Every great artist has a story. Gloria Lee's story is similar to many children of the 1940s born to immigrant parents. Her mother was from Holland, Netherlands and her father was from Shanghai, China.
Every great artist has a story. Gloria Lee's story is similar to many children of the 1940s born to immigrant parents. Her mother was from Holland, Netherlands and her father was from Shanghai, China. They met at Cornell University in upstate New York where they fell in love. This union of two cultures was not celebrated and they struggled to find a minister to marry them. Eventually they were wed and went on to start a family. Gloria, the middle child was born in 1946. Soon after the Lee family moved to the west coast in hope to find a more liberal acceptance of interracial families.
Having grown up in San Francisco in the1960s, Gloria Lee experienced the pivotal beginnings of Modern Art. This artistic movement—almost a back lash of the American Impressionist movement—started in theBay Area with artists like Wayne Thiebaud and Richard Diebenkorn. For Lee, itwas only natural to begin painting in a modern style.
Gloria, always the artist, experimented with many mediums to include painting, sculpture, leather works, fashion designand modern dance which she explored throughout the decades. After 40 years ofartistic exploration, Lee developed a working knowledge of color application and balance.
Gloria's passionate roots combine herlove for modern art with a more traditional style. The execution of each composition begins by throwing paint, a style inspired by artist Jackson Pollock. After the background dries the flowers are carefully applied with pallet knife creating a beautiful marriage of abstract meets classical. “How I paint is not nearly as important as how the viewer feels about what they see. If they are not uplifted or inspired, the art is worthless in my opinion”.
Her works are asunique as herself—a blending of east meets west. As an artist she embraces her heritage as flowers are an important part of both her Dutch and Chinese lineage. Holland has a particularly long flower painting tradition. From realistic art bouquets created in the 19th century to thecolorful untamed sunflowers by Van Gogh, some of the most famous and most lovedflower paintings come from the “land of tulips”. Painting flowers has also had a long and rich tradition in China, having evolved out of the classic bird-and-flower style to become its own distinct genre of painting.
In Lee's paintings her flowers are like ambassadors of beauty, greeting viewers withtheir myriad forms and colors. Her art moves the hearts of people everywhere.
Like Norman Rockwell, Seuss personally created every rough sketch, preliminary drawing, final line drawing and finished work for each page of every project he illustrated. Despite the technical and budgetary limitations of color printing during the early and mid-twentieth century, Dr. Seuss the artist was meticulous about color selection. He created specially numbered color charts and elaborate color call-outs to precisely accomplish his vision for each book. Saturated reds and blues, for example, were carefully chosen for The Cat in the Hat to attract and maintain the visual attention of a six-year-old audience. By the time Seuss’s book career took off, sharp draftsman skills were evident in drawings. His ability to move a storyline ahead via illustrations filled with tension, movement and color became a hallmark component of his work, and the surreal images that unfolded over six decades became the catalyst for a humorous and inspired learning experience.
Artist Leo Rijn, the inaugural sculptor for the Dr. Seuss Tribute Collection I, was selected to launch this project due to his prized work with some of today’s top talent in the world of film, entertainment and the visual arts (including Tim Burton, Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg). Rijn has been identified as one of today’s brightest sculpting talents because of his ability to breathe life into the written word and successfully transform two-dimensional ideas into three-dimensional works of art. Universal Studios commissioned Leo to develop and oversee the creation of numerous maquette scale models for the Monumental Dr. Seuss Sculptures at Seuss Landing in Orlando, Florida. Leo was instrumental in the art direction for many of the sculpted characters and buildings now on display at this permanent Seuss attraction. His strikingly accurate Seuss works embody a masterful and intuitive Seussian sensibility, establishing him as a leading talent in interpretive sculpting.
Seuss embarked on an ingenious project in the early 1930s as he evolved from two-dimensional artworks to three-dimensional sculptures. What was most unusual for these mixed-media sculptures was the use of real animal parts including beaks, antlers and horns from deceased Forest Park Zoo animals where Seuss’s father was superintendent. Unorthodox Collection of Taxidermy was born in a cramped New York apartment and included a menagerie of inventive creatures with names like the “Two Horned Drouberhannis,” “Andulovian Grackler,” and “Semi-Normal Green-Lidded Fawn.” Shortly after Seuss created this unique collection of artworks, Look Magazine dubbed Seuss “The World’s Most Eminent Authority on Unheard-Of Animals.” To this day, Seuss’s Unorthodox Collection of Taxidermy remains as some of the finest examples of his inventive and multi-dimensional creativity.
Illustrator by day, surrealist by night, Seuss created a body of irrepressible work that redefines this American icon as an iconographic American artist. Yet, the Secret Art often shows a side of the artist that most readers, familiar with him through his classic children’s books, have never seen. This collection, created over a period of more than 60 years, encompasses the entirety of Seuss’s multi-dimensional talent. The artistic golden thread highlighted throughout this collection is apparent in each wildly imaginative and surreal Secret Art image. The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss is an inimitable collection of artworks created at night for his own personal enjoyment. These works were rarely, if ever, exhibited during his lifetime and provide a deeper glimpse into the art and life of this celebrated American Icon.