Lee Munsell, In the Beginning, oil painting, 10 inches by 20 inches, framed size 16 inches by 27 inches.
Lee Munsell was about nine years old when he became interested in drawing pictures of hot rods, planes and various other things. Encouraged by his mother, his pursuit of art continued throughout his youth with art classes through high school, until surfing pulled him away, as the waves promised more excitement. In the 1970’s he began to get back into painting, mostly scenes of the Pacific coast. The wildness of Big Sur, the rocky cliffs and Cypress trees of Carmel and Monterey and the fog shrouded sea stacks of Oregon and Washington have been a source of inspiration to him for years.
Munsell explores a range of naturalistic subject matter with a sensitive eye for light and, more specifically, for degrees of luminosity. One gets the feeling that he wants to communicate more about his subject than paint alone can suggest. Whether it be a silent mountain terrain where clouds and light are as much the subjects of the work as are the peaks and strong pines or a shimmering world of cold waves, rock and sunlight, it is clear that he knows the subject intimately. Taking the effects of light may be his way of expressing a belief in a supernatural origin for the natural universe.
Speaking of his life as an artist, Munsell says: “I know the journey is not complete but working toward it is half the fun. The other half is being able to capture a scene that stirs emotion and draws one to reflect on the beauty and grandeur of this amazing creation”.