art gift


Astrid Lee at work

Astrid Lee
(1963- )

contact details

artist statement and bio

"Art is essential to my life for its unmatched honesty, It’s a pathway to self-discovery while creating culture. Currently I Reiki all my artwork - enhancing the well-being of my audience." -- Astrid Lee

Born and raised in art-loving Holland, it was natural for Astrud to undertake an extensive self-study in visual art in Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, London, Madrid, Tokyo, Johannesburg, New York City, San Francisco, and now Vancouver. This extensive travel offered me a global perspective on art, besides being a great resource to draw upon when developing my portfolio.

My earliest serious drawings date back from childhood in the '70's, when I was ill in bed for several months. I studied master drawings, books and books on end, and try to reproduce the master pieces.

The real kick-off point to develop my own original art started much later in 1986. One night after visiting a Kabuki play downtown Tokyo, I was so inspired, a bought a set of Japanese ink and watercolor on the way home and started to play, trying to create that great wisteria on a 6x8" pad. I have come a long way since. Over time, my watercolor works became larger (e.g. 18 x 24”), and I was searching for ways to lay down flat surfaces of color. I switched to acrylics as medium in California in 2001.

That 1986 was an important art year for my art. Beyond my start in water mediums, I also bought my first Canon in Tokyo. It was an AE1, which I later complemented with a digital camera in 2001. Travel pictures transitioned into art elements to digital collage, and creeping onto the canvas, as a natural parallel progression.

When I came to the US, --following a 10-year international management consulting career based on an MBA from NYU --, I came with my focus on the Internet and art. I initially completed a Multimedia Art Certification at Foothill College and created the Los Altos digital art gallery, an exhibition sponsored by the Los Altos Library and Adobe in 1997. Upon completion, I started to teach new media, web design and marketing.

Throughout my life, I have been awarded grants and awards, including Teaching Assistant Fellowships & Tuition Grants from New York University, a Grant from AT&T, and a Grant from a business in my local community, and an International Student Exchange Award. I have also been nominated for the Australian Business Women of the Year award, before my current focus on art.

As to be expected from a mostly self-taught artist, my style is natural, original, with hints of colorful fauvism. Some compare my ouvre to that of Jim Dine. While I feel honored with the reference, my works are also spiritual.

My motivation to paint is linked to the exploration of deeper meaning. I want to portray the pure and positive in life. I aim to balance abstraction and figurative in my contemporary art, and incorporate my personal iconic choreography, words and phrases. My colorful (mixed-media) paintings are meant to express my love of paint and the magic of serendipity during the act of painting as well as commenting on the subject matter.

My hues tend to be fiery, and I try not to be too neat, using large brushes and palette knives for top layers after having worked out the anatomy of my story telling and/or subject matter.The vigor and energy that radiates from my canvases seem to captivate my viewers. Many of my compositions are rhythmic, making the fluid trails of paint seem natural and understood.

Serial works are usually thematic. While each painting is valuable in its own right, each painting belongs to the series as an aspect of concept exploration. My titling reflects this. For example, the title of the series, “Proof Exists” relates to the objective of the artist to find proof of subliminal guidance in art making. The shapes and colors of the resulting personal iconography are formed intuitively in the process of painting, as well as a research into universally understood symbols and icons.


In addition to her online exhibitions at eArtfair and elsewhere, she has open studios, group and solo exhibitions for private collectors in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Vancouver, Canada.

Recent and current membership and representation

  • (CAN) Lynnmour Gallery, North Vancouver 2005
  • (CAN) Cityscape Gallery, North Vancouver, 2005
  • (CAN) Blenz,Vancouver public library, 2005

  • (CAN) Crafts Association of British Columbia, 2004
  • (USA) National women caucus for art - Bay Area Photography Alliance 2003
  • (CAN) Federation of Canadian Artists, Vancouver, 2003
  • (USA) Pacific art league, Palo Alto, CA 2002-2003

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