Monday, April 30, 2007

A Visit with the First Lady Laura Bush

Photo of artist Roland Lee with First Lady Laura Bush at Zion National Park
Roland and Nellie Lee in front of the Zion Nature Center at Zion National Park before Laura Bush's speech
(Top photo)I had a chance to chat with presidential First Lady Laura Bush for a few minutes following her speech at Zion National Park. What did we talk about? Hiking in Zion. (Photo below) Nellie and I in front of the Zion Nature Center prior to the ceremony. Photos by Nick Jorgensen

Yesterday I had an unusual opportunity to meet and visit with Laura Bush. She visited Zion National Park along with Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne to speak at the re-dedication of the Zion Nature Center. As a board member of Zion Natural History Association, I was invited to attend the ceremony along with my wife Nellie and about 100 others. The ZNHA helps finance the Zion Junior Ranger Program, the oldest Junior Ranger Program in the nation, which is housed in the Zion Nature Center.

Mrs. Bush gave a stirring speech (see video clip)supporting the national park system and announced she and some friends would be spending this week hiking the trails of Zion. I had a chance to chat with Mrs. Bush for a few minutes following the event and was impressed with her abilities to fill the role of the first lady. She is a very eloquent and classy person. We were however somewhat uneasy and a little shocked at the amount of security and media presence involved. Yikes! We were almost relieved to finally leave. Afterward we drove on up to our cabin on the east rim of Zion and spent the night under a full moon in perfect silence and privacy knowing that somewhere down below in the canyon a cadre of security people were hovering over the First Lady of the United States of America.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Painting Demonstration for Dixie State College Watercolor Class

demonstration negative shapes by Roland Lee
Painting demonstration negative shapes by Roland Lee

Part of a powerpoint presentation I showed to the students at Dixie State College.

Last night I gave a short presentation to the watercolor class at Dixie State College. I try to say "yes" as often as possible to invitations to speak because I want to share what I love about art with as many people as possible. But it's great to spend time with young artists, because they are so full of enthusism and eagerness. This group was very involved in the discussion and had excellent questions. My subject was how to use negative painting (or back painting) to convey light and shadow in the landscape. Once again, however, they seemed to be most amazed at my sketchbooks.

Art Presentation So. Utah Watercolor Society in Cedar City

Powerpoint demonstration presented to Southern Utah Watercolor Society in Cedar City
Powerpoint demonstration presented to Southern Utah Watercolor Society in Cedar City

I was invited to speak Wednesday evening to the Cedar City chapter of the Southern Utah Watercolor Society. Thanks to Lynda McCullogh for organizing the event. A small but eager group showed up as I gave a powerpoint demonstration on my techniques. Most of the artists present will be attending my two-day workshop at Southern Utah University on June8-9, 2007.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Award at 4th Annual Shenandoah Invitational Art Show

Watercolor Painting by Roland Lee won award at 4th annual Shenandoah Invitational in Virginia

My painting "Thawing Out" was awarded third place in Watercolor at the 4th Annual Shenandoah Invitational sponsored by Southern Virginia University.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Young Artists

My grandkids visited this week from Highland Utah. and created this fantastic artwork while I was giving my presentation at the St. George Art Museum Thursday night.Painting by Kayson Lee
Painting by Christian Lee
Painting by Keanon Lee
Painting by Kelsey Lee

Friday, April 20, 2007

Artist's Talk and TV interview at the St. George Museum

Roland Lee interviewed for KCSG TV news

Roland Lee presenting a power point demonstration at the St. George Art Museum

Every third Thursday evening the St. George Art Museum has a guest speaker. Last night I was invited to be the speaker for that series. It was a little daunting to be presenting before such a large group, especially since KCSG television came by to film an interview with me before and during the presentation for the 9:00pm news. My dad, Elwyn Reeder attended along with my son Jim Lee, his wife Barbara and their four kids, plus other collectors and friends. My wife Nellie supervised my grandkids who kept busy the whole time in the children's creativity area making paintings of their own. Along with my talk I gave a powerpoint presentation showing the creative process from field sketches to studio paintings.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Lake Powell painting featured in Art-Talk magazine

Photo of Roland Lee painting and cover of Art-Talk magazine

Lake powell Panorama original watercolor painting by Roland Lee featured in Art-Talk magazine Calendar section April 2007 issue

The April issue of Art-Talk magazine features a full-page width image of my painting "Lake Powell Panorama" in their calendar section. My Canyon Country exhibit at the St. George Art Museum is listed among the other national museum shows in this issue. Art-Talk is read by over 100,000 art lovers worldwide. I will be giving a talk at the museum tomorrow night at 7pm about my paintings. Everyone is invited.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Teaching the Spring Utah Watercolor Society Mini Workshop

Roland Lee teaches the spring mini-workshop for the Utah Watercolor Society
Roland Lee teaches a workshop for the Utah Watercolor Society
I enjoyed spending three days with a wonderful group of artists this week as the guest instructor for Utah Watercolor Society's Spring painting workshop. I kept them busy with powerpoint demonstrations, painting demos, and painting exercises. Hopefully I didn't wear them all out! This group had some especially proficient painters. As always it was a great experience and we all made lots of new friends.

