An exhibition at the Benicia Plein Air Gallery will feature paintings of Benicia and the greater Bay Area by artist MaryLou Correia. Small paintings created in oil and pastel pigment, inspired by the creatures Correia met while traveling through the Amazon and Galapagos, will be on view this month.

"Mindful of the changing environment, I relish the little surprises I encounter along the painting way, encouraged to think that maybe my appreciation for painting the living earth might spark joy and appreciation in others,” says Correia. “I venture out with a destination in mind, carrying different sizes of canvasses to capture the moment when the sky swirls with organic shaped clouds, or the late light presenting a kaleidoscope of colors and shadows.

Correia’s inspiration for painting comes from “Observing nature and man’s gentle intrusion into it—the angular slope of an old barn, reflections in a quiet stream, the changing of light of a pastoral scene,” she said. “Influenced by the Impressionists’ use of brilliant, sensuous layers of color, I observe the grace and beauty of nature to capture a vignette in time.”

MaryLou Correia

Carneros Bike Ride

Classically trained, Correia received her bachelor’s degree at Syracuse University, followed by graduate work at the California College of the Arts. After an early career teaching art at Salinas High School and Monterey Penninsula College, she worked as Director of Publication for Saint Mary’s College in Moraga. Correia has exhibited throughout the Bay Area and nationally, including at the Oil Painters of America Annual Show in Washington D.C.

“Painting is my way of cherishing nature, says Correia. “For me, the adventure is the process of painting, the meditative, absorbing challenge of capturing changing light and color. In the fall, I was at Larry’s Produce in Fairfield, painting in the flower fields with a fellow artist, and she said, ‘Aren't we lucky.’ ”

Benicia Plein Air Gallery
307 First Street, Benicia
Hours: Thurs-Sun Noon to 6pm
Artist Reception: July 14, 3-6pm