Visual Artists’ Group

Artists’ Group Monthly Show:  July 2017

Artist of the Month:  Margie Lee “Still Life Improvisation

Artist’s Reception:  Sunday, July 16th, 6-7:00pm in the Pioneer Chapel immediately following Jazz Vespers

[Hans] Hofmann, seeing no evidence of still life set ups or models in Pollock’s studio, asked him, “Do you work from nature?”  To which Pollock responded:  “I am nature.”

Jackson Pollock, Ellen G. Landau

I remember hearing about action painting when I was growing up.  The words were used to describe Jackson Pollock and other painters who painted in a flurry of activity, moving in every direction, with great energy.  They dripped, they splashed, they threw, they swabbed paint.  They had no subject in front of them.  They were not careful.  They were very physical but also very intuitive.  The secret was to trust the body — the arm, the hand and the eye had a direct connection, bypassing the intellect.  What was inside, came out.

I was inspired by these artists and their paintings.

In my acrylic painting series, Still Life Improvisation, I use the simple objects of a still life, fruit, a plate, a vase with flowers and a tabletop, as a reference point.  The paintings begin on a blank canvas with no sketches or preconceived ideas, nor objects to paint from.  I apply paint, adding color, gestures, until the painting comes through.

My jazz piano technique carries over to my paintings.  When I am improvising music I let my hands go where they want and make sounds without sheet music.  This freedom has influenced my painting as well.

Margie Lee
Portland, Oregon
2017