Pure Energy – Beck Lee Cover Story
Beck Lee’s brush strokes create a pulse in a canvas bringing it to life. Carlie Wacker meets a cover artist that radiates some serious energy in her paintings.
You should be able to feel something when you view art – joy, confusion, happiness, concern but when I see a Beck Lee piece, I feel energy.
From cool coastal vibes to spiritually moving and intriguing pieces, the inspiration and motivation behind Beck’s art was something I was inspired to explore.
“I started out being inspired by the Surrealists, and I have been told that I paint somewhere between Contemporary art and Expressionism,” Beck said.
“When I do sit down to paint, I never really set out with a particular style in mind, I just keep myself open to absorb inspiration.
“My interest has always been in the emotion of a suspended point in time; trying to capture that moment so that we can live in it a little longer.
“I love playing with light and always try to depict that dreamlike quality from those surreal origins.”
I can feel that suspension in time that Beck refers to and I find myself holding my breath a moment longer to absorb each moment captured in the collection we were considering for a front cover.
Our unanimous choice was a painting named Eternal Union. Beck describes it as “A gentle and reflective moment after spending a day with the ocean, sitting quietly with gratitude.”
Do you feel that too? I just sink into that wave when I look at our cover – I feel an instant release of tension. The sun is shining, I’m at the will of the ocean sitting in solitude and peace.
Like a lot of Sunshine Coast artists, Beck explores her connection with water in many of her pieces.
“When I returned home to the Sunshine Coast after studying art in Melbourne, I decided I was finally going to learn how to surf,” she said. “Surfing became a truly transformative and spiritual experience for me. The ocean taught me so much; I was taken down a few pegs and humbled at how little I knew when I started, I had to learn to become truly present – one moment of letting my mind drift could be the catalyst of being pummelled by a wave, but I also learned the sheer euphoria of riding that perfect wave; the feeling of bliss, achievement and beauty of moving with the force of the ocean.
“I wanted to create a series of paintings that truly translated this experience onto canvas.”
For this series Beck collaborated with some fantastic photographers; Matt Holland, Yanik Tissera and Camille Robiou Du Pont, who generously gave her permission to interpret their images into her personal style and reflect her own experiences.
I love that her oil on canvas is almost like watercolour and Beck said she adored working with oil paint.
“It’s such a versatile medium; with just small adaptations of technique it can be textured, or it can be as smooth as watercolours,” she said. “When I am looking for something grittier and bold I introduce acrylic paint, but my primary medium of choice seems to always come back to oils.”
No matter the medium the result is art with a pulse and deep connection with the ocean and the place we call home.