Artist Spotlight June 15



 

by Sharon Furrate

 

 

 Artist Spotlight : Dub Lee
Penetrating Gaze…into the Light

 

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In his own words, Dub Lee shares why he decided to pick up a paintbrush:

Q: Please share about your artistic gift. When did you first discover you were an artist?
A: Well, I had always been a creative child, but never did anything to practice art with any discipline. It wasn’t until several years ago when I found a piece of art that I decided I was going to buy as a Christmas gift for my partner that I thought I could probably try to paint something like it. So, as a New Year’s resolution in 2009, I bought a set of oil paints and started painting.

Q: What would you say is your artist statement, why you create?
A: Painting is really a spiritual exercise for me. It gives me joy to paint and create and makes me appreciate that there is something to be grateful for each day. I want my paintings to reflect the joyfulness of creation.

Q: Dub—I discovered your work at The Foyer—and it looks like you have a cow series going—what inspired your cow paintings?
A: I grew up on a ranch in south Texas and my father and sister still operate the cattle company. As I started to take painting more seriously, it was important for me to find a subject matter that was familiar so that I would be able to explore technique and color. I had been around cows all my life so it was a natural fit. But it was deeper than that too. I was quite lonely as a gay kid out there in the country and I really didn’t like the cattle, but they were always there in the distance looking at me. You’ll notice that in almost every painting of them, they are looking out at the viewer. Those faces are a collage of some of my deep and distant memories and it’s sometimes an emotional experience for me to paint them. It’s a way of looking back and remembering who I am.

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Q: Did you study art?
A: I took art in high school, but other than that class, I am completely self-taught. I prefer using oil paints and have not ventured into any other medium.

Q: Do you have any mentors?
A: My biggest mentor is my partner, Christopher. While he’s not an artist (and not even a creative type, really) he understands me and why I paint. He is highly critical of my work in the best way possible and always pushes me to reach deeper, to discover something more in my art.

Q: Do you participate area arts events?
A: One of my goals is to participate in art events around the community. So far, I have been fortunate that people have noticed my work and are spreading the word about it. I’ve sold nearly all my work and have a steady stream of commissions. I need to find time to keep my inventory up because I get requests frequently for commissioned pieces and I have to carve out more time.

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Q: What artist do you admire and why?
A: There are two artists who I particularly admire: Edouard Manet and Lucian Freud. Manet is the greatest of the Impressionists and his use of color and capturing moments in time are really amazing. Freud was brilliant at faces and forms in a way that made them dark and mysterious and beautiful.

Q: What else brings you joy in life?
A: Pleasure is always my pursuit.

Q: What are your current artistic goals?
A: I have two goals that I’m pursuing now. First, I’m developing a portfolio of different works and hope to get in an art gallery in New Orleans or some other major city sometime this year. Secondly, I’ve been doing a lot of portraiture of late and have done a few commissions. They are a particular challenge, but very rewarding and I’d like to develop this dimension of my art career as well.

Dub Lee’s work may be seen at The Foyer located at 3655 Perkins Road. To find out more, send him an email at mchenrylee@gmail.com or call 225-343-3655