Jake Lee Biography

View Art by Jake Lee

Jake Lee (1915-1991) Born: Monterey, CA; Studied: Otis Art Institute (Los Angeles), San Jose State College (California); Member: California Water Color Society. Jake Lee began painting at an early age, depicting views of the Chinese communities in California and fishing docks near his home in Monterey. He studied art at San Jose State College and after taking a job as a commercial artist for a San Francisco newspaper, became friends with artist Dong Kingman. They spent a great deal of time painting on location in the city and Lee credits Kingman as being an influential instructor and artistic inspiration to him.

By 1944, Lee was settled in Los Angeles and was exhibiting with the California Water Color Society. He worked as a commercial illustrator producing magazine covers, product advertisements, posters and children’s book illustrations. Most of these were done with watercolors or gouache on illustration board. For over forty years, he enjoyed a successful career in this field and still found plenty of time to paint and exhibit fine art watercolors. He was also an influential art instructor in Southern California.

Biographical information:

Interview with Jake Lee, 1984.

Biography courtesy of California Watercolors 1850-1970,

©2002 Hillcrest Press, Inc.

California Watercolor