Lesa Chittenden Lim - First Love
American, b.1958
First Love, 2007
Watercolor and pastel on paper, 26 x 26 inches

Gift of the artist

It was always my dream to be an artist. However, there were a few twists in the road. Instead, I studied engineering so I could put myself through The University of Michigan. Along the way I went on to earn a masters degree in business from The University of Michigan and graduated at the top of my class. I became very successful in corporate America, eventually managing a $500 million division of Honeywell. I was featured on the cover of Chemical Week Magazine as one of the top women in the industry. I was known for my creativity in business strategy, mergers, and acquisitions. Though I was extremely successful in this field, I realized it was not satisfying a core part of my being. So I left my corporate career to pursue my original vision of being an artist. In 1998, I began studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. I was accepted into the program in the fall of 2000 and graduated in 2005. My emphasis is on painting, drawing and printmaking.

My paintings are inspired by an emotional response to nature. I am profoundly moved by nature and the beauty of our earth. Rather than recording an exact external reality, I express the inner sensations caused by my visual perceptions; calmness, serenity, movement, awe, desolation to name a few. The more I look the more I believe that our surroundings are an allegory of life. I paint “portraits” of trees, with their families, lovers and friends. I often work onsite. I seek out locations that provoke strong feelings. And then I return time and time again. I develop a relationship with the site that is similar to having a good friend….it deepens over time, revealing new aspects of its personality, changing as the years go by and ultimately leaving this earth.