Lee Dewsnap is a self-taught artist with a passion for painting flowers. Born in the United Kingdom and raised in New Zealand, Lee has travelled extensively and lived in many countries, returning to settle in Auckland in 2010. Her paintings can be found in collections in Brunei, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Dubai. Most notably, Lee was commissioned to paint a water colour of Irises for the Sultan of Brunei’s first wife for her birthday.
Flowers are Dewsnap’s muse. Her large-scale oil paintings on fine Belgian linen carry enlarged blooms which reveal a flower’s hidden intricacies to the viewer. Impactful compositions hold each flower to light amongst the dark surrounds, just as ‘The Old Masters’ might. Lee is fascinated by the effect of light and shadow, which she uses to accentuate the crevices and folds of the flower.
Dewsnap uses reference photographs, taken in the dark with a spotlight above, to familiarise herself with her subject long before she begins painting. She favours the Dutch masters’ technique of glazing, which involves layering translucent oil paint over dried opaque layers. This achieves a unique ‘stained-glass’ effect and increases the luminosity and vibrancy of the colours.
Dewsnap currently works in a small studio built in her garden: “I am now immersed in my paintings; it feeds my soul and has brought a great purpose back into my life.”
As many admirers of her flower paintings have commented, “you can almost smell the roses”.
Parnell Gallery has represented Lee Dewsnap since 2018.
2018 Parnell Gallery Flower Show,
Parnell Gallery, Auckland
2011 Finalist in International Artist Magazine with oil painting Inspiration
2004 Joint exhibition at The Empire Art Gallery, Empire Hotel: Brunei
Showcase of Local colours, exhibition at Empire Gallery, Empire Hotel: Brunei
Iris watercolour commission for the Sultan of Brunei’s first wife on her birthday
2002 Guests in Brunei, group exhibition: Brunei
1999 Watercolours, solo exhibition: Brunei