Meet Debut Dan's North Fork Cover Artist Lee Cleary
On the cover of this month’s Dan’s Papers North Fork issue, we have “Northern Soul” by first-time cover artist Margaret “Lee” Cleary.
“Northern Soul” is an acrylic painting that Cleary created for Southold Historical Museum’s Ten Squared: North Fork Memories exhibition, the winter 2023 edition of the museum’s holiday art sale offering small square paintings (10” x 10”) for $100. Organizing and participating in the biannual event is only part of her decades-long volunteer work there, which includes serving as the museum’s assistant treasurer and Exhibitions Committee chairperson.
“Lee Cleary’s works offer an intimate connection with the natural world around us and evoke a sense of tranquility,” says Deanna Witte-Walker, executive director of Southold Historical Museum and owner of more than one of the “dedicated” volunteer’s paintings.
Here, Cleary briefly discusses the featured cover art, viewing art with a scientific eye for realism and exciting exhibitions on the horizon.
A Chat with North Fork Cover Artist Lee Cleary
What inspired you to create your “Northern Soul” painting and submit it for the winter 2023 Ten Squared exhibition?
For the winter exhibition, I like to paint a seasonal bird scene.
What did the creation process of your “Northern Soul” painting entail?
I came across some of my earlier paintings of aspen trees. I decided to use the aspen, and a cardinal seemed natural.
How would you describe your art style, and how did you develop it?
It’s definitely realism style. Although I’ve been painting since I graduated from Southold High School, I’m a biologist. As scientists, we’re taught to be observant of details.
How long have you been a volunteer at the Southold Historical Museum?
I just finished my 20th year on the board of the Southold Historical Museum. We have a great collection of early 20th century artists to share.
What do you consider your proudest accomplishment of 2023, in art or otherwise?
I run the museum’s Ten Squared exhibition. This year we had more artists participate and a higher percentage of art sold.
Would you like to share any info about upcoming exhibitions?
The museum will continue their Ten Squared exhibition this summer with the theme “After the Peconic Bay Impressionists.”
Also, my sisters and I are putting together a family art show with varied styles.