Laurence Delaunay in her new studio. PHOTO COURTESY OF LOLO’S ATELIER
WHEN LAURENCE “LOLO” DELAUNAY was painting the walls of her new art studio in Nederland (@laurencedelaunayart), she quickly grew bored of the plain white. “All of a sudden, I had a vision,” she says. “I just jumped in and painted aspen trees in black and white.” The artist, however, is known more for her use of bright colors. Using thick acrylic paints and a palette knife, Delaunay depicts moose, bears and hummingbirds in large formats. Done in a postimpressionist style, the works are vivid and arresting, the animal’s movement captured in the brush strokes.
Growing up in France, Delaunay spent time in galleries and museums, developing an appreciation for impressionism—but she was a PE teacher, not a painter. In her twenties, she was gifted a set of watercolors and started dabbling. When she saw the bold work of French contemporary artist Christian Sanseau, she left the watercolors behind. “He was using thick paint, a palette knife and very bright colors to paint fishermen and ocean scenes,” she says. “I was fascinated.”
In 2002, Delaunay moved to the U.S. with her American husband. She continued to teach but switched to high school French, teaching students about artists like Monet, Renoir and Degas. “I really wanted to explore their use of light and color. It made me want to go deeper in my techniques,” she says. At first, her work was abstract, but she turned to more representational pieces, inspired by Colorado’s wildlife and scenery. “Even with the bears and the moose, people say it’s the colors they love.”
Lolo’s Atelier will see a rotation of guest artists starting in October. There’s a space in the back where Delaunay will paint; the front room will serve as a gallery. “I want it to be a place where artists gather, exchange, create and show their work,” she says. “I want things to move in the atelier—to not get dusty.”