Dee McBrien-Lee

Using bold color and texture Dee McBrien-Lee creates abstract and expressionistic art

Late Autumn, 20 x 20, acrylic on canvas— details

Drawn to the ever-changing show-offs in her backyard garden and the beauty of the forest sentinels when they have shed their seasonal colors, Dee McBrien-Lee was inspired to create these newest works in her series “Vertical Interlude”, opening September 4, from 4-7pm at Tumalo Art Co.

Floras Dance, 24 x 28, acrylic—details

“2020 has been a year fraught with chaos. No matter who you are, current events have touched each and every one of us in some way. In trying to navigate through everything it was important to me to be able to set aside what was going on and find focus in the beauty and gifts that surround us,” says Dee. “I wanted to create works that would bring joy, perhaps solace and comfort to the viewer.” In doing so she decided to work in a more relatable style, but not completely abandon, her abstract leanings by looking for patterns in nature. Inspired by the simplicity and meditative quality of vertical line, it became her focus.


Dee McBrien-Lee Cattails triptych

Cattails – High Lakes, 36 x 18, one of a tryptich— details

Preferring bold color and line combined with many layers to create the finished pieces Dee seeks to create a mood or draw a reaction with her work and strives to create a dialog amongst her viewers.


Simply Red, 20 x 16, acrylic—details

“I define myself as a restless creative. My creativity takes me in many directions but most often I am driven by my current passions, or my drive to reflect on the current state of our society. The heart of my most recent work centered on creating abstract art. This has resulted in expressions of color and light on canvas reflecting my interpretation of women’s spirit, femininity and a general freedom of expression,” says Dee. “The restless spirit in me and the current social climate was motivational for me to create this most recent series—Vertical Interlude.”

Cold Sun, 16 x 20— details

See Dee McBrien-Lee’s art on the Tumalo Art Co. shopping cart for easy purchasing.

The art shown here is just a sampling of the pieces in the exhibit. Contact Tumalo Art Co. by email for more information, and to see photos of the art if you are not able to come in person to see the show. Tumalo Art Co. in the Old Mill District in Bend, Oregon is open 7 days a week. Click on details under each art work shown to go to our online shopping cart and purchase.


Dee McBrien-Lee
has been painting for as long as she can remember .  She is best known for her abstracts and bird paintings which she creates with bold color and lots of texture, often mixing a variety of media for a unique look.  Dee studied art at SUNY New Paltz in the 70’s and after graduation took a long hiatus from art.  In the mid 2000’s she picked up where she had left off and shortly after  began to study abstract painting, gradually  moving away from the traditional landscape and western style of her past .

 A favorite quote of McBrien-Lee, “I don’t start with a color order, but find the colors as I go”  by Helen Frankenthaler is a mantra she lives by. While sometimes an abstract is just an abstract, this artist also explores subjects including current events or issues that we face on a daily basis.   Dee has always loved getting fully immersed in her medium and paints with intention as well as just applying color to canvas and letting the mood and the piece take her where it may.  Preferring  bold color and line combined with many layers to create the finished pieces she seeks to create a mood or draw a reaction with her work and strives to create a dialog amongst her viewers.  She loves to experiment with textures and while acrylic is her preferred medium, she works with just about everything in an exploratory and experimental way.  The list of artists that have influenced her work is long but a sampling includes Klee, Diebenkorn, Klimt and Matisse.

McBrien-Lee was  a founding Partner and former owner/artist at the Red Chair Gallery in Bend, Oregon from 2010 through 2018. She has been juried in to various regional and local shows and her work can be found in private collections from coast to coast and in Europe.

To see more of Dee McBrien-Lee’s work check out her website