Lee Alban

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Lee Alban

ARC Associate Living Master TM


Born 1948



  • Artworks
  • Biography
  • Awards
  • Galleries


Lee’s interest in classical painting was evident early in his life but culminated with the completion of five years of study at the acclaimed Schuler School of Fine Arts, a traditional atelier located in Baltimore, Maryland, established a half century ago. The curriculum concentrated on drawing from casts and life, still life painting, portraiture, sculpture, and painting and drawing the figure with continuous academic lectures in human anatomy. By stretching canvases, applying glue sizing and lead primer, producing traditional gessoed panels, grinding pigments with black oil, and producing Maroger medium, Lee has continued a legacy that began in the 16th century.

In addition to the techniques of producing and applying paint, his mastery of drawing, value, temperature, and color have enabled Lee to gain national recognition. He won the Excellence in Still Life Award at the 2010 National OPA Exhibition in Scottsdale, Arizona. His still life paintings have also been awarded the Editor’s Choice Award from American Art Collector magazine and the Pioneer in Realism Award from the International Guild Of Realism. His florals, landscapes, portraits, and figures have earned him over a dozen awards from Artist’s Magazine and five from International Artist Magazine. His work has also garnered awards from Southwest Art, the Art Renewal Center, the American China Oil Painting Artist League, and major exhibitions nationally.

His career is characterized by an interest and ability to realistically represent a variety of subject matter and is marked by an evolution of styles from Old Master chiaroscuro to contemporary trompe l’oeil, landscape, and portraiture. A review of his work has prompted the artist to remark that, “I did not know where I was going until I arrived, and I don’t know how long I am going to stay here before moving on.”

Retrospectively, it is easy to see in his paintings that Lee has gravitated toward thematic studies, endeavoring to tell stories that were rooted in nostalgic traditions. His still life series featuring antique toys combined with vintage posters exhibited a sense of humor and attracted widespread recognition

When he was asked to develop a series depicting the history of oil exploration in America he was inspired to research the topic, tracking down and collecting numerous publications and vintage photographs. The result was an unprecedented production of over 30 paintings, recreating a visual experience of an industry that changed the world.

As Lee explored other subject matter he was inspired to paint diners from the 1950’s and steam trains. This led to an opportunity to photograph female models in railroad yards and workshops and to develop a new theme, which he titled, “Silk And Steel.”

Models were attired in “Rosie The Riveter” style clothing from the 1940’s and became the subjects of figure and portrait paintings that celebrated the accomplishments of women in the industrial work force.

As national exposure increased, Lee received an important invitation to participate in the exhibition, “Traveling The West.” He had accumulated many western landscape references from his travels, but as he became immersed in this project he realized that living on the east coast made it difficult to find models, authentic western clothing and props to include in his compositions. He began searching the Library Of Congress online catalog for solutions when it occurred to him that it might be unique to paint a traditional landscape and just add the figures by painting a trompe l’oeil “vintage photograph” on the surface, as if someone had attached a real photograph to a painting.

After completing the first composition, Lee recognized that this was another thematic opportunity. This series was titled, “Spirits Of The American West.” Painting contemporary landscapes and adding trompe l’oeil paintings of Native Americans photographed a hundred years ago, he “returned” them to their ancestral homes. As a further tribute, each painting was given a title that consisted of an appropriate Native American saying.

Lee is currently adding to both the “Silk And Steel” and “Spirits Of The American West” series, but has also begun traveling and meeting with the Navajo in the Monument Valley area of Utah and Arizona and painting their portraits.

2016 Southwest Art Magazine, Artistic Excellence, Finalist

2016 International Artist Magazine, Rivers, Streams, and Lakes Finalist

2016 Art Renewal Center, ARC Salon Competition, Landscape Finalist

2016 Art Renewal Center, ARC Salon Competition, Portrait Finalist

2016 Artists Magazine Annual Competition, Interiors Finalist

2016 NOAPS On-Line Spring Exhibition, Award of Excellence

2015 Artists Magazine All Media Art Competition, Honorable Mention

2015 Southwest Artists, Art of the Heartland, Second Place

2015 Artists Magazine Annual Competition, Still Life Finalist

2015 Artists Magazine Annual Competition, Landscape Finalist

2015 NOAPS Signature/Masters Exhibition, First Place

2015 Art Renewal Center, ARC Salon Competition, Finalist

2014 Allied Artists of America On0line Competition, Elected Member Award

2014 Allied Artists of America, 100th Anniversary Exhibition, Best Seascape Award

2014 Artists Magazine Annual Competition, Landscape, Finalist

2014 Artists Magazine Annual Competition, Interior, Finalist

2014 Art Renewal Center, ARC Salon Competition, Still Life Finalist

2013 American Society of Traditional Artists Annual Exhibition, Best Landscape

2013 NOAPS On-Line Exhibition, Award of Merit

2013 NOAPS Best Of America Exhibition, Award of Merit

2013 Artists Magazine Annual Competition, Interior, Finalist

2013 Art Renewal Center, ARC Salon Competition, Landscape Finalist

2013 NOAPS Online Exhibition, Most Innovative Painting Award

2013 International Artist Magazine, Landscape Finalist

2012 Artist’s Magazine, Over 60 Competition, First Place

2012 Artists Magazine Annual Competition, Still Life, Finalist

2012 Art Renewal Center, ARC Salon Competition, Landscape, Finalist

2011 Flora and Fauna Exhibition, Schuler School of Fine Arts, Second Place

2011 America China Oil Painting Artists League, Finalist

2011 Salon International, Greenhouse Gallery, Top 50

2011 Blossom II, Art of the Flower, Finalist

2010 Artists Magazine Annual Competition, Finalist, Animals

2010 Artists Magazine Annual Competition, Finalist, Portraits and Figures

2010 Artists Magazine Annual Competition, Finalist, Landscape

2010 Oil Painters of America 19th National Exhibition, First Place Excellence In Still Life

Lovetts Gallery, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Gallery Elite, Carmel By The Sea, California

Southwest Gallery, Dallas, Texas

The Good Art Company, Fredericksburg, Texas

Main Street Gallery, Annapolis, Maryland