Lee Walker was born and raised in Billings, Montana. From a young age, Lee constantly dabbled in the arts. At sixteen, upon entering the Calgary Stampede’s Western Showcase and placing first in the Junior Division, a focus on art was solidified. Her father, a custom saddle maker and skilled leather worker of forty years, inspired this creative drive. A self-taught artist, Lee developed a talent in acrylic painting and her twenties were spent exhibiting contemporary western paintings in and around her home city. Lee Walker’s art is represented by several galleries throughout the state, including a painted electrical signal box in downtown Billings. Private commissions afford Lee unique opportunities, and although specializing in genres of western culture and wildlife, Lee is fond of the challenge and excitement in exploring new subject matter to paint.
"I have gained an understanding and sense of expression that benefits my painting and to share my outlook is pure joy. Life's details captivate me; whether a calloused palm felt during the brief pressure of a handshake or the minuscule divot of that one stray bristle as my brush glides across the canvas. Those details are intense. Brief. And unlike the colors that stream through my brain and envelope the world around me, rarely in my mind for long.
I've always felt big, not large in scale but emotionally charged, like my chest could crack open if I didn't have a way to release what was brewing inside. Brushes, consumed with acrylic paints started freeing the ideas and the images became more manageable. Montana's vast wilderness, the animals which reside here and viewing a lot of my life from the backs of my horses has influenced my artwork greatly. Stained glass, comic book art and tattoos have influenced my artwork with their respective defined outlines, mine broken and choppy.
There is a vibrant movement that is eager to consume. It is incredibly vivid and bright, almost painfully so. Being able to sit, staring into blank canvas until a world unto it's self appears creates a catatonic lapse in time. The bond between my brain and hands has become solid as a steady dialogue is exchanged evolving the impulses into my ideal. The gift of an artist is accepting reality only in refusing to let it dictate personal vision, experience and expression."
Photograph by Mary Kate Teske