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2020 Surf Art Calendar - Elizabeth Lee

2020 Surf Art Calendar



By: Elizabeth Lee


From the Artist: My untitled collage is from an on-going series of paper collages I’ve been working on in my home studio. If you turn the image counter clockwise, that is it’s intended orientation. The surfboard shape then becomes somewhat less of the focus, and is more of an equal player in a conversation between abstract shapes.

I’ve spent a few years now in the process of collage making. Sometimes I proceed with a narrowed color focus, but generally the torn or cut shapes take the lead. An addition of a new shape, oftentimes will push the piece into a divergent, or even peculiar direction. That’s surprising to me, yet also delightful. Lately I’ve noticed that the work seems autobiographical. It prompts memories from my childhood; evoking people I once knew, or places I frequented long ago. This particular collage recalls a high school remembrance of a surfer who inspired my love for the sea.

I so appreciate having my work included in this calendar. Tony is not only a powerfully graceful surfer, but a generous and easy-going friend. It tends to be the casual norm in our north Manhattan Beach neighborhood, but never to be taken for granted. And I don’t. It’s with honor that I make my place in this beach tribe. Thank you, Tony.


Beth Lee is a force of nature who surfs waves from ankle high to double overhead and she is a true water girl! How I came to know about Beth’s art is through the 2019 Surf Art Calendar, where after watching her surf a wave that reminded me of the image that Drica Lobo painted, I brought it to her house on 32nd Street to show it to her. When I did, I discovered all of the great art she’s created and so I asked if I could include one of her images for this year’s calendar. Thankfully she said yes!


Similarly to Zen Del Rio, I was brought up in a creative household. My mother and her sister were always creating things for us kids. For instance, turning our drawings into toys or making fantastic Halloween costumes. One year my sister and I walked to school under a gigantic homemade orange hat which covered us both completely. And I remember attending art school at the Oakland College of Arts and Crafts before ever going to kindergarten.

While raising our two daughters, I too spent much of my time making things for them and taking them to art classes. I hosted a story-writing and illustrating class when my oldest was around four, taught art classes within the local Young at Art program, and later designed my own arts program while teaching at Haven Academy of the Arts.

I don’t always make it into my studio, but when I do, I relish my time there. Hours fly by, as I feel myself becoming the person I was meant to be. Much of my inspiration comes from a spiritual writing practice I have. Subterranean thoughts are roused by biblical scriptures. Classical and world music can definitely be a catalyst as well. But I also admire and most probably glean from many artists. I have an insatiable thirst for new artists and their work. Here are a few collage artists to check out:

Deborah Dancy - Francis Davison - Sharon Etgar - Claire Oswalt - Sarah Boyts Yoder

CONTACT INFO: Email: mbleegirls@gmail.com


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