1CCC6CDB-8D10-4F64-83F0-41CD608BF734Beginning” 48×48 oil on canvas ©️Loralee Chapleau

January is a time for new beginnings and reflection. Before I begin working on new paintings for 2018, I have decided to take some time to reflect on and share some of the work that I completed in the past year.

2017 was a busy art year for me. I painted many large paintings for installations and commissions. Painting on large canvases averaging 4’ by 5’, I spent a great deal of time alone in the studio, and a lot less time painting with fellow artists in the field. In 2018, I am hoping to continue to paint large, but I also hope to get back outside to paint in plein air. There is nothing better than painting directly from nature with a good group of friends.

Cheers to a productive, creative, and social New Year!



Resolutions Gone Awry

Mount Diablo 12×12 oil

How are your New Year’s Resolutions going? Mine have gone slightly awry. In the New Year I want to paint more, and blog more. So far, I am off to a good start when it comes to painting. I went out painting with my plein air group on New Year’s Day. I painted this view of Mount Diablo. I have also been spending more time painting in the studio. As Far as the blogging is concerned, I am off to a late start, but here goes. It is still January after all. I will play a little catch up today, and try to post more frequently In the future.

Uphill 12×12 oil

This was painting along the Carquinez Strait in Crockett, CA. I really enjoyed painting this one. I like the simple, abstract nature of the shapes, the surface texture, and the playful colors. 

No Calories 6×6 acrylic

Last but not least…for all of those hoping to eat healthier in 2017, I painted up this tasty little treat. I promise you, it has no calories! Happy New Year to you all!

Irises in Bloom

I made my annual trek to the Napa Country Iris Garden a couple of weeks ago. Just gorgeous there, as usual. I thought these photos would be nice to share on Mothers’ Day.

Painting at the Napa Country Iris Garden


In Progress


Amethyst Irises 18×14 oil on canvas

Van Gogh came to mind as I painted in this lovely garden on a hot, sunny day. I could not help but recall his beautiful iris paintings. I decided I wanted my irises to really stand out, and not get lost in a sea of green. I decided to go for Van Gogh, and I surrounded them with gold and yellow. I am pleased with the results.

Happy Spring!

Back to the Figure

El Nino has been providing the Bay Area with some much needed rain lately. To a plein air painter, this means more time in the studio and less time outdoors. This coupled with my own need to shake things up on a creative level has inspired me to go back to the figure and take Life Drawing again. Most art students take Life Drawing at one point or another during there art education. It’s not always easy to keep up with it once you are out of school. Recently, I was lucky enough to have found a drop in Figure Workshop at an art center not too far away. It had been a few years since the last time I painted from a nude model. Here are some of the results.


Black & White Colin ©Loralee Chapleau


Wonky Colin ©Loralee Chapleau


Colorful Colin ©Loralee Chapleau


For me, painting from life carries the same immediacy as plein air painting. When you have only two, five, ten, or twenty minutes to get down a pose, you don’t have time to think. Well, at least I don’t. I just react and respond to what I see. This spontaneity gives energy, excitement, and emotion to a painting. That is my goal, to capture and express the unique gesture of the figure.


Brilliant Light


Badger’s Pass

I wanted to to start the New Year doing what I love, painting outside. On New Year’s Day, I headed to Yosemite to see the Winter Wonderland that it becomes in the snow. I was able to paint this “quick one” while my family played. I was dazzled by the brilliant light on the snow, contrasted against the cool shadows. 
The was so much more to paint there, but the days are short and the light fades quickly. If only I had my time to spend there. 

Happy New Year!

Autumn Light

The Light Beyond the Trees ©Loralee chapleau 11x14

The Light Beyond the Trees
©Loralee chapleau

I love the golden glow of autumn light. That is exactly what moved me to paint this scene. The light beyond the dark and shaded trees seemed to set the distant foliage aglow. I think this pleasant scene captures the feel of the season.

I painted this in plein air behind the Firehouse Arts Center. It will be on view there, along with other paintings done in and around the Firehouse, from November 12th through December 16th.

A Sample Kind of Man

Sample Man ©Loralee Chapleau 8x6

Sample Man
©Loralee Chapleau

I think that this one is my favorite in the series, so far. Not only are there all kinds of lively colors at the Farmer’s Market, there are also all kinds of lively characters there too. This man was tirelessly giving away samples on a hot, dry, California day. Not only do I like the subject matter of this painting, I also like the way the shapes and values balance within the composition.

Click here to purchase this painting.

Fresh Bouquet

Fresh Bouquet ©Loralee Chapleau 8x6

Fresh Bouquet
©Loralee Chapleau

Farmer’s Markets provide endless inspiration. In this scene a lovely lady has purchased a beautiful bunch of fresh flowers. As an artist, I find the farmer’s truck just as interesting and beautiful as the lady and the flowers.

Click here to purchase this painting.

Vegging Out

Vegging Out ©Loralee Chapleau 8x6

Vegging Out
©Loralee Chapleau

This is another from my series of Farmer’s Market scenes. In this series I am exploring figures, colors, and shapes. I am simplifying the figures so that they appear more abstract. I’ve also simplified the produce into simple colors and shapes. In this scene a young hippie type of guy is stocking up on his vegetables. You might say he is “vegging out”.

Click here to purchase this painting.

Fresh Flowers

Fresh Flowers ©Loralee Chapleau 8x6

Fresh Flowers
©Loralee Chapleau

Day two of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge. I have started working on a series of small paintings of scenes from local Farmer’s Markets. In this scene the young man tending the booth is surrounded by buckets full of fresh cut flowers. Such a colorful sight!

Click here to purchase.