Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Preparing for winter

Photographing, south of Calistoga • © 2010 Karen Lynn Ingalls

You might wonder why I haven't been posting many new paintings lately. The reason is that, this time of year, once Open Studios have passed, I and the squirrels are busy preparing for winter.

Grapes hanging on the vines, south of Calistoga • © 2010 Karen Lynn Ingalls

Like squirrels gathering nuts for the winter, I'm busy gathering images. This time of year is, for me, heaven on earth. Last year, our first frosts came in late October, and I'd missed the most beautiful colors. This year, with our weird combination of early rains and a cooler autumn (but no frost yet) is hard on growers and winemakers, but it is giving me beautiful images to photograph. I'm racing against time, though.

Photographing, south of Calistoga, looking towards Sterling Winery • © 2010 Karen Lynn Ingalls

The green grass is coming up, and the leaves really only began turning colors in earnest last week. Now they are proceeding apace – more yellow, more red, more glorious each day. But the rains have come, and they drive the leaves to the ground. I have to squeeze in as much time for photographing as I can, before the leaves have fallen. The days are short, I need to catch the light when it's just right, and I need to be in the right spot at the right time.

Photographing, west of Calistoga • © 2010 Karen Lynn Ingalls

Gathering the images is only the beginning. Then I sort through everything – hundreds of photos (thank heavens for digital cards!), and choose, label, and resort my favorites. Later will come cropping and adjusting the colors and values in each photograph, and printing out the versions I like best, all before I get back to my empty and waiting canvases.


  1. moving into the area soon and would like to take part in any art classes you offer

  2. Welcome to Calistoga and upValley! And thank you!

    I have a new Acrylic Painting class session beginning on Friday, December 3rd, for the three Fridays before December, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Calistoga Art Center, at 1336 Lincoln Avenue (on the second floor of the three-story Masonic Building, next door to Copperfield's Books). Their phone number is (707) 942-2278, and the classes are listed at:

    The art center is planning a move soon, and has held off scheduling after the holidays until the timing of their move is clearer, but I should have a winter-spring schedule soon. I'm looking forward to meeting you!

    Wishing you a wonderful move, and with welcomes,

  3. Like the idea of squirreling away images for future paintings. I need to get out there and take some pics.

  4. The colors are so beautiful now... better than last year. I know you'll be glad you did!