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!

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.

Spring Vineyard

Spring Vinerard ©Loralee Chapleau 18x36

Spring Vinerard
©Loralee Chapleau

I painted in the vineyards this week. I am going to take a cue from Monet and paint the same spot again and again.  I plan to go back there once a month to see how the foliage, color, and light changes over time. This should be an interesting experiment because I will also get to see if my painting approach changes and progresses.  We will see how this turns out.

My Green Sea

Cliffs Hwy 1 ©Loralee Chapleau 24x36

Cliffs Hwy 1
©Loralee Chapleau

I am primarily a plein air painter. I love being outside, painting on location. It allows me to be immersed in the moment, and to really get the feel of a place. Due to the nature of plein air, I often have to paint on smaller canvases. I like the impact that a larger painting can have, so I have been using my smaller plein air pieces as inspiration for larger paintings.

When I painted this from a smaller plein air piece, I could easily recall the rhythmic sound of the waves, the cool ocean breeze cutting across my face, and the smell of salt in the air. All of that memory and feeling went into the creation of this painting. I hope that some of those sensations come through to the viewer.

Scene on the Strait

Bel Air Beauty ©Loralee Chapleau 20x20

Bel Air Beauty
©Loralee Chapleau

I am very happy to be participating once again in this years Scene on the Strait. Scene on the Strait is an art festival that raises funds for the nonprofit Carquinez Regional Environmental Education Center (CREEC), whose mission is to restore butterfly habitat along the Carquinez Strait. August 8th, 2015 will be a fun filled day of music, food, art, and art lovers.

So, to celebrate being part of this fun festival, I thought I would share this painting of a “scene on the strait” that I recently painted. I saw this beautiful Bel Air Beauty at the Benicia Classic Car show that took place a couple of weeks ago. As soon as I saw it, I knew what I wanted to paint!

Spring Shows

Spring Mustard ©Loralee Chapleau 20x20

Spring Mustard
©Loralee Chapleau

In the eastern counties of the San Francisco Bay Area, nothing announces springtime like the blooming fields of mustard. These cheerful blossoms are a welcome sight after the cold and dark days of winter. That is why I chose this as one of three paintings that I have entered into the ADAS Spring Show, Primavera. Here is a link for more details.

I am also happy that one of my paintings will be in this year’s Fresh Works Exhibit at the Harrington Gallery. I am looking forward to both receptions, and they occur on the same day. It will be an artful day, which is just the way that I like it.

Irises in Bloom

Midnight Taccata ©Loralee Chapleau 18x14

Midnight Taccata
©Loralee Chapleau

The irises are starting to bloom in Napa County. I painted this yesterday at the Napa Country Iris Garden. It is just beautiful there. Nothing compares to painting out on a sunny day, with a cool breeze, surrounded by these colorful blooms. Monet knew how to live!

Funky Street

Funky Crockett Road ©Loralee Chapleau 12 x 9

Funky Crockett Road
©Loralee Chapleau
12 x 9

It has been a very busy year for me. I have been in the studio working on some very large pieces for a commission. I am really looking forward to getting back outside to do some more plein air work. I have missed being able to work from direct observation, and from the dynamic of painting in the elements. I hope to get outside this weekend, but in the mean time I am going to dive into another large studio piece.

This is a funky little road scene that I painted last summer. I thought it would be fun to do a lager version. I am going to attempt a 40 x 30 of this one. I will post the results later. Wish me luck!