Artist Ariel Lee pays homage to the power of the outdoors through contemporary landscape painting. Her colorful works focus on grand, sweeping scenery with precise brushstrokes, presenting a love letter to both natural beauty and the therapeutic effect that it can have. “It puts everything into perspective for me,” Lee tells My Modern Met. “Being outdoors is similar to a reset button—I can feel the tension build when I’m away too long.”
Lee has an exacting style that depicts meticulous features, such as the shadow patterns of bark on a tree or the multicolored rocks that line a hiking path. To achieve this level of detail, she snaps pictures for reference rather than painting on location. “There’s too much to see and do,” Lee explains, “that I’ve found working from photos is the best balance of being present while I’m outdoors and gathering inspiration.”
Lee has trekked to the likes of Joshua Tree National Park, the Sierra Nevada mountains, and the forests in Colorado. As for what’s next, she says, “I don’t have any solid plans yet, but I would love to paint the Rockies or someplace in British Columbia.”
You can purchase a selection of Lee’s contemporary landscape paintings as prints in her online shop.