In Brookly, NY, June 2011

At Janet Borden Gallery, NYC, June, 2011

P.O.Box 597
Belmont, MA 02478, USA
e-mail: leestrasburgerart@gmail.com

Born in Carmel, California, to parents from different countries, I was raised between two worlds that have affected me profoundly in the way I view it. The wild landscape and bohemian circle of artists and writers of the small communities of Monterey Peninsula and Big Sur were contrasted against a backdrop of a more urban life in Hampstead, London, where we had homes.

I have loved the sea, and painted it for as long as I can remember. The staggeringly beautiful coastline of my youth has become an integral aspect in my work, though it is not always visually present. The immersion from my birth into such dramatic surroundings of California segued into a need to find signs of nature in city environments. The contrast of having divided my life between two continents has contributed to my investigation of transformation and renewal. I was fortunate to have lived in landscapes of beauty that have nurtured my sensibilities.

The landscapes that I make are intertwined with my love for literature as well as places that have inspired me.  Early Eastern and mystic texts of the Levant, or Native American poetry, to allegories used in Troubadour songs from the Pays d’Oc on fine amour (noble, divine love,) are examples of inspiration.  I am currently involved in researching Leigh Hunt’s fascinating circle of “young poets” during the British Romantic movement, circa 1820, especially the life and letters of John Keats whose aesthetic appreciation strongly reflects my own.

I endeavor to express moments of clarity found in the solitary appreciation of Nature. I pull on the dialectical tension between light and dark that I use metaphorically to capture transformation. Twilight is a common, recurring theme in my work. Less obviously, I play on parallel Universes as an undercurrent archetypal expression of the subconscious world that dictates reality, as we think we know it, alluding to the chimeras that comprise the experiences of everyday living. The sea and landscapes that I paint are embedded with meaning and are meant to transport the viewer into an internal dialogue with the outside forces of Nature.

Other information:

I Became involved with the painter and printmaker Frederic Hundertwasser in 1970, a powerful influential aspect to my work and ecology ethos, continued sporadic correspondence until the last few years of his life. Spent time in Vienna and Venice during early seventies.

Danced and toured with Stomu Yamash’ta’s Red Buddha Theatre production of Man From the East, in England during 1972/73.

Lived in London and Paris with dancer and musician Goro Kunii from 1972-1978, a well loved friend and source of inspiration, travelled to Africa, living on the island of Lamu, in Kenya during 1977 and 1978.

Married photographer Jean Francois De Witte in 1981, have one child Melissa, spent time between Brussels, Kortryk, Paris and Normandy. Divorced.

While working as a printmaker was represented primarily at Lumley Cazalet in London. Printed in the studios of Annabel Maunsell and Ben Cabrera, (Bencab) during the 1970’s and at Camden Art Center during the 80’s.

1987-1991 I Worked in London’s first AIDS/HIV Counseling Service at the Royal Free Hospital in London, and then continued in HIV/AIDS as an administrative research assistant to professors in the Department of Clinical Sciences, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London University.

I Love poetry, old movies, good food, animals, the sea and my family. I have Lived in Europe half my life, I currently reside in Cambridge MA, USA. I travel frequently to California, especially Carmel, Pacific Grove and Big Sur.

At the Big Sur Folk Festival, Esalen Hot Springs, 1969, photo by Tom Gundlefinger