Beaches, waves, and the ocean’s energy have never ceased to fascinate and enchant this artist. While growing up on the California coast, Lee spent most of his childhood on the beach, and soon began drawing beaches and waves (and imagined tsunamis and other disasters) while in grade school. He later studied art in four West Coast art programs before earning a BS Degree in Art in 1980.
After moving to Wisconsin in 1986, the irony of being away from the ocean compelled him to spend a lot more time painting it. Lee found that he can “be there” by painting and drawing imaginary places inspired by California and Oregon’s natural coasts.
In the mid-1990s his imagination expanded to a 12,600-square-mile imaginary island-nation set in the Indian Ocean, that he calls the Commonwealth of New Island. Lee soon began augmenting paintings of island landscapes with road maps, a history and cultural overview, coinage, stamps, a flag, and the platting and selling of building sites to anyone who would like to own a piece of this imaginary world.
Lee currently lives and works in Wisconsin and spends part of his time on coastlines observing and capturing the energy he loves.