Paintings By Bill Lee
Apr 22–Jun 9
Reception: Sat, Apr 22, 4pm
As a photography major in school, I became enthralled by what nature—in a staggeringly short period of time—did to almost anything man-made. Often rendering it, on the surface, close to unrecognizable. Combining that with light, I created images which were a struggle to identify. I enjoyed attempting to cause the viewer to see something other than the actual subject matter. In the 1970s, photographs of that nature were considered to be far from the desired mainstream.
It was hardly a large leap from there to abstract paintings. I collected photography books containing the work of artists who seemed to share my vision. And of course, right next to those on the shelves were books about painters who created the same thing that attracted me in a photograph.
One day at a yard sale I stumbled onto a print of Wassily Kandinsky’s “Simple 16”. It truly was simple in its nature. I had already toyed with using ink to create abstract images. I was completely fooled into thinking that it would be easy to transition from there to painting abstracts like “Simple 16”. I have been paying for that assumption ever since.
At least I have come as far as to be able to—every now and again—cause a viewer to draw a shallow breath and whisper “wow” to themselves or the person with whom they are with in a show. That one simple utterance is enough to make it all worthwhile.
For me, painting is the result of a mental flow. Thus I find it difficult to “let something dry” without working on something else. If I have to “park” a painting long enough to let oil paint dry, sometimes I lose too much of the train of thought that was flowing. The result can be the end of what may have been a good painting (in my mind). Thus, for me it is acrylic paint most of the time.
I also like to disturb the surface in order to produce texture. That can be as simple as scratching with the other end of the brush, or as complex as adding something to the paint or using tools to dig into the surface of the board.
Bill Lee graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a major in photography. He has exhibited widely throughout Utah, and was recently included in the Springville Museum Spring Salon 2016. He is currently represented by The Gallery in Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Location: Main Library, Gallery at Library Square
Contact Information: 801-524-8200