home about wayback machine The Icons Project
Amy Lee

Houston, TX
March 2022

Amy Lee
B.A. Art + Technology, University of Oregon

I begin drawing later in life. My family is from Taiwan, but I am born in Texas. I grow up speaking Mandarin Chinese and climbing sycamore trees. I like the quality of American fine arts that explores process and material experimentation. When I start to paint seriously, I pay attention to historical traditions of soft realism. I work undistracted from a small home studio flooded with sunlight. There is a sense of calm in this light that is alive and pretty and hopelessly attached to attainable forms. I wish to express this complexity without crowding the canvas with too many ideas. I want to discover in a single detail the sufficient joy of bringing a second detail to the surface. I need my painting to be enough.

For this project, I carefully apply muted layers of thinned oil paints. I start with a tinted wash of matte acrylics to ground the canvas. I go to the grocery store and linger amongst the single serve slices. I am transfixed by the standard selection of decorative frosting. I wonder where those bakery marms keep that playbook of patterned dollops and florid techniques. My mouth slightly ajar, I notice other shoppers have arrived to inspect the cakes. I suspect they too must be painters. I grab the first of the stack and lurch mechanically toward the self checkout. I briefly regret abandoning our shared moment back there. I feel the enormity of my task as I buckle-in the cake to the passenger seat. I think, this is it, I have made it as an artist.

I can be reached by email at hiamyannlee@gmail.com