Thursday, April 30, 2009

2nd Annual New Visions Group Art Show at Santa Clara Town Hall

Jane Juber and the Mission Gallery will host a special two-day art exhibit Friday and Saturday at the Santa Clara Town Hall. I will have about 12 paintings on display. A number of other gallery artists will be present for the show, which will feature over 100 pieces on exhibit. The show is scheduled to coincide with the dedication of the new Town Hall mural completed by Julie Rogers. Her painting depicts the history of Santa Clara and its founding pioneer families. We were out there today as Julie put the finishing touches on the mural in preparation for the dedication ceremony Friday at 11am.

Artist Julie Rogers with her mural at the Santa Clara City Offices

Above: Artist Julie Rogers puts the finishing touches on her historic mural at the Santa Clara Town Hall.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Art Book Now in Stock "Painters of Utah's Canyons and Deserts"

I picked up a couple of cases of the new book from Gibbs Smith, "Painters of Utah's Canyons and Deserts" at Donna Poulton's book signing last week in Springdale.

This is one big hefty art book, packed with tons of information and literally hundreds of high quality images. If you want to purchase a book, I have them in the gallery at 20% off the regular price of $75.00.

Dr. Poulton, assistant Curator of Utah and Western Art at the University of Utah Museum of Fine Arts and Vern Swanson, director of the Springville Museum of Art teamed up to author this magnificent book which traces the history of landscape painting in the Utah area from the 1800's to the present.

I am fortunate to be listed on page 214 among the best known landscape artists of the area, and my painting "Wild and Free" from the Springville Museum of Art permanent collection is featured on page 228.

Book Review: "Painters of Utah's Canyons and Deserts" Top Art Book Pick of 2009
Order now "Painters of Utah's Canyons and Deserts"

Sketchbook Drawings of Zion from the Thomas Moran Paint Out

Tonight at our Watercolor Society meeting I showed my sketchbook from the "Footsteps of Thomas Moran" paint-out. It reminded me that I had not posted many of the drawings on the blog. So here goes:

This was a pencil study of an old snag in East Zion. I decided to throw in a few watercolor washes in the style of Thomas Moran.

I was really looking for a place to duck into the shade one afternoon when I sketched this image of the Pulpit and the Altar along the river near Sinawava.

Thomas Moran had sketched from this vantage point where the Zion Visitor's Center now stands. However I chose to sketch the West Wall showing the back of The Streaked Wall, the Beehives, and part of the Sentinel.

I did this study of a tree along the Virgin River near Big Bend. I was using the technique of drawing negative shapes to create the branches and foliage.

The Temple of Sinawava rises abruptly on the East wall behind the entrance to the Zion Narrows Trail. You have to look practically straight up just to sketch it. In the photo below I am holding my sketchbook high to check my drawing.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thomas Moran Plein Air Show Ends with Sales

roland Lee painting of Zion National Park on display at Bingham Gallery in Mount Carmel UtahI was pleased to sell my paintings at all four venues in connection with the "In The Footsteps of Thomas Moran" plein air paint out. As the week-long event drew to a close I feel blessed that some wonderful collectors selected my paintings to add to their collections.

Left: My feature painting "Virgin Beauty in Zion" was purchased by Ann Williams.
Ann Williams and her husband Bob purchased Roland Lee painting at Bingham Gallery

Ann Williams purchased my big studio painting "Virgin Beauty in Zion" at the Bingham Gallery show. Ann and her husband Bob were struck by the painting which had premier billing at the exhibit, but left without buying it. According to Ann, she just couldn't live without it so they quickly returned to the gallery and took it home with them.

Zion Naitonal Park Superintendent Jock Whitworth purchased Roland Lee's plein air painting of Angel's Landing

Zion National Park Superintendent Jock Whitworth bought my plein air painting of Angel's Landing at the Z-Arts Wet Paint auction held at the Zion Lodge on Saturday evening. I am happy to call Jock a personal friend and am so pleased he chose to purchase one of my original paintings.

Roland Lee painting on display with Thomas Moran sketchbook at Zion National Park Gallery

My painting "Watchman in Autumn" on display with Thomas Moran's sketchbook at the Zion Human History Museum gallery was purchased by The Polanzke's, park visitors and art collectors from Pennsylvania.

