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!

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!

Mountains of the Moon

Abstract 4 ©Loralee Chapleau 8x8

Abstract 4
©Loralee Chapleau


It is day eight of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I must admit that I have thought about letting a day go by with out posting, but here it is. I am continuing to have fun exploring abstract landscapes. This one reminds me of a song called Mountains of the Moon.

The Water’s Edge

The Water's Edge ©Loralee Chapleau 8x8

The Water’s Edge
©Loralee Chapleau


I am continuing to explore the landscape in terms of abstract elements. I painted this while sitting by the water at China Camp State Park Beach. The meditative sounds of the waves coming to shore really enhanced the creative process for me.

30 in 30 Challenge ~ Day 4

Abstract Landscape Study ©Loralee Chapleau 5.75 x 5.75

Abstract Landscape Study
©Loralee Chapleau
5.75 x 5.75


I am taking a little break from my vineyard studies. This was done with left over paint and a scrap of the Arches Oil Painting paper. I am really starting to get the feel of the paper, and I am enjoying it. I really like the combination of thick and thin washes of paint on this piece. I am going to have to get some more of the paper and try some larger paintings.

30 in 30 Challenge ~ Day 3

Vineyard Portrait Study 3 ©Loralee Chapleau 5.75x4.75

Vineyard Portrait Study 3
©Loralee Chapleau
5.75 x 4.75


Here is another Vineyard study. It is very similar to the first one, but I altered the composition. This one has less sky. The over all feel is a bit calmer, but there is still a lot of energy. The brush strokes and the dynamic pull of the vines keep the eye moving.