I’m so excited to be launching our “Artist Spotlight” blog series, where we’ll be featuring two new artists each month. By now you probably know how much I love art. My father is a professional artist, so I know how important it is to support artists, as well as get to know a bit more about them and their craft.
Back in November, I went to a event hosted by Tara Gavin of On The Wall framing (a trade-only framing partner I work with regularly!), and she was featuring Lee Lessem‘s art. Her walls were filled with Lee’s art and they were absolutely stunning. Lee is not only talented, but also hilarious which made me love her even more. We were all lucky enough to leave with a limited edition print (the first one you see below). I’ve got a few places in mind for where this gorgeous piece will live in my home.
Let’s get to know Lee Lessem…
Tell me a bit about your journey, were you always an artist?
ALWAYS 🙂 My parents were fond of telling the story of my first “creation” – barely able to stand, I found my older sister’s crayons and covered our bedroom wall with my “art”.
As designers we see an evolution in our style and aesthetic, I assume the same holds true for artists. What was your evolution like? How has it evolved?
Born on a farm in Africa and surrounded by the majesty of natural beauty, from as far back as I can remember, painting has been something I simply HAD TO DO. Painting has also been an excellent medium for me to test the tension between the real and the abstract – what we perceive and that which truly exists. I am, and have always been, an abstract painter – constantly excited by everything that we all see but most often don’t notice.
There is a delicate balance between fluidity and structure, softness and vitality, transparency and solidity, mystery and clarity in my art. The only “evolution” would be in perfecting my technique – my subject matter (NATURE in all its glory) has never changed.
What is the message behind your art? What do you want people to take away or feel through your pieces?
I hope to inspire people who see my work to look more carefully at the world around them and to discover beauty in extraordinary places. My abstract paintings give the observer the freedom of interpretation and it is my hope that my work affords the viewer an experience as unique as they are.
Sometimes I come across a quote that speaks to my core so intensely I have to share it with others. Do you have a favourite quote that has touched you or pushed you in some way?
To paraphrase Cicero: “Man not so much creates as discovers and rediscovers”.
What’s been the toughest part about turning your passion/art into a business?
2019 has been a turning point for me in that I have elected to be represented for the first time in more than 50 years. I have sold my work very successfully by word of mouth but have recently decided to devote myself to painting only.
Five favourite things right now?
- to be able to paint
- paint all day every day