Americas Ecology Maine


2019 brought with it an award for best landscape design from Maine Homes by Downeast Magazine. They awarded first place for reader landscaping for my third year garden at the SEED Barn. They say that it takes three years to establish a garden from seed in Maine, so I was happy to have initiated this process with this bit of recognition. Every year, we grow out an assortment of new native varieties to plant as pollinator pathways and native foodways. As the plants grow into maturity, I look into what particular wildlife the plants support and gather open source photographs, from which I create drawings as studies. Observational drawing is one of the best ways to gain understanding of form, and through exploring the relationships of forms, to become familiar with the functions that are the basis of systems. While these open source images are quickly becoming essential to my own work, I have also begun gathering collections of the images to distribute to educational programs so that students may begin forming their own knowledge of the systems at work.

Watercolor of a painted lady butterfly by Lee Lee
Lee Lee: Painted Lady after Joachim Alves Gaspar
Watercolor & pencil on paper | 2019
Watercolor of Samia Cynthia by Lee Lee
Lee Lee: Samia Cynthia Larvae after Diego Delso
Watercolor | 2019
Watercolor of a Brown Elfin by Lee Lee
Lee Lee: Brown Elfin after Walter Siemund
Watercolor, ink & huckleberry stains | 2019
.debris. Mobilities Slow Food

insect apocalypse

DOW chemical plant - landscape painting by Lee Lee
Aerial view of the DOW chemical plant in Texas
Silkscreen, sharpie, colored pencil, gouache & oxidized copper on paper

One of the most dangerous unspoken threats we are facing is the insect-apocalypse currently underway. As the foundation of ecological webs as well as an essential part of our food production, the disappearance of pollinators presents a grave situation, yet few speak of it. While creating studies of pollinators native to Maine, I sometimes feel inclined to cut them out to collage on various backgrounds. With the voids, I build collages that integrate reproductions of the DOW Chemical Plant landscape that I painted in 2009. Filling the voids of these bumble bee forms with the saturated textures of the original landscape speaks to the impacts of chemicals that fill our spheres. Even the word ‘pesticide’ reduces our perception of value by blanketing judgement across the whole insect world without recognition of the role that beneficial insects play in a balanced approach to agriculture.

watercolor of Bumble Bee by Lee Lee
insect apocalypse collage by Lee Lee
insect apocalypse collage by Lee Lee
insect apocalypse collage by Lee Lee
insect apocalypse collage by Lee Lee
Americas Migrations Mobilities Rocky Mountain West Slow Food


Lee Lee - monoprint of monarch butterflies
monoprints | 2014
exhibited as an interactive installation with Susanna Mitchell in San Miguel d’Allende, Mexico for the Center for Global Justice, Moving Beyond Capitalism

exhibited in the Woodbine Ecology Center’s nature lab alongside dormant crop circles in the Midwest & a dispersal of milkweed seeds.
Lee Lee monoprint of monarch butterflies
Lee Lee acryllic painting of Midwestern Crop Circles
crop | acrylic on canvas | 2009