Monday, April 09, 2007

St. George Art Museum Show Sales

Roland Lee one-man show at the St. George Art MuseumAlthough the St. George Art Museum does not conduct sales, they are helpful in passing contacts along to the exhibiting artists. We have had numerous sales of my paintings this week since the Roland Lee Canyon Country Show opened. I will be presenting a museum talk next Thursday April 19 at 7pm to discuss the exhibit and my painting techniques. There is no charge for admittance that night and everyone is welcome.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

St. George Art Festival Television Interview

KUTV Television news crew doing interview with artist Roland Lee at the St. George ARt Festival

The KUTV News crew doing an interview with yours truly

The first day of the St. George Art Festival went well. I enjoyed meeting many new collectors as well as visiting with numerous previous collectors. With 28 paintings already on display at the St. George Art Museum I didn't have as many paintings for this show as I usually have. But it didn't seem to matter.

This morning I did a television interview from my booth for the KUTV Morning News. It's fascinating to see all the equipment they need to set up just for a few minutes of TV time. It seemed like everyone who stopped by my booth had seen me on the news this morning. Anyway my sales were very good during both days so we are pleased. I also enjoyed seeing my oldest brother Blaine, who came to town for the art show along with lots of other family members who always come to town easter weekend to get together.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Painting #1000 of the St. George Temple

Art collector Blake Arnold with his purchased painting Temple Glow, a watercolor painting of the St. George LDS Temple by Roland Lee

Art collector Blake Arnold with his new painting of the St. George LDS Temple

Temple Glow a painting of the St. George LDS Temple by Roland Lee

For the past two months I've been working on a very large painting of the St. George LDS Temple. Each of my paintings is numbered sequentially and this is painting #1000 -- a real milestone. I've had a number of collectors ask about who would be getting this special painting. While I don't take painting commissions, three years ago I had promised a good collector, Blake Arnold, that the next time I painted the Temple he could have first crack at it. After getting it framed yesterday, Blake rushed over to see it and bought it on the spot. He had to hurry because today he and his wife are leaving for Europe. I will be exhibiting the painting at the St. George Art Festival over the weekend (with Blake's permission) so others can see it.

Over 100 artists turned out at the monthly meeting of the Utah Watercolor Society in Salt Lake City Tuesday night. I was the featured speaker and was a little intimidated by the large group of my peers. But they were kind to me, and listened with patience as I presented a PowerPoint demonstration "From Sketches to Paintings" outlining my techniques for working up a painting from sketchbook field studies to studio paintings. Thanks to president Gayle Allen and workshop coordinator Catherine Hostetter for setting it all up. I will be back in Salt Lake City next week to teach a three-day mini workshop for the UWS which Catherine also organized. That workshop is already filled.

Inside the big barn at Wheeler Farm where Roland Lee presented to the Utah Watercolor Society

Inside the Big Barn at Wheeeler Farm, where the Utah Watercolor Society holds their monthly meetings

Wheeler Farm in Murray Utah

Wheeler Farm (above) is a wonderful working farm covering many acres. I had a chance to do a few sketchbook pencil studies around the farm before the presentation.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Canyon Country Paintings Exhibit Opens

Roland Lee sketch book drawings on display at the Saint George Art Museum

Roland Lee's Canyon Country exhibit at the Stt. George Art Museum

Roland Lee at the St. George Art Museum Exhibit opening

We enjoyed a good turnout at the opening reception Friday night at the St. George Art Museum. The mezzanine level features my show plus a pottery exhibit by artist and friend Glen Blakley. It was good to finally get the exhibit up. I have about 28 original paintings on display including Lake Powell, Zion National Park, Capitol Reef, Snow Canyon, Kayenta and other southwest desert locations. Also on display are sketchbook drawings done on location and demonstration displays featuring step-by-step painting techniques. The show will run through July 7, 2007. Now I'm on way up to Salt Lake City to do a demonstration for the Utah Watercolor Society, then I'll only have a few days to finalize my work for the St. George Art Festival next weekend.