HDD Charlotte February/March 2020

Page 20


PUSHING THROUGH After setting down his paintbrushes for twenty years, one local artist found the inspiration to begin again in an unlikely place. Written by Anne Marie Ashley Photography by Dustin Peck

From a blank canvas, artist Ted Lee begins to make broad strokes with his paint. With no particular direction or image in mind, he begins to blend, layer, and shape. As loud music blares in the background, Lee uses oil paints, acrylic paints, pastels, shoe polish, marble dust, dirt, colored pencils, lipstick, rotten fruit—whatever he can get his hands on—to create his piece stroke by stroke. However, in every single work of art he creates, there comes the point where Lee says to himself, “This is awful. It’s unredeemable.” But instead of throwing down his brushes, he keeps pushing through until, finally, he falls in love with the piece and sees its beauty. Perhaps there’s no better metaphor for Lee as an artist than this process. What makes him unique is his ability to push beyond the hard or the ugly and create passion in the end. As a child, Lee had an undeniable talent for drawing. He began by recreating album covers from his favorite rock bands, like the Beatles. 20 HOME DESIGN & DECOR CHARLOTTE | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2020

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