Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Art of the National Parks - A compendium of artists who are at the forefront of twenty-first-century American landscape and wildlife art

The paintings of artist Roland Lee are featured in this new award-winning book. Eight of the featured artists will participate in a special show and book signing April 25-26
Book signing and art show reception April 25 6-9pm at Split Rock Gallery. The Zion landscape paintings of Roland Lee are featured in the new book: Art of the National Parks, Historic Connections, Contemporary Interpretations (Fresco Publications 2013) which was named the Winner of the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards for Arts and Best Book. This wonderful new coffee-table-sized book illustrates the role artists continue to play in sharing the views and interpretations of nature and wildlife in our National Parks. In Art of the National Parks, seventy painters and sculptors offer unique visions of eight of the nation’s most loved National Parks: Acadia, Everglades, Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Zion. Susan Hallsten McGarry, well-known author and former editor of Southwest Art Magazine, does an admirable job of explaining the artists’ various styles, techniques, and philosophies. Art historian/author Jean Stern, director of the Irvine Museum, talks about the history behind the early artists who started a landslide of national interest in our country's wild lands--eventually resulting in the establishment of the National Park system. Terry Lawson Dunn, biologist and educator, highlights the national parks’ ecological successes and challenges. With more than 450 full-color images, this heavy, large-format book is a must for anyone who enjoys our National Parks. According to reviews "It is an indispensible compendium of artists who are at the forefront of twenty-first-century American landscape and wildlife art."

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Award Winning Painting at Sears Invitational

Artist Roland Lee stands by his award-winning painting at the 2014 Sears Invitational Art Show at Dixie State University in Utah
I submitted two paintings to the Sears Invitational Art Show at Dixie State University. Both paintings were done as demonstrations at recent watercolor painting workshops. My watercolor painting "Irish Welcome" depicted my interpretation of the entry to a thatched cottage with red windows and door. The idea came from a sketchbook study done in pencil on location in Ireland. The second watercolor painting in the exhibit, "Shakespeare Memories" was stimulated by a visit to Shakespeare's Stratford-Upon-Avon in the UK. Both were painted during a recent workshop on how to work up a studio painting from sketches.
Award-winning Roland Lee painting "Irish Welcome"

Roland Lee painting "Shakespeare Memories" based on a visit to Stratford-Upon-Avon

Monday, March 17, 2014

Roland Lee workshop - How To Draw Anything

Drew uses his sketchbook to study the values and shapes of the red cliffs during a Roland Lee drawing class

Because drawing is so fundamental to all the visual arts, I try to teach at least one drawing workshop during the year. Last week we held that class in St. George and 12 wonderful artists attended. Learning to see with the "Artists Brain" instead of the "Intellectual brain" is critical. The artists brain sees shapes and values while the intellectual brain wants to identify and record data, information, and things. I taught this class how we identify shapes because of their edges. We see edges because of value changes. Once we learn to look for edges, values, and shapes we can draw anything from portraits to landscapes in just a few minutes. I showed the class how I use travel sketchbook vignette drawings to record my experiences, and often use those drawings and my memories to develop larger studio paintings. We also learned how to use small "thumbnail" value studies as a preparation for full-size paintings. This was an exceptional class, and they succeeded in picking it all up very rapidly.
Two students sketch the red rocks during Roland Lee drawing class

Deerdre sketches the Woodward school Tower in Roland Lee's drawing class

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Amazing Death Valley

We are in Ridgecrest California for a few days, teaching a watercolor workshop for the Desert Artists League. Yesterday on the way down we took a sidetrip through Death Valley National Park. Being the lowest point in the nation you expect it to be sweltering hot, and it usually is. But with a rare series of heavy rains over the past two days, the valley was inundated with water and we enjoyed a real visual treat both in the sky and on the ground. Enjoy the photos.