Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Record Sales Raise Funds for the Zion National Park Foundation Youth Initiative

Once again, I am grateful to the collectors from many states who selected my paintings to become part of their collections. The show was nearly a sell-out and helped raise a significant amount for the Zion National Park Foundation Youth Initiative. Here are a few more photos from the plein Air Invitational at Zion National Park. See more photos on my website.

Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Uhlinger of Monterey CA with their plein air painting "Dry Creek - East Zion."

Mr. and Mrs. Peter Kirk purchased "Golden Leaves and Cliffs"

The John and Melissa Clark family with their new plein air painting "Mount Abraham - Court of the Patriarchs"

Pastel artist Arlene Braithwaite (shown painting by the Virgin River) went home with my painting "Memories of Moran" (above)

Patricia Pospahala was with a bus tour that stopped briefly at the Human History Museum art exhibit, but it was long enough for her to purchase "Canyon Serenity" and have it shipped to her home in Chester, Virginia.

"Beneath the Watchman" is a studio painting bought by Bryan Adams from the Human History Museum exhibit during the event

Also thanks to John Wright, from Las Vegas for his purchase of "Below Angel's Landing." I was not present when he bought the painting, so I was not able to get his photograph, but I appreciate it just as much. I am also appreciative to Zions Bank for their purchase award of "Reds and Golds" painted along the Virgin River near Temple of Sinawava. I am honored that it will be added to their extensive corporate art collection.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Week-long Paint out in Zion a Success

Working on my "quick draw" painting at Zion National Park

Success! After a week painting en plein air at Zion National Park I'd have to call the whole event a rousing success. The week began on Monday with 24 invited artists from all over the nation setting up in places where Thomas Moran actually painted during an early exploration trip through the Zion area. Each day consisted of outdoor painting, a workshop, a demonstration and a seminar in the evening for both artists and the hundreds of attendees. The week concluded with a "Quick-draw" where the artists all furiously painted a complete piece in 90 minutes while onlookers watched intently. This was followed by a live auction, and finally a gala "wet paint" sale Saturday of all the paintings completed during the week. I must say I was quite tired at the end of the week, but thrilled to spend that much time working outdoors in my favorite place on earth. 40% of all sales went to the Youth and Art Initiative for the Zion National Park Foundation so everyone benefited. As it turns out I was the top selling artist, followed by John Cogan, Joshua Been, and William Scott Jennings. I'd like to thank all the collectors who came out to support us as well as those businesses issuing purchase awards. I was pleased to receive a purchase award from Zion's Bank.

My quick-draw painting underway

My quick draw painting "Zion at Noon" was purchased by Nanette Rosevear of Daytona Beach Florida

Plein Air watercolor problems. When I started this painting early one morning the air was so cold my watercolor paints froze!

"Sentinel in the Morning" was purchased by Bob and Luisa Geiger of Azusa CA

"East Zion Arch" was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. David Webster

Friday, October 28, 2011

Getting Ready for Thomas Moran Plein Air Competition at Zion

l just finished another studio painting of Zion National Park. "Layers of Time" features the streaked wall and beehives which are prominent as you start the road up Zion Canyon from the junction. My view is from further up Bridge Mountain. Now I start preparations for the week-long plein air competition and sale in Zion National Park, "In the Footsteps of Thomas Moran."
The event kicks of Monday as 24 artists spread out over Zion and begin painting on location. Visitors will receive a map when they enter the park showing some of the locations where artists will be working. I will teach a two-hour workshop (filled) on Monday, then will paint at the Nature Center for a couple of hours. Hopefully I will be able to make a few posts here as the event progresses. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Back from Mesa Verde National Park

We just returned from two weeks at Mesa Verde National Park where I finished my "Artist-in-Residency." What a fantastic experience it was to live in a wonderful hogan on the very mesas inhabited by the Ancestral Puebloans. I was able to explore and hike amongst the ruins and cliff dwellings every day and marvelled at the great culture that existed on these plateaus. During the course of my stay I filled up a sketchbook with drawings of everything from ancient pottery and kivas, to ancient juniper trees and landscapes. I also completed 13 original watercolor paintings while there. I'm grateful to the folks at Cortez Cultural Center for helping me set up my public presentation. My thanks to Frank Cope and the Park Service people who were so cooperative and knowledgable during our stay. Check out my website to see all my paintings and sketchbook drawings.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

First Day at Mesa Verde

Our first day of a two-week residency at Mesa Verde was a whirlwind of adventure! First of all our guest hogan is completely charming, decorated in a 1930's pueblo style and offering all the comforts of home. A $200-a-night lodge could not be more welcoming and cozy. Driving in late Sunday night, after an 8-hour trip, we enjoyed a good night's sleep.

