Work of the Week: Bella Lucia by Jivan Lee

Jivan Lee's Bella Lucia, 2011. 40" x 40", walnut oils (impasto) on linen

Contemporary painter Jivan Lee is inspired to create his art by the simple beauty of everyday life—as is the case with Bella Lucia, ABN‘s Work of the Week, which came about when he was struck by the beauty of the early morning light in his home city of Taos, New Mexico. The artist explains: “One morning last summer it started shining on my living room couch and the beautiful woman in the painting—setting her and the flowers aglow and reflecting onto the pillows, windowsill and all. It just stopped me dead in my tracks on my way back from the kitchen, so I did my best to respond to the pull and painted this piece.”

Painting, for Lee, is not all about the end product but also the emotional value of the process itself. “On the good days, [painting] dissolves the excess in my psyche and leaves me clearer in mind and heart,” he says. “It’s something I believe can translate to others through a finished work. In a time filled with so much that can leave us far from the subtle pulse of a day, acts of simplification—for me, painting—seem like time well spent.”

Born in Woodstock, NY and educated at upstate New York’s Bard College, Lee’s love of painting the world around him dovetails with his desire to do his bit to save it; to that end, he uses socially responsible and environmentally friendly materials, like walnut oil paints made by a family-owned Oregon company, whenever possible. He also passes on his knowledge and love of painting as a teacher at the University of New Mexico and director of Taos’ Project for Art and the Environment.

More on the artist and his other works can be found at his Website, www.jivanlee.com. Bella Lucia will be on display as part of the “Taos Contemporary” exhibit at at the Metropolitan State College of Denver’s Center for Visual Art (www.metrostatecva.org) until August 11, 2012.

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