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Local artist Chloe Arline brings her dreams to life with paint

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Dreams are often forgotten, but what if there was a way to record them so they could be remembered forever?

Artist Chloe Arline does exactly that, taking elements from her dreams and painting them into reality.

IN THE SHADOWS In Chloe Arline's A Place From a Dream, the only bit of color points to a way out. - COURTESY IMAGES BY CHLOE ARLINE
  • Courtesy Images By Chloe Arline
  • IN THE SHADOWS In Chloe Arline's A Place From a Dream, the only bit of color points to a way out.

It started when she was in a high school AP art class. Her final project was to paint a theme of her choosing.

"I chose to focus on my dreams and at that point I really started kind of tuning into this more ... dreamlike imagery and kind of creating sort of surreal images," the San Luis Obispo artist said. "It's meant to be kind of intriguing, kind of how a dream is sort of like a memory of something from ... the waking world that can kind of be twisted sometimes."

In Arline's A Place From a Dream, she uses a mix of gray, white, and black to depict an older house surrounded by dark, tall trees with a fountain in the front. Spaces between the trees offer the only bit of color—a yellowish-orange light, pointing to a way out.

"I was kind of in a scary place for whatever reason, and then I went into this house, and it was like you walk into the house and it's just ... walls and floors to ceiling, like garden walls and hedges and stuff. Then there was that fountain, and it was more comforting in the dream, but it does look kind of cool with how kind of eerie it seems," she said. "The painting doesn't always need to perfectly replicate my dream, it's more so just to take inspiration from it and create an image that people might be able to relate to."

HEAD IN THE BRANCHES Chloe Arline uses a mix of dull yellows and browns to paint I Dreamt I Was a Tree where she depicts a woman looking into the distance. - COURTESY IMAGES BY CHLOE ARLINE
  • Courtesy Images By Chloe Arline
  • HEAD IN THE BRANCHES Chloe Arline uses a mix of dull yellows and browns to paint I Dreamt I Was a Tree where she depicts a woman looking into the distance.

Arline said her favorite part about art is that it's subjective and allows people to interpret it however they want. Oftentimes people will come back to her, share how they viewed her work, and give her a new perspective, she said.

"I'm just kind of painting something that speaks to me and hoping that it speaks to someone else, but it doesn't necessarily need to say to them what it means to me," she said. "It's more important to me that they can just see something in it, whatever it is, you know."

Arline grew up in the Bay Area and moved to SLO a few years ago, and she's had a few exhibitions at local businesses in the county, including at a wine bar in Pismo Beach, then moving to a pop-up at Barrelhouse Brewing Co. in downtown SLO. She just finished her most recent showing at MYLR Gallery and Books.

"Neal, who runs the gallery in the bookstore, reached out to me on Instagram and he said he had seen my mural that I did at Lincoln Deli, and he wanted to offer me space at his new gallery," she said. "They kind of cycle through artists, and I was their first artist in this new spot so that was cool, and it was really cool to see my art in there and have this opportunity."

THE PLAYHOUSE Using a mix of vibrant pinks, purples, and blues, Chloe Arline created Camouflage, a piece depicting a three-headed jaguar stuck inside a playhouse. - COURTESY IMAGES BY CHLOE ARLINE
  • Courtesy Images By Chloe Arline
  • THE PLAYHOUSE Using a mix of vibrant pinks, purples, and blues, Chloe Arline created Camouflage, a piece depicting a three-headed jaguar stuck inside a playhouse.

Located in downtown SLO since 2021, MYLR Gallery and Books prides itself on being the only architecture and art bookstore between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

"It was really important to us that we were focused on architecture books and focused on design but be as comprehensive as we can," Neal Breton from MYLR told New Times. "We wanted to offer a completely different experience with art as well, so I think it was a really cool aspect to accompany some of the art that we're hanging on the walls with the books we have. That way we can further the conversation about art on a larger scale."

Breton said the shop offers books that focus on sustainability and moves away from classic novels or books easily found at other bookstores in the area.

"There's books on green living, indigenous architecture, and we're hoping that you come in, take a look at the art but see a book that catches your eye and makes you think," he said. "That's part of the experience we're trying to make people walk away with."

BLUEBERRY Using light and dark blues to capture the light in the eyes of a woman with dark red lips completely doused in blue, Arline created a newer piece called BlueBerry. - COURTESY IMAGES BY CHLOE ARLINE
  • Courtesy Images By Chloe Arline
  • BLUEBERRY Using light and dark blues to capture the light in the eyes of a woman with dark red lips completely doused in blue, Arline created a newer piece called BlueBerry.

Breton said he likes to find emerging artists, especially women, when it comes to exhibitions in the gallery, as many museums tend to leave female artists out of their spaces. But, he added, the art has to speak.

"It's got to be good; I want intention—even if it's abstract or whatever, it doesn't have to have meaning as far as that goes, but I look for people who are trying to take it seriously. I look for craftsmanship; I look for things that you should look for to bring those people into the spotlight," he said. "Like this person is ready or this person has been in it for a while, and we're lucky to have them." Δ

Reach Staff Writer Samantha Herrera at [email protected].

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