Zan Lee DuRoy
Visual Arts: Mixed Media Artist, Painter, Photographer
Bio Naturally curious, and an avid reader, San Antonio native Zan Lee DuRoy became fascinated with art at a young age reading stories about Italian renaissance painters, Neo-Raphaelites, French Impressionists, Surrealists, and modern abstract artists. She has spent much of her adult life traveling the world, visiting museums and markets, and immersing herself in diverse, local cultures. Being creative herself, she naturally dreamed of a day when she, too, could live an artists life and share her art with the world.
After graduating high school and briefly attending college, practicality overcame fantasy and she began a career as a hair-colorist, specializing in color correction for Aveda. She kept up ties to the art world however, surrounding herself with artists, photographers, and musicians, often modeling for local photographers and supporting the local art scene in Southtown. Over the years, she pursued small creative endeavors, making jewelry, embellishing found objects, and knitting, while juggling successive careers in business and real estate, a second marriage, and the raising of her two wonderful children. Recently, after a second divorce, the loss of her father, and her kids grown, she decided it was finally time to focus on her dream of becoming a working artist.
The last two years have been spent teaching herself various techniques and experimenting with many media, and developing her own style. Since March 2022 she has had local success showing in group exhibits around San Antonio, along with a solo exhibit in Las Vegas, and currently has bookings through the end of 2023.
I an anarchist at heart, and this shows very much in my creative process. I have taught myself how to paint by sheer trial and error, experimenting with different media and techniques and finding my own way of expressing my visions. Ive learned how to build up texture through layering and adding various substances, like joint compound and crushed glass, to acrylic paints. I enjoyed playing with various tools for application as well, using anything from palette knives and kitchen spatulas, to carved bits of wood and pieces of natural sponges.
Currently I am focusing on depicting the natural world, such as flowers, tree bark and cacti but in a completely abstract and expressionistic manner, using texture and shading to convey something completely different. The focus is on the mood, how the light is shown hitting the surface of the tree trunk, for instance, inviting one to imagine moonlight in a stand of birches, otherworldly beings lurking just behind the trees, or disembodied sunflowers shaded to appear floating on a lattice background that is exactly the same color as your grandmother’s 1940 tablecloth, casting ones thoughts back to sitting in the cool shade of a garden as a child.
I have found that painting is a way for me to express those tiny perfect moments in life that one remembers but cannot begin to explain to anyone else. Or at least a way to guide others to find their own. It is both a catharsis and a form of personal growth for me and, I hope, a personal journey for the viewer of my artwork