Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Zion Watercolor Painting of Virgin River

Virgin Beauty in Zion - Watercolor painting of Zion National Park by Roland LeeSee a Step by Step painting demo

As the Centennial year of Zion National Park rolls forward I am concentrating my efforts on a series of paintings featuring this wonderful place. I have been working madly on this painting trying to get it completed before we leave town for a week. I am very pleased with the results, especially the drama of lights and darks in the water. Click to Learn more about this painting


We're heading for Baltimore Maryland for a conference of the Association for Partners in Public Lands. As vice-chairman of the board of directors for the Zion Natural History Association I will join our other board and staff members for this annual affair. Luckily my wife Nellie gets to go along and we're spending a little time in Washington DC, and visiting our friends Phil and Norma Maestri. They are pretty special friends since their son Jason is married to our daughter Jennie, and we share three amazing grandkids.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Awards at Sears Art Show

Artist Roland Lee with his painting Solace at Sinawava at the Robert and Peggy Sears Invitational Art Show at Dixie State College of Utah

I was fortunate to win awards with both of my paintings entered in the Sears Invitational Art Show which opened Friday. Held annually in the Eccles Center on the campus of Dixie State College, the show features works by over 150 invited artists from throughout the country. My painting, "Solace at Sinawava" was purchased on opening night by Glenn and Elizabeth Bingham.

Artist Roland Lee poses with painting of Icy River at Sears Art ShowPosing with my painting "Icy River" during the Sears Art Show at Dixie State College.

Painting Presented to Pastor Larson

Alice and Pastor Bernie Larson receive Roland Lee painting at retirement party

We were able to be present at a retirement party for our friends Pastor Bernie and Alice Larson last night. The members of the New Covenant Christian Center where he has pastored for many years joined together and presented them with one of my original paintings as a going-away gift. Although not members of their church, my wife Nellie and I have enjoyed fellowshipping with them on a number of occasions, and admire the way they reach out with hands of friendship to everyone in our community. We respect them deeply and will miss them.


Most years I give a painting demonstration during the Art in Kayenta outdoor art Festival held near St. George Utah each February. I took the day off this year to just enjoy the incredible scenery and chat with the visiting artists. Among my artist friends exhibiting were watercolorist Diane Adams, and her husband sculptor Doug Adams. I will be doing a watercolor presentation to Diane's Cache Valley Watercolor Group in April at Logan Utah.

2009 Art in Kayenta Kayenta Art Festival near St. George Utah
The Art in Kayenta outdoor art Festival always draws a huge crowd with great art, entertainment, food, and the most incredible desert scenery on earth.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Painting my Pioneer Heritage

Artist Roland Lee with pioneer paintings of Nauvoo and Kirtland

Last Monday I was invited by my brother Grant Lee to come to his home in Meridian Idaho to present a display and discussion of my pioneer paintings. About 30 interested people attended as I talked about my own family history and how my paintings reflected that history. The paintings included images of Kirtland, Ohio and Nauvoo, Illinois, where my own pioneer ancestors lived before coming west with the Mormon Pioneers. They eventually ended up in southern Utah where I now live and Roland Lee, Grant Lee, and Andrea Lee Conley at the gravesite of Blaine Nelson Lee Sr. in Emmett Idahohave my studio. Both my brother Grant and my older sister Andrea Conley took part sharing pioneer stories. On Tuesday we all went up to Emmett, Idaho and visited my father's gravesite. It was a choice experience to be together as a family and strengthen each other following the loss of our brother Blaine last week.

Click to View pioneer paintings

Friday, February 06, 2009

"Painting the Red Rocks" Watercolor Landscape Workshop

Roland Lee watercolor landscape painting workshop in the desert of southern Utah

"Painting the Red Rocks" was the theme of my February Watercolor painting workshop. Six artists joined me for the past two days to explore sketchbook drawing on location and studio painting back in the classroom at A Passion for Painting Art Studio. This was an exceptional class and each came away with several good paintings. Artists included workshop veterans Karen Bettilyon, Shari Cannon, and Gayla Folkman, joined by workshop newcomers Brienne Brown, Bonnie Head, and Daphne Schroth.

February 2009 Roland Lee watercolor workshop class

Artist Brienne Brown at Roland Lee watercolor landscape painting workshop in St. George, UtahWe enjoyed the good 65 degree weather as we went outdoors and sketched on location. The students had a chance to study values in the landscape first-hand as they learned about light, form shadows, cast shadows, and reflected light on the red rocks. Back in the classroom we used the knowledge we gained on location to work up value studies prior to painting several landscapes of the southern Utah red rock country.

Photos Top: Karen Bettilyon and Shari Cannon draw in their sketchbooks. Above: Brienne Brown works on a value study prior to painting back in the studio.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

New Painting of Lake Powell

Watercolor painting of Lake Powell by Roland Lee
I started this painting two weeks ago, but my whole world was turned upside down when my brother Blaine Lee passed away unexpectedly. Obviously my mind was not on painting as we dealt with the trauma of his death. Painting is excellent therapy I discovered, as I got back to my studio yesterday and picked up my brushes again. My mind gently slipped back into quiet reverie as I painted the slow-rolling surface reflections of the lake with its amorphous shapes bending this way and that. As I did so I remembered the many times we had spent on Lake Powell's big waters with our family. Those memories are even more precious now than before.

See a step by step demonstration of how this was painted

Purchase information on this painting of Lake Powell