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Artist Spotlight Series: Sharon Lee

Jul 21 2014

by Holly Phillips

I came across this talented lovely lady at my friend’s shop, Harbinger, in LA a few years ago. I am mesmerized by the delicate beauty and soft stokes of Sharon Lee’s creations.

Sharon Lee

Los Angeles, California


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What is your training?
My parents will tell you that as a shy little girl, I was always buried in my sketchbook drawing horses and dogs. I was entering art competitions and copying old master oil paintings from a young age. Eventually, I ended up at UCLA Art School. All the while creating art and objects, I went on to get my Masters for Interior Architecture from the UCLA/Cal Poly joint program. I worked at Michael Smith doing interior design for a time, then went out on my own to pursue my art career full time, which is also when I launched Krane, a line of hand-screened wallpaper (expect more on that this week) based on my artwork at Harbinger in LA and Holland & Sherry NY.
What inspires you and your designs?
My paintings and wallpaper are inspired by the flora and fauna in Korean Folk Art. My mother is an accredited Korean folk art painter, and I’ve logged lots of hours observing her paint at home. My work is a blend of traditional techniques and my own contemporary take, and really just an obsessive investigation of forms in nature, the stylization and cultural symbolism attached to them.
What is your favorite piece?
I recently did this painting as a private commission for a client in New York, and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

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“Sparrows and Cherry Blossoms,” 2014
Gouache, Tempera, Acrylic, Block Printing Ink, 24k Gold Leaf, Resin on Clay-Coated Wood Panel
24” x 12”
I also just finished this commission for a client in LA. Another side of my body of work are paintings that happen to be boxes.
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“Camellia Reflection,” 2014
Gouache, Tempera, Block Printing Ink, 24k Gold Leaf and Resin on Panel
12”x 12” Box
How has the your area influenced your work?
I grew up in LA so I think the warm glowy sunlight must have done something to my eyes because whenever I set out to create a muted or darker painting, it always ends up taking on these really saturated hues. I can’t help it!
What is your favorite restaurant in LA?
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I love meeting up with girlfriends at Cafe Midi next to American Rag.
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I also really love Eveleigh – awesome decor.
What is your favorite cocktail?
If anything I’m a champagne gal. For summer, add a little saint germain and a lemon twist. 🙂
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How do you balance personal life and work?
My dog Basil is my art assistant. She’s always there to remind me it’s time to take a break and go for a walk. She keeps me on a tight schedule.
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Also, my lovely boyfriend is always game to come along to design related events, which means we can spend more time together. Here we are at Legends!
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Dream trip?
A grand textile and food tour of India! There has been interest for my wallpapers in India and I think it shows I could really gain a lot of inspiration there. I love the colors and patterns of traditional Indian garments and fabrics.
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Dream commission?
I’ve always dreamt of doing large scale paintings with camellias in silver leaf and resin for a Chanel Boutique working with Peter Marino.
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Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?
I paint on these 4” panels to do quick studies and to test my freshly-carved blocks I make to create my larger paintings. I started stringing them on twine and they make great gifts for friends.

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Who is your style icon?
I would say my mother. She taught me everything I know about design, style and how to be a fabulous classy lady!
Your favorite up and coming artist?
While I was at LAX Art the other weekend leading their NY Mag artist tour workshop, I was struck by artist Jennifer Guidi’s paintings exploring the pattern from the reverse stitching of Moroccan rugs.

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What is your most treasured possession?
The photographs I created in college with a large format 4×5 film camera under the tutelage of artist Catherine Opie.

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What are you reading?
Unknown
A growing pile of interior design magazines and interior designer’s biographies!

What are you listening to?

Lately my guilty pleasure is singing along to sappy Country music in the car.

What are your favorite blogs / publications?
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Rue Mag,
domaine
Domaine Home,
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EyeSwoon,
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Cloth & Kind,
and
The English Room!
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Check out these beauties…

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