A self-taught artist, Lee creates stunning, larger-than-life floral works that always ensnare the gallery visitors’ admiration. She has spent time as an expat in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, painting primarily in watercolour, but turning to oils in 2008 to paint on a much larger scale. Settling in Auckland in 2010, Lee now paints from her quaint backyard studio, where she is immersed in inspiration.
Lee begins by photographing her subjects at night, using a spotlight to achieve a dramatic contrast of light and dark on the petals. Before even daring to pick up a brush, she spends much time sketching a very detailed drawing of the flower on her canvas. Some of Lee’s larger works can take up to a month and a half to complete due to her thoughtful precision, one reason why she has recently begun to produce smaller works, as shown here at Turua Gallery. What makes Lee’s works so detailed is her harkening back to historical technique. She uses traditional oils on stretched Berge linen and approaches her pieces similarly to the Flemish masters: layers upon layers of fine, ‘transparent’ oil paint to build form, shadow, and light. This gradual layering increases the luminosity of the petals, creating a rich image that pulls you in. Lee’s paintings are part of many international collections alongside Turua, and fortunately she is available for commissions through our gallery!