Lee Copen can be found painting or simply staring at the sky wishing she was painting. "I have lived in some of the most beautiful places on earth; the high plains of South Africa, the coast of Chile, the Colorado Rockies, the Yorkshire countryside and currently the Ozark mountains.I have always found myself drawn to the beauty and diversity of the landscape."
Born in South Africa, in 1966, Lee was drawing and painting the land, people and animals that surrounded her, before she even started school. Her family moved to Chile when she was 12 years old, where her love of drawing and painting continued. In 1982 the family moved to Colorado, here Lee encountered her first art teacher; a talented and gifted artist and teacher who encouraged Lee to pursue art. Lee studied art at the University of Northern Colorado, and received a BFA in drawing and painting. After college she pursued a career as an architectural illustrator.
In 2000, Lee returned to college to receive a teaching certificate and has been teaching art in a public high school ever since. "My high school art teacher was such a positive force in my life, I wanted to be that for other young artists." Both careers allowed Lee to continue painting on her own, building skills and developing her own unique vision. Lee has traveled extensively throughout her life; including Zimbabwe, Peru, Bolivia, England, Scotland, Greece, Sweden and throughout the United States. Wherever she goes, she paints; filling sketchbooks with beautiful drawings and watercolors.Whether working in the studio or on location her work is inspired by the beauty that can be found in nature.
She currently lives on a small farm in Missouri; painting the hills, farms, rivers and springs of the Ozarks. Her work reflects her love of the land. She is influenced by great historical painters like John Constable, George Inness, Claude Monet and John Carlson. Lee Copen is a member of the Oil Painters of America, the American Impressionist Society, and the Missouri Valley Impressionist Society. Her work has received numerous local and regional awards and honors.