Tanya Hayes Lee is a visual artist who works primarily in oil on canvas to depict landscapes — those that do exist and those that should — in a modern abstract impressionist style. Her paintings convey the sublime in nature in all of its manifestations and they are visual metaphors for our relationships to the world and to each other.
Her greatest inspirations include the nineteenth-century painters George Innes, J.M.W. Turner and John Constable. Contemporary artists from whom she have learned her craft include Douglas Fryer and Charlie Hunter and many, many colleagues in and around Cambridge.
“I have been an artist since I was 5 years old—and probably well before then, but memory fails. An abiding love of structure, form and meaning led in other directions as well – to a writing career, a stint as a graphic designer and nearly 20 years as a journalist, but at the heart of it all was a compulsion to order the world – to create the world – in a way that I could understand,” says Lee.
“Words exist in black and white. Color is the element that is unique to the visual realm, and painting is the medium I have chosen to integrate color into my world. Color as structure, form, meaning and the fundamental and exquisite ordering of the world in its own terms. The vibrancy and depth of oils is unparalleled in the history of Western art and fortunately it is a medium now easily accessible to anyone with the compulsion to depict the world as it presents itself in our few dimensions – and an ample supply of turpentine.”
Lee studied studio art at the Mass College of Art, Scottsdale Artist School, and Northern Arizona University. She lives and works in Cambridge and exhibits at the Rockport Art Association and Museum, Cambridge Art Association, and Cambridge Open Studios, as well as sundry nontraditional venues.