Monday, March 31, 2008

Desert Wildflowers in Bloom

Utah wildflowers photo by Roland Lee

Utah wildflowers photo by Roland LeeToday the weather was so gorgeous I took a little walk in the desert at lunchtime and shot these photos of yellow wildflowers. The desert is full of them right now and all the red sand is covered in grass. Yesterday's rain should bring out lots more wildflowers in the coming weeks. I'm keeping my eye on the cactus blossoms as well. Pretty soon they'll give us a show too.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Art Show at The Cliffs

Artist Roland Lee and E. Gianni at Art ShowThe Mission Gallery sponsored a special art show tonight at the Cliffs community near Ivins, Utah. Three artists displayed their work at the Cliffs clubhouse, which was a gorgeous place to show art. Two other artists displayed in the model home nearby. Although the attendance was light the evening was beautiful and the view spectacular. One of my new paintings sold to Ellen Gianni who just returned from Fairbanks Alaska and stopped by with Mr. and Mrs. Sheets, also collectors of mine.

(Top)Ellen Gianni and I pose in the Cliffs Clubhouse after she purchased my painting "Zion Canyon Shadows"(left).

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Watercolor Paintings of Ivins Red Mountain and Kayenta Cliffs

Watercolor painting by Roland Lee of the Red Mountain in Ivins

Roland Lee watercolor painting of Kayenta Cliffs in southern UtahHere are two more paintings in the red Desert series. I finally got them all posted. In the next few days I will upload a few of the step by step sequences on how I painted some of these watercolors. I just need to find a little time to crop and resize the photos.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Paintings of Zion National Park and Provo River in Midway Utah

I finished these two new paintings just in time for the Festival and was able to get them framed for the exhibit.

Quiet River, Watercolor Painting by Roland Lee

"Quiet River" (above) was inspired by some photos I shot along the Provo River in Midway Utah last summer. I was there for the Wasatch Plein Air Painting Competition, and caught this scene as the sun was going down, with the entire valley in shadow. I enjoyed painting it with a cool palette.

Watercolor painting of the Vrgin River in Zion National Park"Zion's River" was inspired by a river hike I took during the fall in Zion Canyon. Although the canyon is in a cool shadow, the warmth of the sun on the sandstone cliffs casts an equally warm reflection in the Virgin River. Click here to see a step by step watercolor painting demonstration of this painting.

New Collectors purchase Painting at Art Festival

Roland Lee and Jennifer Stucki with painting she purchased at St. George Art FestivalCorry and Jennifer Stucki stopped by my display booth at the St. George Art Festival and found a painting they couldn't live without. Jennifer, also an excellent painter, was struck by the watercolor painting "Green Shutters," and didn't take long to talk her husband into it.

Green Shutters, Switzerland painting by Roland Lee"Green Shutters" a watercolor painting by Roland Lee of a home in Switzerland.

Monday, March 24, 2008

New paintings on display at the St. George Art Festival

Watercolor painting of red desert in southern Utah
Over the past couple of weeks I was able to finish several new paintings which we displayed for the first time at this show. Above, "Red Desert Vista" was purchased the first morning by Mary and Allan Jeurs.

Roland Lee watercolor paintingThis little 5" x 8" painting features the red cliffs of Ivins where we live.

Roland Lee watercolor painting of Zion National Park"Zion Canyon Shadows" a watercolor painting of Zion National Park.

Celebrating My Birthday with the grandkids

Roland Lee and grandkidsEven though I don't like to be reminded of my old age, I always like to see the light in my grandkid's faces when it's time to open presents. Emma and Ellie were eager to show me the proper technique for opening my gifts.

Awards at the 2008 St. George Art Festival

St. George Art Festival 2008 Roland Lee Booth

My son Jon helped me set up our display at the St. George Art Festival on Thursday night. I've been exhibiting in this show for over 20 years, and it is definitely one of the most artist-friendly shows anywhere. They provide hot breakfast for the artists and bring water and snacks to each booth several times a day. Over 100 artists come from all over the U.S. to participate and many artists are turned away each year. This year the weather was the best ever, with warm temperatures and no winds, so the crowds turned out in droves.