Up early, we were thrilled to be greeted by deer, coyote, and turkeys. After checking in to get our backcountry passes and clearance with my good griend Frank Cope, we headed out to get our first glimpse of a cliff dwelling. We picked up a ranger-guided tour at Cliff Palace which is an enormous complex of stone-work tucked underneath an even more enormous rock overhang. It's easy to see why the Ancestral Puebloans found the spot appealing based on protection and views. However it is staggering to imagine the work it must have taken to build this place stone by stone.

Our first look was from high above and we had a chance to take it all in and do a few sketches before dropping down a narrow winding trail into the dwelling. People with bad knees beware! We soon discovered that most of the cliff dwellings were built between 1200 and 1280 AD. Although the Ancestral Puebloans lived and held ceremonies in the structures, much of their time was spent up on the mesa tops where they farmed corn, beans and squash. As we exited the dwellings we had to climb another narrow stone trail and finish by scaling a tall, but sturdy ladder to the surface.

Anxious to see more, we took a guided tour of balcony house. Nellie opted out of this one when she heard we had to enter via a 32 foot ladder and crawl through a narrow 12 foot tunnel. She enjoyed reading in the beautiful weather above, while our small, but congenial group explored the cliff dwelling interior. Once again the view was staggering, as we tried to figure out how in the world they ever climbed up the stone face in the first place. Much archaelogical work has been done on the larger sites, but there are over 600 known cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park.

Later in the day we explored Spruce Tree House, and drove the Mesa Top Loop where we could see countless other cliff dwellings and storage rooms tucked precariously into the cliff face. I had my sketchbook out and worked feverishly to capture a few quick views of each location. Rain is predicted for the rest of the week, so we wanted to get in as much as we could today.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Where Two Streams Meet

My good friend Lyman Hafen has just published a new book reflecting on the history of St. George. "Where Two Streams Meet," Tonaquint Press features my painting of the same name on the cover. Lyman's new book gleans from his many essays about growing up in the once "small town" of St. George, Utah. In his charming and reflective style, Lyman has become well-known for his writings that combine history with personal reflections. To order the book click here.

"Where Two Streams Meet" watercolor by Roland Lee

Monday, September 26, 2011

New Zion Painting Where the River turns

This new painting is at the framer right now. It will be ready for the "Footsteps of Thomas Moran" studio exhibit at Zion National Park the first week of November. The painting, called "Where the River Turns," depicts the quiet solitude of the Virgin River near the Temple of Sinawava during the quiet, but colorful autumn season.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Roland Lee featured in Western Art Collector Magazine

The October issue of Western Art Collector magazine spotlights the work of Roland Lee in conjunction with my fall show "Colors of Zion" and the plein air event "In the Footsteps of Thomas Moran." Both shows run concurrently at Zion National Park starting October 31, 2011. Visitors to the the event will be able to see 24 artists painting on location in Zion, and watch them participate in a one-hour "quick draw" and auction. An exhibit of studio paintings will be presented at the Zion National Park Human History Museum from Sept 20 - Nov 27. Just outside the Park's east entrance the Roland Lee Art Gallery will also present a display and sale of new original paintings and prints of Zion National Park. Click here for a full schedule of events.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Zion National Park Show opens today

"Beneath the Watchman" by Roland Lee
Today was the opening of the first event in the 2011 "In the Footsteps of thomas Moran" plein air competition and exhibit. Each participating artist submitted studio paintings which will be on display now through the end of the show. If you are in Zion National Park between now and then be sure to stop by the Human History Museum to view the exhibit. And plan to be there the first week of November for the plein air competition and sale.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Following in the Footsteps of Thomas Moran

Just in time! I finished this new painting today just in time to get it up to Zion National Park for the kick-off of the art event of the year. Now in it's third year the "In the Footsteps of Thomas Moran" plein air art event draws hundreds of collectors who enjoy watching 24 artists work on location in the park. A special pre-show begins on September 20, 2011 featuring studio pieces by the artists on display in the Zion National Park Human History Museum. The Thomas Moran event also includes a "wet-paint sale", a Quick draw and auction, along with special workshops and demos by the participating artists. For a complete schedule click the link below:
Thomas Moran Plein Air Invitational

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Salt Lake City Workshop

It's always great to meet new artists at my workshops. And it's nice to see my old artist friends as well. That was the case at my latest workshop in Salt Lake City where 14 artists from several states enjoyed a couple of days together studying the wily ways of watercolor. The first day of the workshop we concentrated on the techniques of wet-into-wet, allowing pigments to mingle on the paper instead of the palette. The paintings were magnificent as each artist adapted the approach to their unique vision. The second day we wrestled with the technique of negative painting and preserving the whites. This workshop group was certainly up to the task and the work they produced was amazing.

