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Emilie Lee


Emilie Lee

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I grew up on a farm in Vermont and never imagined myself making my home in New York City, which is where I find myself now. Although I've always wanted to be a painter, my passion for the outdoors and a life of adventure led me to pursue rock climbing for much of my teens and twenties. I spent years drifting between national parks questing for the thrill of inspiration that I found in remote wilderness. During this time I contributed artwork and stories to outdoor publications like The Alpinist, Rock & Ice, Patagonia, Nau, and the Access Fund. One winter while I was traveling through Utah I stumbled upon the opportunity to study 19th century painting techniques in an old-world painter's studio. This set me on a new path - one that eventually led me to be living in New York City and teaching those same techniques at one of the world's leading schools for the craft of traditional painting.


I'm currently based in Brooklyn, New York, but I spend my summers traveling, working outside and painting landscapes. Moving to New York was a big change for me, but I love the energy here. Everyone I meet seems to be pursuing their dreams and I love the diversity among people's occupations, backgrounds, and lifestyles. I feel inspired and challenged by the people around me, and I find that I still get out in the mountains quite a lot. I also have a great crew of friends to stay active with - several of whom I met while I was climbing out west years ago.

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Nature is the muse behind all my artwork, and in a way I think that moving to New York has taught me never to take her for granted. Even when I walk down the street in mid-town, I am observing the sky, the clouds, thinking about the angle of light or the atmospheric effect. The amazing thing about my current life is that I can work outside whenever I want. I can go down to the pier and paint the sunset over the Atlantic ocean, or whenever I travel, I can bring my painting kit and come home with some fresh scenes from my trip. It's been my life-long dream to work for myself, to spend time in nature, and to be creating art. It's a thrill to be living it in one of the world's most exciting cities!