Lee is a South Carolina Lowcountry artist from Walterboro, S.C. She has
had some private art lessons, but she is primarily a self-taught artist.
“I never could color between the lines----” My earliest memories of being an artist began as a child, as soon as I could hold pencil and crayon. “My mother complained that she could never keep me in notebook paper because I drew on everything.”
Art education was not part of the public school system, but I had a fifth grade teacher who was an artist, Miss Belle Saunders. Under her guidance, I did my very first paintings. I had no formal training as an artist until my late husband, Hugh Lee, gave me private art lessons in 1972. I studied under Diddy Anderson, a Charleston artist.
I started painting in oils, but quickly switched to acrylics for practical reasons. I had a small house and small children. Oil paintings take weeks to dry. I was heart broken when my two year old made a “finger painting” of an oil painting I had left to dry. Acrylics dry fast. It was easy to switch when I was in a learning process of handing a medium to begin with. After teaching me some basic rules and some mechanics of handling paint, Diddy Anderson encouraged me not to study any longer, but to just develop my own style.
work is a reflection of the lifestyle and landscapes I'd grown up with
in the South Carolina low country. Many of my paintings are narrative
works that begin with a childhood memory. Over the years I've sold my
work to those who relate to and have similar memories. “I've
lived on the water near the coast. I love to paint the
marshlands, the trees, and the coastal birds. Occasionally I throw in
an alligator.” I spent a
developing the discipline of my work, painting every morning
at least two hours. The last gift my husband gave me before he died in
1982, was the rustic farmhouse that became my studio/gallery, Becky
Lee's Lily Pad in Green Pond, S.C. However, the reality of being a
widow with college aged children would take me away from my art work to
other places and careers.
I was married again to another artist, Joseph Grigg. He had a master's degree in art and years of experience as a commercial artist and teacher. He gave me some guidance, but also told me that “the goodness of my work” came from my lack of formal training. After Joe died and I was a widow again, I began to revive my artistic skills by hand coloring a series of drawings he had completed for a cruise line in Florida. His intricate and detailed drawings inspired me again to return to my canvases and the low country subjects I love. From 1982 until 2010, my paint box was rarely used. Now, I'm enjoying a revival of my work. "It's a new era for me, ” Lee said. “Again I have time to devote to the discipline of painting. The children are grown, the other careers are over, I'm single, and my biggest decision now is what will I paint next! I have a list of subjects I'm ready to work on.”
can see my work by appointment
email Becky Lee