Art is a jealous mistress, and, if a man have a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture, or philosophy, he makes a bad husband, and an ill provider. (Waldo Emerson)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Lee Steen - Self Taught Artist in Roundup Montana.

So as some of you know me and my family went to Montana this summer for vacation. We had such a great time. Montana is one of the prettiest places I have seen! Well anyways, while I was there I was introduced to an artist by the name of Lee Steen. Me and my family decided to go to one of the local museums in Great Falls and that is where I found him. 
This description comes straight from the Paris Gibson Museum of Art - 




"Born in 1887 in Horse Cave, Kentucky, Lee and his twin brother Dee moved to Roundup in 1894. After spending his childhood there, Lee traveled to Washington State as a young adult, and also lived in Shelby and Havre. In 1942, he moved back to Roundup, to a small home next door to Dee. Lee and Dee lived side by side until Dee passed away in 66. Lee continued to live on the property until 72. For over thirty years, it featured an assortment of odd mechanical constructions, exotic animals and an unruly crowd of Lee's expressive sculptures. Sadly the Steen homestead no longer exists in its original form. The deaths of the brothers marked the end of their unique environment. Thanks to the efforts of a small group of dedicated individuals, including John Armstrong and Jim Poor, Lee Steen's creations have been preserved for future generations..." The Paris Gibson Museum Of Art 

From the looks of his figures he found limbs from the trees that formed an almost human shape with two legs and a long upper body. 

Out of all the art that was in the museum I remember his the most. The figures actually wrapped around the entire room. They had pictures on the wall of where the figures sat in the yard when they found them. You can tell which ones were outside sitting along the trees because all of their paint has come off. The ones that still had paint on them were not exposed to the Montana weather. What I thought was really fun was that the buttons on their jackets and shirts were all made of bottle caps. You can actually read some of them and they are really old! Also there was a piece where the guy he had made was missing a leg. He chose a limb, missing a limb! 




Also I wanted to share this picture that was sent to me. The painting in the middle is the one that I painted. The owners framed it and hung it on their living room wall. It looks very nice. I am glad they liked it. 



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4 comments:

tom brantley said...

thanks Frankie! i enjoyed! and great painting!!! i went to the Philadelphia Museum (a couple months back) to see a great exhibition called Great and Mighty Things. Outsider Art (self taught artists) it was inspiring!

Frankie Stockman said...

I love self taught artists. I haven't had much training either. I have tried but it never seems to work out for me. So I am always on my own. So when I see all the great works by self taught artists it helps me move forward and keep going when I get frustrated. Thanks for reading my blog and being a part of my fan page!

tom brantley said...

Hi Frankie!

I just wrote this really long response and then I lost it because I couldn't remember my password!!! (wrote it down this time) good idea!

So, really brief, this time...I will just summarize message...

I love your realism art! oh!!! and thanks for saying you liked my TAB ART in one of your blogs! that was so nice to see you did that :)

I want to take part in the complimentary painting...any time frame to post by or whenever?

I might be taking an art class starting in late September. it may be a wash for me too but I will likely do it... 1 friend maybe another will be going so that will be good!

And, yes, the self taught art exhibit was inspiring for me too! besides seeing all this interesting art I walked away thinking if they can do it, so can I!

Frankie Stockman said...

Hi Tom. :) You can do the complimentary project any time you want :) You can do as many as you want. I thought that it would be fun to do something that you wouldn't normally do and maybe give yourself a challenge. I am excited that you are going to try! Not many people have done it yet so the more the merrier. I can't wait to see it. Good luck on your class. Class always frustrates me. I have tried to go to a few and I always ended up more frustrated. I think I am best on my own sometimes. But then again - I always want to be learning something from someone. I am out of my mind most of the time! :) HA hahahah