Lee Dewsnap is a self-taught artist with a passion for painting flowers. Born in the United Kingdom, Lee has lived in many countries and has been settled in New Zealand since 2010. Her paintings can be found in collections in Brunei, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Dubai. Most notably, Lee was commissioned to produce an Iris in watercolour as a birthday gift for the Sultan of Brunei’s first wife.
Dewsnap’s favourite blooms are heirloom roses and peonies. In her paintings, she enlarges the flowers so that the viewer sees a myriad of patterns up close. However, when they step back, these patterns form the curves and folds of individual petals. Lee is also 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.
Lee 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”.