Class participants include: Mark Rose, Marjorie Anderson, Chris Cameron, Joanne Hamm, Tammy Northrup, Sue Ross, Bill Porter, Heidi Vriens, Sharon Cannon, Margaret Pugsley, Dixie Stoddard, Bessan Swanson, Tina Howard.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Watercolor Workshop at Tuacahn

I enjoyed three days with a lovely group of artists this past week at Tuacahn Center for the Arts in Southern Utah. It was a diverse group of people ranging from experienced art teachers to a talented 12-year old from Maine. But we had fun as I tried to impress upon them the importance of learning to paint with the artist's brain. The facilities at Tuacahn were wonderful and organizer Penny Beckstrand was a great help to us. Students included: Jill Fugal, Pleasant Grove; Pamela Jones, Big Pine CA; Mark Rose, American Falls, Idaho; Abby Windover, Maine; Linda Huntzinger, Provo, UT; LuAnne Williams, Colorado City, AZ; Emily Thomas, Lehi, UT; Amber Cosby, St. George UT; Paul Lillywhite, St. George, UT; Karen Pool, UT.

Demonstrating a small desert watercolor scene for the students, using a three-minute sky.

The Tuacahn classroom worked out very well.

Artists hard at work. Their teacher really cracked the whip on them!

Mark Rose and I went up to Snow Canyon to do a little sketching. I did this small painting of the scene behind Mark.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Good Friends from England

My good friends Derrick and Barbara Hartley stopped in for a delightful visit at the Mission Gallery. From Sedburgh England, they have hosted us at their lovely country home in the Yorkshire Dales area on several occasions. This time we hosted them at our cabin at Zion National Park. They were joined by their son and daughter in law Ruskin and Ashley Hartley, and Barbara and Jim Aikens. While in the gallery they chose a small landscape painting to take home with them to England.

(Back row) Trisha Eves, Barbara Aikens, Roland Lee, Nellie Lee. (Front row) Barbara Hartley, Derrick Hartley, Ashley Hartley and Emerson Hartley on her lap.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Collectors Purchase Award-winning Painting

Former collectors Jim and Linda Szalay have been stewing over one of my paintings for some time. Finally, they decided they just had to have "Reflections of Solitude" for their collection after viewing it over and over on my website. One of my personal favorite paintings, "Reflections of Solitude" was selected for several national competitions including the National Watercolor Society, The Springville Art Museum Spring Salon, The Utah Watercolor Society and others. It received awards from two of those competitions.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

San Jose Watercolor Workshop

We just concluded a great workshop in San Jose. I was joined by 20 really good artists this past week for a watercolor workshop sponsored by the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society. I met lots of new friends as we worked on the finer techniques of watercolor. Thanks to Jeanne Rousseau and Jane Kwant for organizing the event and making sure things went smoothly. Also congratulations to Doug Yirka, Jeanne, and Keiko O'Leary on their purchases of new original Roland Lee paintings. We look forward to our next workshop in 2014.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

New Paintings of Snow Canyon and Sand Hollow Reservoir

Here are a couple of new paintings I completed recently. I thought I'd post them before heading off to California to teach a five-day watercolor workshop for the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society in San Jose.

Nellie and I took our tent to Snow Canyon recently and camped overnight. The stars were great, but the sunrise was even better. This painting is a result of that campout.

Sand Hollow Reservoir in southern Utah is one of my favorite bass fishing lakes (as you might have read in my last post.) But it also has spectacular scenery as well. This painting features the big skies that always present a perfect backdrop to the scene. Both these paintings are on display at the Mission Gallery in St. George.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Aquatic Research

Okay, every artist needs a break from the easel. I tell my students you've got to fill the bucket before you can empty it back in the studio. last night my brother in law Robert invited me and my son Jon to participate in a little "aquatic research" at Sand Hollow Reservoir. As you can see by the photo our efforts were effective. Of course we practice "Catch and release" so in order to show two fish at once, we had to catch two at the same time which we did. We call it "Doubles" and it only happens when all the stars are lined up correctly, the moon is right, and you are very good fishermen. Tah dah!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Santa Clara Invitational Art Show

The Santa Clara Art Invitational last weekend drew a nice crowd of art collectors for the fourth annual show. About 24 artists were present to display their art and join together for a Saturday paint-out and auction. My auction piece was purchased by collector Chuck Norton.

Inside the Town Hall art collectors could stroll through displays from the participating artists including both studio and plein air paintings. Also on display were a number of fine sculpture pieces.Participating artists included Julie Rogers, David Koch, Steve McGinty, Fred Howard, Robert Call, Roland Lee, Darwin Dower, L'Deane Trueblood, Annette Everett, Kaziah Hancock(The goat Lady), Elva Malin, Marty Ricks. Rett Ashby, Kelly Donovan, Charles Dayton, Kieth Bond, J. Kirk Richards, Simon Winegar, Jeffery Pugh, Steven Lee Adams, Ken Harris, Joni Flint, Paul Graf, Matt Rogers, Robert McFarland, Richard Horrocks, and McGarren Flack.

I got a kick out of this "ladder-easel" setup that Marty Ricks was using. He said it worked better than his $500 easel which kept breaking. He also thought the step shelves were a nice feature, allowing plenty of room for storing equipment and drinks.

During the day collectors could bid on their favorite artworks in a silent auction. At the end of the day there was a scramble to get the last bid down.