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!



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!

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.

Call Me Crazy

…but I decide to attempt the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge again! We will see how far I get before life gets in the way. Considering that the goal of the challenge is to paint more frequently, it can’t hurt to try. This time around I have decided to paint small. Let’s see if that helps.

The Mod Squad ©Loralee Chapleau 6x6

The Mod Squad
©Loralee Chapleau

So far painting smaller didn’t help! For my first painting I decided to try my hand at the Daily Paintworks Crowd of People Challenge.  This was fun, but the complicated subject matter was difficult to execute on a small scale. I decided the best thing to do was to simplify. I like the way simplified figures lean toward abstraction.

The way the central figure came out reminds me of vintage mod fashion art. That is why I decided to call it The Mod Squad.

Purchase this painting here.

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.