Lloyd and Nina Laycook bought Roland Lee's plein air painting of Emerald Falls at the Maynard Dixon Studio exhibit of the Footsteps of Thomas Moran event

Lloyd and Nina Laycook from Kanab chose my painting "Emerald Falls" from the wet-paint sale and exhibit Friday night at the Maynard Dixon studio show. This event featured all the paintings created by the plein air invitational artists and was hosted by Paul and Susan Bingham and the Thunderbird Foundation.The exhibit and sale continues through May 26, 2009.

Zion Canyon Open Studio Tour

Running concurrently with the "Footsteps of Moran" show was the Z-Arts Zion Canyon Open Studio and Gallery Tour. During the day Saturday we had a chance to visit many of the locations and see the artists at work.

We started with a visit to the Worthington Gallery where art scholar and author Donna Poulton (below) was signing copies of her new book "painters of Utah's Canyons and Deserts" which was co-authored with Vern Swanson. I am fortunate to be included in the book, and she was gracious to sign my copy. My painting "Wild and Free" from the permanent collection of the Springville Museum of Art is in the book.

Donna Poulton author of the book Painters of Utah's Canyons and Deserts with artist Roland Lee

Roland Lee with potter Greg Worthington owner of Worthington Gallery in Springdale UtahWhile there we bought a couple of Greg's pots (left) and watched Kate Starling (below) at work on a Zion painting.
Artist Kate Starling does an oil painting demonstration for visitors at Worthington Gallery during the 2009 open studio and gallery tour in Zion Canyon

We enjoyed visiting several artist homes and studios. The view from many of the studios was breathtaking in itself. What a fantastic place for artists to live and work.

Roland Lee with artist Royden Card in his studio
Royden Card's printmaking studio

Royden Card's studio in Virgin has an incredible view of the desert mesas. He showed us around and we bought a woodcut print of Zion we had our eye on for awhile.

Marilyn Alltucker's home and studio sits high on a rocky ridge with Zion views to die for.

Artist Anne Weiler-BrownAnne Weiler-Brown was part of the plein air paint out and helped organize the events.

Springdale Utah artist Barbara EllardBarbara Ellard does unique collage and paper designs.

Nellie Lee and Aleen McGuire weavingNellie tries her hand at weaving on the loom of Aleen McGuire. We bought Aleen's weaving at the art auction.

Friday, April 24, 2009

In the Footsteps of Thomas Moran - Day 5 Plein Air Art Exhibit at Maynard Dixon Studio

Tonight was the first time we got to see all the plein air paintings in one place. It was so exciting to see all the artwork framed and hanging in the log studio on Maynard Dixon's former property at Mount Carmel. Each artist could hang up to five pieces, so the show was a terrific body of work from the week-long event.

The Laycocks purchased Roland Lee painting Emerald Falls at the Footsteps of ThomasMoran Plein Air Exhibit
I was pleased that one of my paintings, "Emerald Falls" was purchased by collectors Nina and Lloyd Laycook of Kanab.

Charles Muench at the Footsteps of Moran plein air exhibit
Artist Charles Muench hanging one of his plein air paintings in the exhibit. His suite of paintings was fantastic.

Roland Lee painting of Zion at the Bingham GalleryAt the Bingham Gallery my big painting "Virgin Beauty in Zion" was hung on the main wall with the show title "In the Footsteps of Thomas Moran" above it. I was very honored to have received that recognition. The work in that exhibit is outstanding.
Roland Lee painting at the Bingham Gallery in Carmel Junction Utah

The former Maynard Dixon home, studio, and grounds is operated by the non-profit Thunderbird Foundation, which is run by Paul and Susan Bingham. Many art classes and events are conducted here including special camps for handicapped youth.
Footsteps of Thomas Moran show at the Bingham Gallery

In the Footsteps of Thomas Moran - Day 5

We took the morning off to frame up our five paintings for the Bingham Gallery Show tonight at the Maynard Dixon Studio. I feel really good about the plein air paintings - especially after Nellie's craftmanship in framing them. Here's a photo of me with the five pieces.

Roland Lee with plein air paintings of Zion National Park ready for the

I photographed some of the sketchbook studies I did this week. Here's a few of them:

Roland Lee sketchbook drawing of Zion

Roland Le sketchbook drawing of ZionAbove: The Sentinel and Beehives drawing. Left: The Spearhead and Cathedral Mountain.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

In the Footsteps of Thomas Moran - Day 4

This was the final day of painting. Each artist is to have 5 paintings ready for the Bingham Gallery show tomorrow and one for the Zion Lodge Auction on Saturday. I've completed seven paintings, but threw one out, so I'm in good shape. Nellie started framing this morning so we'll be ready to go.

