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Ted Lee in his art studio, Charlotte NC


"I grew up in Virginia and spent most of my weekends and summers outside on my grandfather's large farm. It was here I became fascinated with living landscapes and trees, bushes and boxwoods. The memory of the landscape is one of my greatest inspirations, along with the unforgettable feeling of the wind coming through the trees, or a summer storm crossing the countryside. The movement, the smell of the grass, the colors of the sky touching the tops of the trees – these are some of the things I still think about in most of my paintings that continue to inspire me today. 

About 20 years ago I bought a vacation house in southern France in a small historic village called Vaison la Romaine where my family and I visited three to four times a year. The route to get to Vaison started with a flight into Paris, then the fast train to southern France, to Orange in Provence area, and then a thirty minute drive out to Vaison la Romaine – this drive still sticks with me today in the strongest way. Imagine seeing mountains in the distance, vineyards on the left and right of the highway and huge cypress trees flanking both sides of the road that must measure a hundred feet tall. When the Mistral (the southern French wind) would blow across the valley, these trees swayed back and forth, like they were alive, dancing – I would bite my lip when I would see this – it was as if they were all clapping to see me return again and again to Vaison, an amazing sight to see and experience. To this day, I still paint these cypress trees in one fashion or another, they are in almost every painting I do."

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