(Floras Dance, 24 x 28, acrylic by Dee McBrien-Lee | Photo courtesy of Old Mill District)
Drawn to the ever-changing flowers in her garden and the beauty of the forest sentinels when they have shed their seasonal colors, Dee McBrien-Lee was inspired to create these newest works in her series Vertical Interlude, which opened September 4 and is on view from 4-7pm at Tumalo Art Co. through the end of the month.
Tumalo Art Co., a fine art gallery in the Old Mill District in Bend that is owned and operated by artists, is committed to bringing the best of Northwest art to its patrons. Classic to contemporary with a twist, a variety of fine art is showcased in a diverse array of mediums — oil, acrylic, mixed media, digital media, ceramics, glass, sculpture and photography. The gallery also offers limited edition fine art prints and a beautiful selection of jewelry.
“2020 has been a year fraught with chaos. No matter who you are, current events have touched each and every one of us in some way. In trying to navigate through everything, it was important to me to be able to set aside what was going on and find focus in the beauty and gifts that urround us,” said McBrien-Lee.
McBrien-Lee has been painting for as long as she can remember. She is best known for her abstracts and bird paintings, which she creates with bold color and lots of texture, often mixing a variety of media for a unique look. She studied art at SUNY New Paltz in the 70’s, and after graduation, took a long hiatus from art. In the mid 2000’s, she picked up where she had left off and shortly after began to study abstract painting, gradually moving away from the traditional landscape and western style of her past.
A favorite quote of McBrien-Lee: “I don’t start with a color order, but find the colors as I go,” by Helen Frankenthaler is a mantra she lives by. While sometimes an abstract is just an abstract, this artist also explores subjects including current events or issues that we face on a daily basis. McBrien-Lee has always loved getting fully immersed in her medium and paints with intention as well as just applying color to canvas and letting the mood and the piece take her where it may. Preferring bold color and line combined with many layers to create the finished pieces, she seeks to create a mood or draw a reaction with her work and strives to create a dialog amongst her viewers. She loves to experiment with textures and while acrylic is her preferred medium, she works with just about everything in an exploratory and experimental way. The list of artists that have influenced her work is long but a sampling includes Klee, Diebenkorn, Klimt and Matisse.
McBrien-Lee was a founding partner and former owner/artist at the Red Chair Gallery in Bend from 2010 through 2018. She has been juried into various regional and local shows and her work can be found in private collections from coast to coast and in Europe.
To see more of Dee McBrien-Lee’s work, check out her website here: dmcbrienart.com.
Explore the show here: tumaloartco.com/collective-artists/dee-mcbrien-lee