Roland Lee plein air painting in Zion CanyonI had Nellie drop me of halfway between Court of the Patriarchs and the Lodge, and I set up along the Virgin River where a great view of Angel's Landing appeared before me framed by an old gnarly Cottonwood tree. I worked there for a couple of hours and came up with a pretty good painting.

After meeting up with Nellie for lunch I set out again on a sketching trip. I wanted to at least sketch at all of the locations in Moran's sketchbook, if not paint there. I worked at Big Bend where the wind was howling down canyon. I sketched The Great White Throne followed by the other end of Big Bend looking West. Then I took the shuttle to the Patriarchs and sketched The Spearhead and Cathedral Mountain. Maybe tomorrow I'll have time shoot and post some of the sketches I've been working on.

Donal Jolley painting in Zion National ParkMy buddy Donal Jolley at work on a painting of Angels Landing from the Zion Lodge. He drew a crowd as he worked on his watercolor. Donal was actually born in Zion, as his dad was the first head ranger here.

We refreshed ourselves with an ice cream cone from the deli in Springdale and visited the Worthington Gallery where Kate Starling exhibits her work. Then we joined the other artists for a reception and light dinner at the Switchback Restaurant. I had the brilliant idea to get all of the participating artists to sign a page in my sketchbook which they all did.

In the Footsteps of Thomas Moran - Day 3

Another fantastic day in God's country! I started day three by doing a painting of the Sentinel and Streaked Wall. I did a sketch there yesterday morning and knew the light would be fantastic. The painting turned out well.

I then set up my easel on the lawn in front of Zion Lodge and painted north towards Angel's Landing. I drew a lot of attention as that is a high traffic area, and had a nice visit with tour groups and guests from all over the world while I was working. Later on Donal Jolley set up in the same location and did a wondrful painting for the onlookers.

Jan Adams from New Hampshire admired my painting and showed me one of her own that she did recently in one of Anne Weiler-Brown's watercolor journaling classes. In the photo she is showing her painting with mine.

In the afternoon I found a wonderful shady spot at the shuttle stop which happens to have a fantastic view of Lady Mountain and the Emerald Falls. Kate Starling joined me at that location and it was fun to watch her perform magic with her oil paints. We had many people stop for a look while getting on and off the shuttle.

As evening drew near I completed a little painting of the Sentinel from the new Visitor's Center. By now I was pretty tired and feeling the effects of the heat so I stopped in at the Human History Museum to gaze at the Zion paintings on display and have another look at Thomas Moran's sketchbook. I was surprised to see a sold sign on my painting of the Watchman. A nice couple from Pennsylvania had purchased it earlier in the day. So that was a nice way to end a busy painting day.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In the Footsteps of Thomas Moran - Day 2

We cranked it up early this morning and were out on location by 8am while the air was still crisp and the canyon winds were blowing. Zion was beautiful today. We stopped first at The Canyon Junction wehere Moran had sketched the Beehives and Streaked Wall. I did the same in my sketchbook and made plans to return in the morning and paint at this spot. The Canyon seems to swallow up the 20 artists, as I rarely run in to anyone.

Roland Lee plein air painting of Angel's Landing in Zion National ParkI returned to the river at the Grotto and finished my painting of Angel's Landing. Karen Mayne and Leslie Courtright from the National Park Service stopped by while I was working there and we got a picture. I did a few more sketchbook studies at Sinawava and finished the day with a painting of the Sentinel from the Visitor's Center.

Leslie Courtright and Karen Mayne have worked hard to plan activities such as this one for Zion's 100 year celebration.

Nancy Denzler and her husband Tim were our roommates at the wonderful East Zion lodge homes. Here Nancy is painting The Pulpit and Altar near the temple of Sinawava.

Monday, April 20, 2009

In the Footsteps of Thomas Moran - Day 1

The Zion Centennial Paint-out "In the Footsteps of Thomas Moran" got underway this morning in Zion National Park. All 21 artists met together at the Human History Museum gallery where we got our first look at Moran's actual sketchbook and got to see the exhibit already underway of paintings by the participating artists. With a little instruction the artists went to the various locations identified from Moran's sketchbook and got busy sketching and painting.

