Lee E. Gaskins Jr. Oct, 30, 1910- November 20, 1991.
This site will showcase the work that my father- Lee E. Gaskins Jr. created for over fifty years. The mastery of his original watercolor style (loosely based on the old Brandywine school watercolor style is unique and unparalleled for its truthful beauty, insight and composition.
ee E. Gaskins was born in the October 30, 1910 and lived his early years in Schenectady and Amsterdam, N.Y., in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. This environment peaked his interest in nature.
He was a member of the track team at Schenectady High School, being the treasurer/secretary of the Spiked Shoe Society.
He worked driving a tractor for a construction company so he could attend, the Pennsylvania Museum's School of Industrial Art, full-time, learning from such noted artists as: Thorton Oakley, Aureolo Renzetti and Henry C. Pitz. During the depression years and jobs were hard to find, Lee learned about a teaching opening in Elizabeth, N.J., and stayed there 41 years until retiring in 1976.
During WWII, Sergeant Gaskins spent three and a half years in the U.S. army engineers of which three years were spent oversees in Africa, France, and Belgium during the height of World War II.
Though a complete painter- masterly handling oils, charcoal, and other media; Lee decided to concentrate on the difficult medium of watercolors, combining a Brandywine School of painting foundation, with his own sensibilities and uses of wet on wet, and wet on dry techniques.
His work resides in the permanent collection of the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio and he has exhibited in the Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, The National Academy of Design in New York City, The Newark, Montclair, and Morristown Museums in N.J. as well as exhibited at the Garden State Arts Center, the Golden Door Gallery in New Hope, PA. One man shows in N.J., such as: Fairleigh Dickinson University, Papermill Playhouse and the Old Mill Gallery in Tinton Falls, etc.. In addition, he gave many lectures and demonstrations in galleries, museums, numerous art societies, and other institutions throughout the state of New Jersey.
Mr. Gaskins' art is represented in the book- " Prize Winning Art ",- book #7, by Allied Publishing, Florida, and have also been written up in the Parisian Art Magazine " The Review Modern, " May, 1953, France, and is listed in the book " American Artists of Renown,-" Wilson Publishing, Gilmer Texas. renown.
The late- Michael Fullihan and John Shaw, both collectors of old Masters work, (Raphael, Rubens, Bierstadt), stated that "Lee Gaskins' watercolors easily excels the work of Andrew Wyeth."
Though a quiet and soft spoken man, who always put his family above his career, Mr. Gaskins spoke loudly with his art. From bold applications in his oils to delicate and detailed watercolors, and powerful drawing skills, he has amassed a stangering and diverse body of work. His understanding and use of design, color, concept, mood and technique rivals and even surpasses other watercolor `legends.'
Lee's philosophy, was based on over 50 years of training and experience, his simple theory,- that a picture should bring a measure of joy and happiness to the world. " After all, there is enough ugliness about us, so why add to it?" His low-key personality often complimented his palette, his use of earth-tones and his fondness for nature.
After being hit by a car while walking a across the street to the Scotch Plains post office in the mid 80's, Lee's work suffered a crippling blow after a series of strokes. The last mjor stroke, bed-riddfened him, until he passed on November 20, 1991.
His kind demeanor, consideration, love and of course his art was a model for countless students, his family and friends. His legacy will live on in his art.
Lee is survived by his supportive wife- Mary; his daughter- Sandy paints miniature copies of old masters art as well as creates chain mail-based jewelry, while his son- Lee (III), teaches art, illustrates, and is a game designer and writer.