Mothes loves the ocean, and has been fascinated by beaches, waves, and the ocean’s energy as far back as he can remember. He grew up on the California coast, spent most of his childhood on the beach, and began drawing while still in grade school. Lee studied art for several years, achieving a BS degree in Art at Western Oregon University in 1980. He has also operated a printing shop, co-owned a hot springs resort, and spent several years as a freelance carpenter.
After moving to Wisconsin in 1986 (best place to raise kids), the irony of being away from the ocean compelled him to spend a lot more time painting it. He has found that he can ‘be there’ by painting and drawing imaginary places inspired by his growing up along the California coast.
Mothes has been a full-time artist since 1990.
His studio is located at 127 West Wisconsin Ave. in Kaukauna, upstairs in the KC&T Coffee Shop building. Feel free to visit during coffee shop hours.