Artist in Focus: Lee Clarke

Lee Clarke is this week’s artist! We are so excited he is showing his work with us. Plenty of interior designers and design publications have picked up on his fun work. His loose abstractions are the perfect statement piece! Kyle Knight chose his Pasion piece for her J. Crew inspired collection. It’s just one example of the power his colorful pieces can add to a space. Here he talks about his art and his inspiration! Maybe he is the perfect person to help you fill that blank wall above your couch.

1. What is your earliest art memory?

Making Christmas ornaments out of felt and yarn and drawing my own superheroes like Megaman and Hawkman.

2. What is the one thing you’ll never forget from art school?

After every project we would critique the work of each artist. Once an artist painted over another’s work, mid-crit and only three of us knew about it. People were freaking out, one girl started to cry. It was art school… we were pushing the envelope.

3. Can you tell us more about your trip to Spain and about the White Event and Pimentón series? Do you remember what they were celebrating when you saw the fireworks?

I visited Spain in 2006 installing a show for another artist and again in 2008 for pleasure. The fireworks I mentioned were in Madrid when the city went crazy after they won the European Football Championship, Spain’s first major title in 44 years. I always loved Velasquez, Miro, Picasso, Dali etc. but seeing the work in person and visiting there gave me a new appreciation for Spanish culture. I’m still working on mastering Gazpacho and Paella.

4. What’s your favorite piece on your UGallery portfolio?

That’s a tough one. I enjoy working on a scale where I have a equal physical relationship to the image, and so larger paintings that fill the viewers field of vision are satisfying to me. Therefore, I’d have to go with Chispa Caliente or Glory Tempest.

5. How is the Internet affecting art? Are you excited for the future of art online?

I think it’s an interesting venue for the collector and the artist. Being able to find beautiful works of art without leaving the comforts of your home is appealing. That said there’s no substitute for being in a room with a painting that took countless hours to create and came from an artist’s passion to represent their vision. I’m glad to have my work online as its an easy way for people in other parts of the country and world to see what I do.

6. What are you working on now?

Right now I’m at my studio finishing a new series for a group show, studio tour and open house in the fall. The paintings are mostly large, colorful abstractions that emphasize figure versus ground relationship. I’m incorporating different surfaces, textures and mediums to create depth and space within the picture plane.

7. What do you want people to know about your art?

My paintings are about discovery for the viewer and myself. They are about finding new forms through the act of creation. I want my paintings to reveal different aspects of themselves over time. I’m interested in drawing the viewer into the picture creating interest at different distances from the image. Up close the work has a very different reading than when one is across the room.

8. What advice do you have for emerging artists?

Keep at it. Be true to yourself. Be brave and bold.

9. For fun, What’s your favorite color combination?

The one that surprises me.