Lee Kimball | Pastel and Oil Exhibit
“Poetic Vision” | June 4 – July 30, 2020
Lee Kimball’s art is a visual commentary on the land and the continuing cycles of life, particularly of his native Henry County and the surrounding Midwest in general. Following his graduation from St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa, where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree, Mr. Kimball spent twenty-five years working in the graphic design and illustration field. Twenty of those years he spent directing his own design/illustration studio. During this time he also pursued his own artistic goals as a watercolorist.
In 1994, Mr. Kimball began working in pastels, a medium that he found to provide an exciting avenue for his artistic goals. In 1995, he made the decision to leave the design/illustration field to pursue a career in fine art on a full time basis. His work in pastels has been exhibited widely and has been the recipient of many awards including: the 1995 Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Giffuni Award for Exceptional Merit, the 1996 Beatrice Vare Award, and the 2000 Joseph V. Giffuni Memorial Award from the Pastel Society of America. In addition, he has been awarded the 1996 Savoir Faire-Senillier Award, the 1996 Annual Membership Show Best of Show Award, and the 2000 Duane Wakeham Award by the Pastel Society of the West Coast.
Mr. Kimball is a signature member and Master Pastellist, Pastel Society of America as well as a Signature member and Distinguished Pastellist, Pastel Society of the West Coast. He has served on the Jury of Awards for the Pastel Society of America in New York City. Mr. Kimball and his work were featured in the Nov./Dec. 2000 issue of The Pastel Journal,and the June 2012 issue of The Pastel Journal. In 2012, he received an honorable mention in The Pastel 100 Competition, landscape category, sponsored by The Pastel Journal. His work is also included in the book, “Finding Your Style In Pastel” by Jean Hirons (2012).
Web Site: www.leekimballart.com
“There are enough ugly things in life for us not to add more.” Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1910
“The goal of life is rapture. Art is the way we experience it.” Joseph Campbell, 1984
There seems nothing so difficult, and at times, so seemingly unnecessary as for an artist to draft an “Artist’s Statement”-to have to explain one’s work. There is, after all, no right way or wrong way to make art. You create art based on your own experiences. The observer responds to it-positive, negative or indifferent. That’s it. The question is not whether it is good or bad art, but rather, what is art? The answer, I think, says more about the observer than the art.
For lack of a better term, I consider myself to be a contemporary “realist” painter. It is my language. My pastel paintings bring together more than twenty-five years of experience as a graphic designer, illustrator, and watercolorist and a lifetime appreciation of the rural landscape. They exist as visual commentaries on the land and the continuing cycles of life in the Midwest that have transformed this landscape into what it is today. Though much of my work is devoid of human form, the elements that I portray are evocative of man’s influence upon the land-the farmsteads, the fields, the roads-all of which have their stories to tell, of generations come and gone. Many of the older buildings hold a particular appeal in that they appear not so much to have been built on the land but more that they seem to have grown from the land.
Though I have been influenced by a wide variety of artists, I feel no compulsion to adhere to a set “style”. Rather, I will use an approach that suits the subject and its mood. Within the framework of my art, light, form and color play an integral part. They provide the essential elements of the landscape-the shape of a shadow on a barn wall, the color of corn in tassel, the brilliance of sumac in the Fall, the reflection on water. This is what I ask you to experience.
My art does not contain any conscious social or psychological message. Others dwell more than enough on the meaning of life…the ills and shortcomings of the contemporary world. I paint simply what I find to be beautiful. The debate, the commentary, I will leave to others. It is my objective to make a painting that is sensitive and beautiful…a painting that needs no exclamation, no explanation, that can make people realize that “the big picture” is made up of small, simple things that we need to be able to enjoy-just because they are beautiful.