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Jivan Lee, American 20th/21st Century Painter

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Jivan Lee original oil paintings
Guardian of Great Mysteries-Sold
Jivan Lee original oil paintings
Between Here and There-Sold
Jivan Lee original oil paintings
Jivan Lee original oil paintings
Afternoon Light-Sold
Jivan Lee original oil paintings
Magic Sky, Early Morning-Sold
Jivan Lee orignal oil paintings
Through the Looking Glass-Sold
Jivan Lee original oil paintings
When the Cows Head Home-Sold
Jivan Lee original oil paintings
Morning Daisies-Sold
Jivan Lee original oil paintings
Late Morning Bend-Sold
Jivan Lee oil paintings
Mahualu Winter Yellow-Sold
Jivan Lee original oil paintings
Assissi' Visitors-Sold
Jivan Lee oil paintings
Red Willow Market-Sold
Jivan Lee original oil paintings
The Magic Sky, Late Day-Sold
About the Artist:

Jivan Lee is an emerging artist currently based in Taos, NM. He grew up in Woodstock, NY, and studied painting at Bard College with contemporary New York City painters Joseph Santore and Laura Battle. He has moved about the country and world since, living and/or painting in New York, Italy, Ghana, and Mexico. His work has been shown in solo and group shows throughout the US, and he is the recipient of awards for his paintings and environmental work, as well as for thematic art projects such as the production of mixed-media art on Northern New Mexico farms, land, and people. Plein Air Magazine calls him “a terrific plein air painter.” In addition to painting as much as time allows, Jivan is faculty at the University of New Mexico and directs the Project for Art and the Environment.

The Artist About His Art:

My subject matter includes landscapes of all sizes, intimate still-lives, and the people with whom I share my life. All my paintings are made on-site and from life, whether indoors or outdoors. The smallest paintings I complete are 4” x 6” and the largest range up to 60”. Pallet knives and brushes are my tools of choice, though occasionally you’ll find me using paper towels, gloves, bare hands, and even dirt. Over the last several years the resulting paintings have grown increasingly heavy with paint and liberal their response to reality. Today the challenge is pushing the line between abstract and representational, between paint as a substance, as a creator of image, and as a catalyst for emotional response. In so far as a painting dances along these lines while remaining luminous, surprising, and directly informed by rigors inherent in any composition, I find a measure of success and satisfaction.
Being an artist who lives to paint this world and its natural environment leaves me with profound gratitude and a sense of reciprocity towards all that inspires my work. As such, in addition to choosing the highest quality materials, wherever possible I also prefer those that are socially responsible and environmentally friendly. Examples include walnut oil paints made with renewable energy by a family-owned Oregonian company and painting surfaces made of Forestry Stewardship Council-certified wood materials.

Artist Statement:

I paint because I love it and hope to share this joy with others. When painting I'm brought back to simplicities, back to my senses, and in a way, back to life. To surrender scripted plans and just listen and look, not knowing what will come, is a trust-fall of sorts and an act of devotion. On the good days this practice dissolves the excess in my psyche and leaves me clearer in mind and heart. It’s something I believe can translate to others through a finished work.
In a time filled with so much that can leave us far from the subtle pulse of a day, acts of simplification – for me, painting – seem like time well spent. My hope is that by listening when something luminous calls, by partaking in the alchemy of painting and surrendering to an unknowable outcome, something inspiring will develop on the canvas and eventually touch someone else's heart.


2001-2007 Bard College and Bard Center for Environmental Policy; Annandale, NY
Studied painting with Joseph Santore and Laura Battle; B.A., M.S.
2010 – Current Director and faculty, Project for Art and the Environment; Taos, NM
2008 – Current Adjunct faculty at University of New Mexico; Taos, NM
August 2008 Co-instructor, “Earth Altars” Workshop; Taos, NM
2003 – 2007 Co-director and faculty, Children’s Expressive Arts Project; NY and Ghana

Selected Individual Awards and Honors:

2011 Plein Air Salon hosted by Plein Air Magazine winner; September-October semifinalist
2011 Armadillo Santa Fe award; Plein Air Painters NM juried exhibition, Millicent Rogers Museum
2010 Delegate at Slow Food International’s 2010 “Terre Madre” World Meeting of Food Communities in Torino, Italy
2008 – 2009 “NM-Powered” grant for “The Art of Ag.” project
2006 – 2007 Kosciuszko Foundation Graduate Tuition Scholarship
2005 – 2007 Leopold Schepp Foundation Scholarship
2002 – 2005 Bard College Trustee Leader Scholarship

2011 Recent Paintings by Jivan Gabriel Lee; Milagro Gallery; Taos, NM
2006 Selected Photography; Toscanini’s; Cambridge, MA
2005 Jivan Lee: Untitled; Campus Center Gallery, Bard College; Annandale, NY
2004 |Jivan Lee: Recent Work; Campus Center Gallery, Bard College; Annandale, NY

2012| Montgomery Museum of Fine Art; "Art Auction 2012" invitational exhibition; Montgomery, AL
2012 Millicent Rogers Museum; “10th Annual Miniatures Show;” Taos, NM
2011 Taos Center for the Arts; “Taos Self Portraits” 3rd annual juried exhibition; Taos, NM
2011 Taos Fall Arts Festival; “Taos Select” juried exhibition; Taos, NM
2011 Millicent Rogers Museum; "Land and Light," Juried exhibition of PAPNM members; Taos, NM
2011 Taos Art Museum and Fechin House; "A Russian Night in Taos;" Taos, NM
2011 Hudson Gallery; “The NOW WOW Project” national juried exhibition; Sylvania, OH
2010 Stables Gallery; “Portraits of the Sacred”; Taos, NM
2008 “Solutions”; Trillion Space; Albuquerque, NM
2007 The Arts UpStairs Gallery; Phoenicia, NY

Press and Publications:

“Winners in September/October Plein Air Salon.” Plein Air Magazine (digital version). November 15, 2011.
“Land and Light Winners in NM.” Plein Air Magazine (digital version). October 6, 2011.
“Artist Profile: Jivan Lee.” Plein Air Magazine (digital version). June 22, 2011.
“Winter Scene,” Tempo Magazine/Taos News. February 10-16, 2011. Pgs. 8-9.
“Morning on the Beach, 18” x 36”, oil.” Schepp Connections. 10: 2007. Centerfold.

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