I have more paintings of California’s rolling hills at karenwinters.com
This new painting depicts a ranch on highway 49, not far from Murphys, California. There was something about the sculptural mass of the big oak tree that really spoke to me. Although I most commonly paint eucalyptus, I find live oak trees irresistible as well. I haven’t spent as much time painting Gold Rush country as I have the eastern Sierra and California’s Central Coast, but it’s really starting to grow on me. Maybe it’s all that gold?
“Oaks Guarding Oranges”
9 x 12 oil painting
California Central Coast, near Cayucos
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.
The Scent of Springtime
8 x 10 oil painting
California Central Coast
I love the contrast of dark green eucalyptus trees and bright wildflowers. This California Central coast scene gave me the opportunity to paint both.