All 21 artists pose for a group photo at the Footsteps of Thomas Moran Invitational Paint out in Zion National Park
We all got together for a group photos at the Human History Museum against the backdrop of the West Temple and Towers of the Virgin.

Roland Lee with his painting of the Watchman in Zion National ParkEach invited artist submitted a painting in advance for a special exhibit at the Human History museum gallery. I am standing by my painting of "The Watchman."

Roland Lee sets up his plein air painting gear at the Footsteps of Thomas Moran Invitational Paint out n Zion National ParkThe first location I chose was along the Virgin River looking north toward Angel's Landing. I set up my Anderson easel and found a shady spot. It wasn't long before I shed my jacket as the sun came over the cliffs, and the gnats began a relentless assault. I got a good start on the painting but will need to go back tomorrow morning for some more work (hopefully with a little deet this time for protection.)

Roland Lee plein air painting in ZionLater in the day I started this painting of cliffs looking south near the Temple of Sinawava. I also did a couple of sketchbook drawings from that location as well -- one of "The Pulpit" and the other of the "Temple of Sinawava."

Art collector Kathy Richards admires Roland Lee's watercolor painting at the Footsteps of Thomas Moran Plein Air Invitational in Zion National Park
The public is invited to visit the artists as they work, and we had a number of people stop by today. Several people who were at the Museum talk last Thursday visited us. Kathy Richards (left), one of my art collectors, checked in for a short visit.

Click for more information about the "Footsteps of Thomas Moran Plein Air Paint-out"

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Painting in the Footsteps of Thomas Moran

roland Lee painting of Zion National Park on display at Bingham Gallery in Mount Carmel UtahThis painting of Zion National Park will be on display at the Bingham Gallery in Mount Carmel as part of the Zion centennial event "In the Footsteps of Thomas Moran."

This next week we will be in Zion National Park taking part in the Plein Air Invitational Paint-out "In the Footsteps of Thomas Moran." The title is significant in that Thomas Moran's sketchbook from his 1873 painting trip to Zion National Park will be on display at Zion, and 20 prominent landscape artists have been invited to paint in the same locations he did. We plan to paint and sketch all week and conclude the event with a "Wet Painting Sale and show" Friday at the Bingham Gallery in Mount Carmel, and another auction at the Zion Lodge on Saturday evening. The public is invited to watch the artists paint each day. A map of painting locations will be provided at the Zion visitors center.

In addition to the paint-out, the Bingham Gallery has mounted a special exhibition of studio paintings by the 20 participating artists. These paintings will remain on exhibit through May and are available for purchase through the gallery. Another exhibit is on display at the Zion Human History Museum Gallery featuring the same artists along with Thomas Moran's actual sketchbook and watercolors. Also Z-Arts will have their annual Artist Open Studio and gallery Tour featuring more than 23 locations on April 25-26. It's going to be a great week to be in Zion. Come up and join us!

To find out more about the events click on the links below:
Roland Lee Website page: In the Footsteps of Thomas Moran
Bingham Gallery Wet Paint Show and Sale
Download brochure with all event information and artist bios

Friday, April 17, 2009

St. George Art Museum Talk with Sculptor Jerry Anderson

Desert Wagon - a painting by Roland Lee in the permanent collection of the City of St. George
"Desert Wagon" was purchased by the City of St. George in the 1980's for their permanent collection. It is on display at the St. George Art Museum as part of the "30 Years of Art Festival Acquisitions" exhibit at the St. George Art Museum.

Last night my good friend Jerry Anderson and I teamed up to give a presentation at the St. George Art Museum. The talk was a part of the current exhibit featuring 30 years of art acquisitions from the St. George Art Festival. Jerry spoke about the bronze casting process and showed many of his wonderful bronzes. I described the watercolor painting process I use in my work. Jerry and I met back in the 1970's and began exhibiting together often in the 1980's. He and his wife Fawn were very helpful in encouraging us in the early days of my painting career. We also shared a love of bluegrass and country music and later played in a band together -- he on banjo and I on guitar.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Say hello to our 20th grandchild

Three generations of Lees
Yesterday little Cody Blair Lee, grandchild #20 came into the world in American Fork Utah. He is the son of my oldest boy Jim and his wife Barb. We were able to be see our new grandson in the hospital after he was born and spent some time with our other grandchildren last night.

We awoke to a winter-wonderland this morning and I had to un-bury my truck so we could come home.

Our home in Highland as it looked this beautiful spring morning.