How Have You Made Your Mark? A Study of Hands
Late in 2012, a call for nominations went out asking people to recommend members of our community, Decatur, Alabama, who have made an impact on a local, state, national, or even global level. The context of the search was summed up in the statement, The Question at Hand: How Have You Made Your Mark? A committee was given the daunting task of selecting the subjects to be included in this series of 50 paintings. The selected people included a diverse group of citizens in our community. Early in 2013 the process of interviewing the finalists, and photographing and painting portraits of their hands that serve began.
How you Have Made Your Mark – A Study of Hands features 51 oil paintings of the hands of amazing local individuals by Decatur, Alabama artist Lee Nabors. Each person’s hands reflect the life, passions, and influence that have been accomplished by each person. These people represent hundreds of others who go above and beyond their profession and everyday life for the greater good. The subjects of this collection represent a cross-section of what it takes to be and build a community. Short written narratives of each person’s history and contributions to make this life a better place will accompany each hand portrait.
“My hands have baked birthday cakes, cradled newborns, and are constantly doodling and creating. Hands are the literal and figurative extension of a person and his actions, and the inspiration for my newest series, Study of Hands. What began as a dream, while sitting at my kitchen table, has become a reality. It has been the greatest privilege, as well as, the consummate challenge of my career. This series was difficult not only in trying to capture the uniqueness of a person’s hand, but also with the medium of which I chose. Although I had dabbled in oils for years, I had never delved into an oil painting project of this magnitude. As this process continued at a steady pace, I was surrounded by these paintings in their various stages of completion. Each painting represented a special and privileged glimpse into a life well lived. The subjects’ stories and histories inspired me daily, and I realized what a gift I have been given: the honor of getting to know each person individually, and the opportunity to share their stories with a broader audience.”
“These people have made, and continue to make, their mark. It is my hope that when the exhibit is viewed, we will each be inspired to ask ourselves… the question at hand: how have you made your mark?”
A native of Decatur, Alabama, Lee Crane Nabors began the pursuit of her passion for art as an adolescent. She began taking art lessons from accomplished local artist Jackie Goode, but put her artistic pursuit on hold throughout her high school and college years. Lee graduated from Auburn University in 1984 and married William H. (Rip) Nabors in 1985. They are the parents of two grown children: JoAnne of Dallas, Texas and Bill of Birmingham, Alabama.
In 2000, after years of being a stay-at-home mother, Lee rekindled her artistic passion. She enrolled in independent study art courses at Calhoun Community College and also began attending workshops to include; Paul Leveille at The Artist School in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Wilson Ong at Maine Art Workshop, Camden, Maine; Lee has also studied under accomplished artists including Sally Strand of Orange County, California and Michael Shane Neal of Nashville TN.
In 2005, Lee became a professional artist. Her focus was watercolor home portraits and pastel pet portraits. Always wanting to develop her skills, she then began still life pastel portraits. She developed into an award winning still life artist. The still life subjects naturally migrated to portraits of people. Now, Lee has embarked on her greatest artistic challenge: an exhibit concentration on “A Study of Hands”, oil portraits.
Lee is an active member of the Decatur Art Guild, Southeastern Pastel Society, Alabama Pastel Society- ME, Cecilia Beaux Forum and the Portrait Society of America. Resent competitions and accolades include First Place in the 2013 Montgomery Art Guild/Regions Bank Competition; Hoover Art Alliance Award at 2013 Alabama Pastel Society Member show; 2013 Richeson Art finalist, in the Still Life and Floral National competition and has earned Master Of Excellence from APS.
Lee and Rip continue to make their home in Decatur, Alabama.