Thursday, April 30, 2009

Meet the Correspondents: Karen Winters

Hello, everyone. I'm a California landscape painter who is also a passionate sketchbook keeper. I do a lot of plein air and studio landscape painting, and my sketchbook is an invaluable tool in understanding nature's beautiful mysteries and complexities. Because time is so short when doing a painting on location, it helps to have an intimate understanding of how certain species of trees are put together, how reeds grow in a marsh or even how rocks look under different light conditions.

To start things off, above is a recent page from my Aquabee sketchbook. I like the paper because it's heavy enough to use some light washes without bleeding through the other side of the paper. This page is a study of a granitic rock cluster in the foothills of the Sierras, where we visited this spring. Rocks are often difficult to paint without them looking like piles of potatoes, so I did this study to explore the facets of the broken pieces, and to observe the reflected light in the shadows. When I'm making paintings I paint either in oil, watercolor or pastel. But in my sketchbook I primarily made studies in watercolor and/or gouache, so that's what I'll usually be posting here. I paint every day and post my paintings on my blog, A Creative Journey, if you want to see where some of the studies lead.


  1. Welcome aboard, Karen, and thank you for the intro and sketch! Loved the "pile of potatoes" observation...and you've really made those look grounded, solid. Too often rocks end up looking as if they're just sitting ON the ground rather than seated IN it. Lovely work as always...

  2. I'm so glad to see your sketchbook pieces on here! Lovely, solid, and believable rocks (I am a rock lover). My husband would chuckle when I took photos of rocks on vacation...


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