Emerging Artists | Chula Beauregard

A disciplined approach

Chula Beauregard, Winter Fire, oil, 12 x 16.

Chula Beauregard, Winter Fire, oil, 12 x 16.

This story was featured in the October 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  October 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

It was on a sailing trip to the Bahamas, aboard her parents’ 24-foot sailboat, that Chula Beauregard discovered a passion for painting. Her mother brought watercolors along, and painting became a major activity between home-school lessons on the tiny boat. Beauregard, who was 11 years old at the time, took to it immediately. After returning to school in Colorado, “there was never a year that I didn’t take art,” she reflects.

Beauregard went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in studio art from Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA, and not long after completed a two-year Peace Corps term in Gabon, Africa. “For my personal practice it was a wonderful time of freedom because I had two hours a day to paint,” she says. “I set that time aside, having been trained by a teacher at Whitman College who was very disciplined and taught us, ‘If you want to be an artist, you have to be disciplined.’” Beauregard carried her watercolors and sketchbooks with her everywhere, even while traveling the world after the Peace Corps. “I was using art as I traveled to understand a place and really engage in it—the culture of it, the look of it, the feel of it,” Beauregard says.

Today, the landscape artist is anchored in Steamboat Springs, CO, with her husband and two young boys. She traded her watercolors for oils in 2006, but she maintains her disciplined approach to painting, beginning outdoors with sketches and plein-air studies. “I’m always still trying to understand things, how the world is from a geologic standpoint, how a barn is built,” she says. “I feel like if you can understand it, then you can paint it.”

Last year, Beauregard received the Oil Painters of America Shirl Smithson Memorial Scholarship, and her painting WINTER FIRE was selected for the OPA Western Regional Exhibition this November. And Beauregard is just hoisting the sails. “There’s so much there,” she says of the possibilities painting offers. “I’m always saying, ‘Good thing I have a lot of time, because this is going to take some time.’” —Kim Agricola

representation
Wild Horse Gallery, Steamboat Springs, CO; Cogswell Gallery, Vail, CO; The Squash Blossom, Colorado Springs, CO.

This story was featured in the October 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  October 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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