After Eagle Drawings: Ink Drawings

Artist Statement

My work—in the form of paintings, drawings, and site-specific installations—stems from patterns and traces of growth and decay in the natural world and the built-environment. I grew up seeing electron micrographs and lab specimens, and I am still engrossed by abstracted images of nature. In my works, masses of lines evoke various influences: organic forms such as hair, muscles, and fungi; natural systems such as waves and wind currents; geological strata; and topographical maps. These linear networks are often based on hand-drawn records of physical effects of nature in my immediate surroundings—like a bent plane around a window, a sloping floor, or the decaying walls in my former studio. My process includes making tracings and rubbings of surfaces such as plywood and cracking plaster, and I think of these marks as the calligraphic signatures of quotidian natural effects. I am invested in the hand-drawn line for its conveyance of individualism, imperfection, and frailty, and I see my use of line as a tenuous analogy to traditional Asian ink painting. I consider my works some personal interpretations of the material evidence of time, and I strive to delineate the emotional resonance of forms made by natural forces. These drawings are part of a series based on tracings and rubbings of the decaying plaster walls in my previous studio building, which will be demolished for the development of new condominiums.

Deanna Lee HeadshotDeanna Lee was born in upstate New York to Chinese immigrants and grew up in suburban Boston. She received degrees from Oberlin College and the Art Institute of Chicago, and she studied at Tyler School of Art in Rome. In her drawings, paintings, site-specific works, and public art works, she interprets physical traces of growth and change and forms made by natural forces in daily surroundings. She has received awards from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Asia Society, National Academy, Millay Colony, and Saltonstall Foundation. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, and her work can be seen at