I received a 2nd place award in the landscape competition and also received a purchase award from the City of St. George.

Left: St. George city Purchase award winner of Zioin canyon. This painting will be placed in the permanent collection of the St. George Art Museum

Award winning painting from the St. George art Festival 2008Left: "Peaceful Canyon" won a second place award in watercolor at the St. George Art Festival

The Gang's all here!

Easter Weekend always brings a flood of kids and grandkids to our house in southern Utah. They enjoy hanging out at the St. George Art Festival and soaking up the beautiful desert sunshine. The weather cooperated nicely and we got in a lot of outdoor time.

Jon Lee Family in Ivins Utah Easter weekend 2008

Before the Festival started I took my son Jon and his kids on a hike in the desert behind our home. They found lots to do.

Max Lee in the desertMax struck his own desert trail. Even at age 3 he's a big BYU fan like his dad and brother.

The secret rock cavesTravis Alyssa and Hannah play in the "secret rock caves."

The Maestri family at the St. George Art FestivalJennie, Jason, Emma, Ellie and Baby Josh at the art festival. Two-year old Ellie gave us a scare when she decided to go exploring by herself. Everyone pitched in looking and she turned up by the fountain in the town square.

My daughter Jodi Simmons with her husband Kyle and kids Zach (left) and Kade.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

New LDS Temple Giclee Print Introduced at St. George Art Festival

We're gearing up for the St. George Art Festival which is held each Easter weekend on the streets of St. George Utah. Over 100 artists set up tents and zillions of winter-weary northerners swarm to St. George for a weekend of sunshine, navajo tacos, and art. We're looking forward to visits from our kids and grandkids starting tomorrow.It's like a huge family reunion at our booth on Main Street during the festival.

Temple Glory, painting by Roland Lee of the St. George LDS Temple

I will be introducing a new painting of the St. George LDS Temple at the Festival. It will be available as a limited edition giclee print.

Kate Starling talk at the Art Museum

We enjoyed hearing Kate Starling talk about her art at the St. George Art Museum tonight. My artist buddy Myron Laub and I joined other artists and collectors to hear her tell about her life as an artist and see a slide show of her paintings. She has become nationally known as a Plein Air painter of the landscape. With a degree in geology and a passion for hiking and climbing, she is well-suited for painting the red rocks in our area -- especially Zion National Park. One of her paintings was juried into the upcoming Zion Centennial Art Show. It was fun to visit with her and listen to her light and lively comments about her work.

Zion painting by Kate StarlingZion National Park painting by Kate Starling

Asleep at the wheel

Zion National Park watercolor painting by Roland Lee

I've been reminded by more than a few readers that I have been lax in updating the blog lately. I admit it, I have been busy and just haven't found the time to post. I've done about six or seven new paintings including finishing some of the last workshop demos. I will post them over the next couple of days. The painting above is a little 5" x 8" study of the light and shadows on Zion's cliffs.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

"Fresh Snow" Watercolor Demo Painting

Fresh Snow watercolor painting by Roland Lee

This little painting was started in my last St. George workshop and finished later in the studio. I decided it needed a judicious cropping to make it more powerful. After throwing a mat on it, I brought it back to my March class where Karen Bettilyon decided she wanted to buy it on the spot. Karen already owns a couple of my other original paintings and I am pleased she selected it for her collection.

Friday, March 07, 2008

March Painting Workshop at A Passion for Painting

Artists include l to r: Lola Krummenacher, Paige Jeffs, Bev Hagadorn,Roland Lee, Erica Shea, Karen Bettilyon, Kay Besteman, Carrie Ruppe, and Gail Alger

Artists include l to r: Lola Krummenacher, Paige Jeffs, Bev Hagadorn,Roland Lee, Erica Shea, Karen Bettilyon, Kay Besteman, Carrie Ruppe, and Gail Alger.

My March workshop focused on rocks and desert scenes with an emphasis on backpainting or negative painting in watercolor. I was pleased with the work this group produced. We took advantage of the warm spring weather in St. George and went on a sketching trip to the red hill.