about - ThomasLeeArtStudio, Midland, MI
Toward the end of Spring in 2017 I was on a silent retreat at a monastery in Kentucky when I was suddenly struck with an illness that rendered me unable to move or speak for nearly a day. Once that had passed for the rest of the week my entire body trembled, shook with such fury that I could barely walk. Upon my return home I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Now, over two years later that diagnosis has changed and so have my therapies. And one of those new life-giving treatments has been the discovery of painting. It has given me a purpose. It has given me an outlet for creativity and energy. My hands still shake with tremors, but painting calms me and somehow I'm able to move the brushes and paints to create something of meaning and purpose in and of itself. Now, I do not purport to be a great artist. All I can say is that I pour all of my heart and mind into my works and the process as well as the product inspires me and heals me. I find inspiration for my works all around me. I live on a lake surrounded by nature. There is plenty of inspiration here for a thousand paintings. But, I also enjoy viewing what others have done in painting and photography; to take the artwork of a photograph and turn it into the artwork of a painting is a process that I enjoy immensely. I see no reason to duplicate the photograph or to duplicate even what I see in nature. That's why my paintings are more toward impressionism and the abstract and why I find myself telling stories through them. I want to evoke the spirit of what is being painted, not its details. There is life and meaning in painting no matter where the inspiration originates and no matter how it is conveyed onto the canvas. And that's really all I'm seeking!