Gloria Chappelear Paintings
By Marilyn Townsend
Rivers inspire the hidden artist in ordinary people, proving they are not really ordinary. Or extraordinary people are irresistibly drawn to rivers to express their artistic natures, maybe both. My river is teeming with artists.
The Klamath is my river. I own the Klamath; the Klamath owns me. That’s how it goes. Let me tell you about an artist on my river.
Gloria Chappelear lives on the Klamath River. Right on it. When the river floods, her vegetable garden is under several feet of water. Since 1964, Gloria has lived on the Klamath and painted the woods, and trees, and people that surround her.
Gloria was born in 1934 in South Dakota, to a mother who was a painter, and father who farmed a rented section of land on the Sioux Indian Rosebud Reservation. There they farmed and raised seven daughters. Some of her mother’s paintings grace the walls of the house on the Klamath. Gloria attended the University of Iowa, majoring in art education.
She moved to Happy Camp in 1964, with two children, and three more children were added to her home. She has lived in Alturas, Tulelake, and Lake Tahoe, always returning to Happy Camp; even after a short time in Arizona, Happy Camp called her back.
During all this time, she painted, persevering even when one child tried to eat the yellow paint. She painted church nursery walls, and illustrations for church and Sunday school lessons. Gloria has taught art in the elementary school and was an art instructor for a while at COS.
She does plein-aire painting with her best friend Dian Hokanson, and paints from her own photographs, and photos borrowed from friends. Many of Gloria’s paintings are of the forest and individual trees, because “they’re always there.” But she paints portraits and rodeos, and zoo animals, and any subject that captures her spirit. The poet in her names the paintings. “Tenacious”, and “Old Timer” are trees, and “Modern Madonna” is her daughter with a grandchild.
Like many artists, Gloria has more than one area of expertise. One of her arts is woodworking. She builds her own furniture and carves it, and paints the carvings. No need to build something functional without making it also beautiful. And she improves on the gingerbread houses in the magazines because they forget to make the shingles overlap; being a woodworker she knows all shingles overlap!
As if this were not enough, she quilts, bakes her own bread, and makes the most delicious cookies. She raises her own vegetables, and keeps chickens for eggs.
When asked why she paints, she struggles with an answer. After talking about composition, and the path the eye travels with good composition, she finally says she paints “to remember things…because I love to.” And then it all comes out. With a feisty grin she says she paints because ”I’m gettin’ good at it!” That’s humility. She’s been more than good for decades. Now she is approaching her own standards of excellence, which are high indeed.
Marilyn Townsend can be contacted at
Gloria Chappelear can be contacted at
Artists on the River: Gloria Chappelear
Alan Crockett’s excited to let you in on the next incredible evening coming up this friday, the 26th at 6 pm.
First, immerse yourself in a new Art Show- MYENACA- featuring the combined artworks of Myanna Nielson , Nena Creasy, and Veronica Rasmussen. A blockbuster of a show with works in a multitude of mediums that are sure to astound!
Then feast on a masterful multilayered dinner crafted by the legendary Nyomi Rivera-
Chicken in Mole Poblano Sauce
with a Veggie Option of Stuffed Peppers in Mole Poblano Sauce
Grilled Zucchini with Pesto
Corn Fritters with Honey Butter
and a Green Salad with Summer Veggies and Dressing
and can you believe it- Fresh Fruit Shortcake for Dessert
The Art Center is finally having another one of its highly addictive dinners this Friday and you’re all personally invited!
It all Starts at 6 pm this Friday with Cold Drinks and a Delicious Music Mix.
Barbara Rohr is generously cooking up a Sensational Indian Curry Dinner with Spicy Chicken Curry delicately Simmered in Coconut Milk and Ghee Served with Basmanti Rice. And of course, we’ve also got a tantalizing Veggie Curry for you vegetarians out there.
All This paired with a classic Grated Carrot Veggie Salad and an Magnificently Succulent Array of Refreshing Raitas and Chutneys .
We’re looking forward to seeing you all,
Art Center Enthusiasn for Building!
The Klamath Siskiyou Artists have done a great job raispng funds for the new art gallery. Now that the property on Highway 96 & Davis Road in Happy Camp is their’s , they are getting closer to the day when they will be able to build.
Go to www.ksartcenter.org/klamath-siskiyou_art_center.html
By Diann Hokanson
The Scenic Klamath River is a painter’s paradise. Monet’s Giverney gardens with lily pones and Japanese bridge summoned the Impressionists no less than our Klamath inspires the Realist, Abstract, Representational and Surrealist artist.
The River itself with its deep emerald still places and raging white water rapids, travels both swiftly and lazily through narrow steep rock walls and wide open spaces. Edged with spiky river grasses, the smooth worn river rocks invite the graceful Snowy Egret. Blue Heron and the artist!
The Klamath is fed by bubbling streams and some pretty swift creeks. Down along their banks the temperature can be twenty degrees cooler.
Our own little Ferguson Creek isn’t even on the map. Walking under its conifer, oak and maple canopy is like closing a door, shutting out the noise of traffic from the highway, and opening into a world of quiet, cool and non-electric gurgle of the creek. Huge ferns grow here and moss covers the trunks of the Oaks and old fallen logs. N the middle of all these greens and earth tones are surprising brilliant reds, tiny fuchsia and delicate pinks and lavenders of wild flowers and trillium.
The landscape painter finds scenes of majestic grandeur. In the Wilderness area Ukonom, Spirit, Blue Granite and Cliff Lakes, each set like a diamond in the Marble Mountains. Ukonom falls, a mile up Ukonom Creek from the other side of the river, is worth the hike. The beautiful double waterfall is much like the Wiamea Falls of Hawaii. From Greyback, the high country, you can see across thirteen different layers of mountains and hills, each a little fainter as if you could see to infinity. In the spring and fall, mists settle in below and between the mountains, and we feel like the very first human.
Pastoral Scenes are also available; cattle and horses in cattle in golden meadows as well as lovely old barns and cabins. Along Highway 96 are old communities left from the Gold rush. Klamath River, Scott Bar, Hamburg, Seiad Valley, Fort Goff and Happy Camp. We have our old buildings and small town atmosphere. It’s like stepping into a time warp.
The portrait artist is after my own heart. You would think living in all this would be pretty distracting but the closest theater is 75 miles and the closest shopping mall is 110 miles away! What makes our place unique are its people. Do you know a medicine man? Have you seen the expression on the face of the prospector who held two nuggets of gold in hand? I know a 63 year old lady who dredges underwater, A man who can fell a tree in a stand without hitting another, a doctor who came to retire and fish and has never worked so hard in his life, a woman who runs a publishing house, and people who really live off the land with no phones and electricity. There are river guides and wilderness packers who will take you into the wilderness and artists living here. We have lived here fifty years and haven’t made a dent!
Alan Crockett says there’s an absolutely great evening coming up Friday April 30th at 5 pm! He invites everyone to come on down to the Bigfoot corner (Davis Road and Highway 96) and help them celebrate the new Art Center Show
“The theme will be “Finding Peace” Ceramics, Paintings and Photographs by Melanie McPherson.
Alan also said they’ll be serving a spicy vegetarian and Humboldt grass-fed beef taco dinner and flan dessert “exquisitely prepared by Glenn Rickel, Jennifer Rothrock, and Suzy Espinole”. At the same time there is the opportunity to kick back and enjoy a smoky and hypnotic Mexican flavored music mix!
Thanks to all the amazing volunteer helpers! From Alan and the Klamath-Siskiyou Art Center group. They hope to see you there,