About Chris Chapman



“I try to follow Gauguin’s advice to look for the simplest way.  I like the quiet places best, bringing about a communion of place and paint.”

Chris Chapman is a prolific Santa Barbara area artist. Born in Pasadena, California in 1950, Chris grew up riding and exploring Southern California’s then quiet open spaces, forging the bond between nature and creative expression. After attending University of Oregon, UC Santa Barbara, and Santa Barbara City College, she molded her livelihood into fine arts.

Chris and painter husband John Iwerks married in 1999. Combining conservation with art, they co-managed Arroyo Hondo Preserve on the Gaviota Coast in the early 2000s, creating a visitors center, adobe art gallery, interpretive natural history artwork, and organizing plein air events. Moving on to historic Dos Pueblos Ranch was a painter’s haven. Chris and John now live and paint nearby in the Santa Ynez Valley, but the Gaviota Coast and East Sierra Nevada are repeating favorite subjects.

Looking closer at the landscape, Chris delved into California natives and has created a substantive body of unfettered watercolor botanicals.   She illustrated Chumash Ethnobotany (Timbrook, 2007) which led to a permanent installation in the Chumash Hall of Ventura County Museum of Art.

Chris is a member of the Santa Barbara based Oak Group, painters for preservation. This year marks their 30th anniversary raising funds for protection of open space through art exhibitions and sales. She is a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America, Sierra Pastel Society, Pastel Society of the West Coast, and Lifetime Member of Santa Barbara Art Association. Following many years as a painting instructor at Santa Barbara City College Adult Education, today Chris devotes more time to her own art while teaching an occasional workshop. She is represented by Easton Gallery.

One Person Shows

The Easton Gallery, Montecito since 1996. Solo shows 2014, 2012, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2002
Santa Barbara Arts, Santa Barbara – 2011
Gallery 113, Santa Barbara 1990–1999

Selected Group Exhibitions:

  • Los Olivos Quick Draw, November 2016
  • Sullivan Goss, An American Gallery, Oak Group 30th Anniversary, Santa Barbara, July 2016
  • CA National Parks, Wildling Museum, Solvang, CA – July – September, 2016
  • Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, June – August 2015, Oak Group honors Ray Strong
  • Pastels USA, Haggin Museum, Stockton, CA, June – August 2015
  • Wildling Museum, Solvang, CA, Oak Group, Wilderness Spirit Award, Oct. 2013 – Jan. 2014
  • Pastels USA, Marin Society of Artists Gallery, Ross, CA, June 2013
  • Los Olivos Quick Draw, 2013-2014
  • Coutts Museum, El Dorado, KS, Paint the Parks, Winner, traveling exhibit 2013
  • Pastels on High International Exhibition, Placerville, CA, Nov – Dec 2012
  • Arts Building Gallery, Auburn, CA, Pastel Society of West Coast, Aug – Oct 2012
  • Paso Robles Festival of the Arts, Masters Exhibition, Award “Local Color”, May-July 2012
  • Haggin Museum, Stockton, CA, Pastel Society of West Coast, May – July 2011
  • Wildling Museum, Rancho La Viña , Los Olivos, CA, April – August       2011
  • Glenna Hartmann Invitational, (Award) S.B. Museum of Natural History, February 2010
  • International Juried “Endangered Species” traveling exhibit: June 2008 to July 2009, Wildling Museum & U.S. Department of Interior Museum
  • Knowlton Gallery, Lodi, CA 2009
  • Oak Group exhibitions annually benefit prominent land preservation organizations. Since 1986, the Group has raised over $1.5 Million.
  • Best of Best, Award, Lompoc Museum 2000
  • Santa Barbara Art Association, numerous awards
  • OASIS Desert Protection, U.S. Senate Museum, Washington, D.C. 1990

Teaching & Workshops:

  • Private & Affiliate Workshops since 1999
  • Landscape Painting, Santa Barbara City College Adult Education 1996 – 2009
  • Botanical Illustration, Santa Barbara City College Adult Education 2005 – 2009

Permanent Installation:

Ventura County Museum of Art, Chumash Window, 40 x 60” from Arroyo Willow watercolor
Goleta Cottage Hospital – Two 30×50” pieces commissioned 2014
Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital– Five 20×30” pieces selected 2011

Selected Publications:

Stories of Arroyo Hondo, Chris Chapman, 2016
Plein Air Magazine, Fall 2012
American Artist Plein Air Edition, Fall 2011
Montecito Magazine , Spring 2011, Spring 2010, Fall 2009, Spring 2009, Fall 2008
Western Art & Architecture, Summer 2009
Washington Times, Dec. 28, 2008, Endangered Species Exhibit, US Senate Museum
Chumash Ethnobotany
, Timbrook, illustrations by Chapman, Heyday Books, 2007
The Oak Group: Twenty Years 1986–2006, 2006
American Artist, September 2006
Portraits of Gaviota, Chris Chapman & Eric Hvolboll, 2005
Southwest Art, March 2005
Santa Clara Valley, Easton Press, 2001
Gardens of Santa Barbara, Easton Press, 1999