honey_em-8Emilie Lee is a classically trained painter working in the tradition of the Hudson River School. Drawing on her background as a rock climber and adventure athlete, she travels to remote locations to study landscapes that are critical in the field of conservation. Without using photographs, she creates drawings, notes, and plein air paintings while on location which she later uses to inform her large-scale canvases in the studio. As a result, her work is a distillation of time, memory, and a close observation of the natural world.  Lee handcrafts each piece of artwork using time-honored techniques tested by museum conservationists to ensure the archival quality of each piece.

After earning her degree in illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2004, Emilie worked as a freelance writer and illustrator for outdoor adventure publications including “Alpinist Magazine”, Patagonia, and “Rock and Ice.” In 2008 she moved to New York to spend four years studying with renowned painter and educator, Jacob Collins. For three years after that she was a principle artist and instructor at the Grand Central Atelier. She is also a senior fellow at the Hudson River Fellowship.

Emilie is now based in Carpinteria, CA where you can see her paintings at Heritage Goods and Supply or make an appointment for a studio visit.




12 thoughts on “about

  1. Your path is very inspirational! Love your work… I have a question re: painting outdoors. I will be taking Erik Koeppel/Laura S. workshop in Jackson, NH in a few weeks. What would you recommend I take for a setup? I.e., easel, tripod etc? Would you recommend a French easel or a podache? TY! Becky

    • Hey! Ill be up in NH during the workshop too, so i look forward to meeting you! I use a sturdy camera tripod and the open box M… But there are many options. If you already have a French easel, that will be fine, the only downside to it is the bulky weight of carrying it far into the field. For the workshop I doubt you will be hiking way into the mountains so you should be able to manage! I like the open box M because it is very lightweight and can fit in my backpack. I’ve recently become a big fan of the Bestbrella plein air painting umbrella. If you don’t want to spend $100 then the julien umbrella will do but those break easily if you use it a lot.

  2. Hi again, thanks for your response! I went to Utrecht for paint and supports, and ended up getting a Sienna pochade w tripod and backpack. I think I’ll be happy with it. I have a white umbrella on hold at Dick Blick but don’t remember the make (normally $105, on sale for $41).

    So, I’m really excited and look forward to meeting you. (I see you are a yogini as well!)

    one more question for you: in my figure work I typically use bristle brushes (mostly filberts)… Erik says he mostly uses synthetics or sable. Can you recommend a brand? and sizes also?



  3. I’m hoping to do a lot of plein air while section hiking the Appalachian Trail. Pack weight will definitely be a factor. Is the Open Box M the lightest you’ve found, or have you experimented with other lightweight options? Any tips would be really appreciated.

    It’s good to see another rock climbing artist! There are a lot of similarities to the focus in both, eh?

  4. Hi emilie,
    Do you commission paintings? I would like to get one as a present – have an NYC theme in mind – and you have the exact style and type of current paintings I am seeking. Please contact me if this is something you can do!

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