Wednesday, August 20, 2008

California as Still Life

Eucalyptus - 18" x 24" oil on canvas
© 2008 Karen Winters

If anything defines California, it’s our beautiful and varied landscape, from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Pacific Ocean to the desert around Palm Springs, just begging for a dab of paint to capture it. If you’d like to experience the state through an artist’s eyes and tour one of our premier garden museums, visit Descanso Gardens , starting this weekend, to catch the opening of the latest show at the Carriage House Art Gallery.

This month the gallery features the work of five local artists, with an emphasis on artwork that reflects the natural beauty of California. Oil painters include Alyce Cox, Karen Winters, Laura Wambsgans and Jeanne Tannhauser. Ceramicists are Dave Gilbaugh and Don Siminski.

Subject matter ranges from the Central Coast wine country, Southern California seascapes, Santa Monica Mountain scenes, desert wildflowers, still life paintings and floral portraits.

Full disclosure: Karen Winters was my roomie in college. (Go Bruins!) It’s her painting at the top. She’s a Descanso regular and is a California plein air painter in the tradition of the early 20th century impressionists who sought to visually preserve the fragile beauty of the state. Visit her website for more paintings and check out her blog where she posts a daily painting and blogs about paint and horticulture.

The show will run August 23 through September 18 with an artists’ reception on Sunday, August 31, 1-4pm. Exhibit hours are 10am -3:30pm.

According to their website, “Descanso Gardens is an urban retreat of year-round natural beauty, internationally renowned botanical collections and spectacular seasonal horticultural displays. Descanso founder E. Manchester Boddy, preserved these 150 acres of gardens, woodlands and chaparral for future generations to experience the natural heritage and beauty of Southern California. Today Descanso Gardens is a museum of living collections, accredited by the American Association of Museums.”

Descanso Gardens is located at 1418 Descanso Drive in La Canada Flintridge, near the interchange of the 2 and 210 freeways. The Gardens are open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Parking is free. Admission fees are $8 for adults; $6 for seniors and students; $3 for children 5 to 12, and free for members and children 5 and younger. The Carriage House Art Gallery is next to the Boddy House. Visiting the Carriage House Art Gallery is free with Gardens’ admission. For more information, call (818) 949-4200.

No comments: