Nelson W Hee Profile Photo

Nelson W Hee

San Rafael, CA

After 30 plus years of being a commercial designer/illustrator, I decided to embark on creating my personal visualizations to share with others what I see and maybe elicit an emotion that is undefined or undiscovered. To show what can't be seen and to talk about it without uttering a single word.

I hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with distinctions in Print and Drawing from California College of the Arts (formerly California College of Arts and Crafts) and an MA in Medical Illustration (Biomedical Communications) from UC San Francisco, School of Medicine. I was a board-certified medical illustrator for 20 years.

Born and raised in Hawaii, I have been living in the SF Bay Area for over 40 years -- mostly in Marin County, California.

My art style is a visual vocabulary with a limited/restrained palette of color using simple strokes or stylized shapes to express an image. I want to bring the human element back without competing with the digital or photographic mediums -- strictly a hand-eye craft.

Currently, my pieces are mostly dry-brush watercolors. Watercolor is a very unforgiving medium although I've learned to control it. I do a lot of planning when I paint and work in a very methodical way. I do use photo references that I take on location -- as painter Richard McLean once stated,"the horse ain't going to stand still!"

I've always felt that good art is not unlike good writing or good music. I do my art to make me feel good and to make others feel better!

"The Mooring Series" is a watercolor collection of just that. Initially, I just liked the idea as a subject matter but as things progressed, I wondered WHY was I doing this. What was the metaphor? We are all attached to something/someone that offer us security/comfort of sorts or bondage. Some of us have been moored so long that we have gathered the barnacles and whatever influences from the tides of Life. Some of us break away early but others maintain their hold until their final days when they cannot maintain their strength -- burdened by years of buildup, becoming brittle, snap and fall away -- to be replaced by a new tether.

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