An Artist Explores the Heart of Nature

Lee Carlman Riddell's paintings celebrate the natural world


Lee Carlman Riddell
Oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches |

THE ARTIST Lee Carlman Riddell

LIVING OUTDOORS “I’ve always been an outdoor girl, even as a little kid, so my whole life has been geared towards living in a place where I could have adventures, and go exploring, and be outside. I studied environmental studies in college, and I’m a naturalist. Painting for me has always been a way of appreciating the outdoors.”

ELOQUENT SHAPES “The reason I depict nature in a semi-abstract style is because I think I was born seeing that way. Sometimes I drive around our valley here in Jackson Hole, and if I see shapes that interest me, I stop. I’ve never really been much of a big scene painter. I’m always finding shapes, and lights and darks, and just simple things that evoke a feeling and make up an experience for me of being in a place. It’s something like the curve of a limb on a tree. It’s the overall shape of a rock, or a waterfall coming over the rocks, a meander of water in a big meadow.”

CELEBRATING NATURE “It’s just a celebration of our natural world to me. The best thing someone ever said about one of my paintings is that they could feel themselves being there. A paint- ing I made of a group of cottonwoods reminded my friend of all the birds she would hear singing when she walked by trees like that.”

FROM THE HEART “I think some of the best things I’ve ever done are when I just get comfortable and relax and let them happen. I know from experience that without my heart being in my paintings, they don’t work. And that is everything … having paintings with heart.”

NEXT Lee Carlman Riddell describes her new work as “a study of butterflies in motion, in ways that you can’t see with your eyes.”

Categories: Artists & Artisans