Emilie's current focus on landscape painting combines her academic training with her love of adventure and a life in the outdoors. Built on a practice of careful observation and the desire to represent nature truthfully, her approach makes each study a meditation. At the core of this process is the experience of being outdoors, working under every weather condition, and investigating the elements of landscape through drawings, paintings, and written notes. Emilie doesn’t use photographic references to create her paintings, instead relying on the information she can gain from life studies. Her realist studio paintings are a result of distilled memories gathered over many hours spent absorbed in nature.
After earning a degree in illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design, Emilie Lee spent four years working as a freelance illustrator before discovering the world of academic painting. Initially she studied for a year with Utah painter Kamille Corry before moving to New York City to spend four years studying with Jacob Collins in the Water Street Atelier at the Grand Central Academy of Art. She is a senior fellow at the Hudson River Fellowship and teaches regular classes and workshops at the Grand Central Academy of Art. Emilie also writes for various blogs including the GCA blog, her own blog, and Stio Mountain Apparel, for which she is an ambassador.
After falling in love with rock climbing at age fifteen, Emilie spent the next eleven years pursuing the life of a nomadic climber – honing her skills on the vertical terrain of twenty different U.S. states as well as Canada, France, and Spain. Her passion for adventure in the mountains has led her to guide rock climbing in Colorado, canoe trips in the Canadian wilderness, winter backpacking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and convert a school bus into a vegetable oil powered mobile home. Her artwork and writing have appeared in numerous outdoor publications including the Alpinist, Rock & Ice Magazine, the Patagonia Catalog, and the Nau website.