Popo and Ruby Lee

Japanese/American (1948)

About the artist:

Popo and Ruby Lee are artist-legends on the Central Coast. They met and married during the heyday of counterculture in San Francisco, but worked and lived in Ojai for five years. Both had worked as solo artists before they met, but one day on North Beach, in 1972, a handsome, dark-eyed man said to the pretty, petite Ruby Lee, “Let’s do a painting together!,” and the rest is history. A website dedicated to Ruby Lee, says that neither artist was in the habit of signing canvases, until one day in Ojai when the vice president of Disney Productions negotiated for one of their jointly painted canvases, clinching the deal by asking for a signature. So Ruby signed both “Popo and Ruby Lee,” and, as stated on the site mentioned above, “a Myth was born.” Many artists, Ruby Lee among them, paint in a series informed by their philosophy or worldview at a specific era of their lives. Therefore, a group of works may have a common theme or mood, indicated by similar scale, subjects, palettes and titles. Ruby Lee, in the early to mid-1970s, had a series called “Morning Prayer,” which includes this portrait. Ruby Lee’s life indeed included the study of yoga and tai chi. In fact, when she arrived from London to New York City in 1969, after a bohemian trek across Europe, she headed for Northern California, where she had heard about the flower children and the beliefs of American Indians. So it was natural that the prayer-like reverence we see in S.F.’s portrait became a theme of morning and nature’s inevitable cycles. She is quoted as saying: “Art is an alchemical processing of Life! My work is a visual-emotional record of a journey into the human spirit and its archetypes.” Individual paintings within a beloved series are more valuable than standalone imagery by an artist, as collectors often buy a certain genre. Those who collect Popo and Ruby Lee together or those who admire the “Morning Prayer” series would pay more.

Popo and Ruby Lee

Japanese/American (1948)

(5 works)

About the artist:

Popo and Ruby Lee are artist-legends on the Central Coast. They met and married during the heyday of counterculture in San Francisco, but worked and lived in Ojai for five years. Both had worked as solo artists before they met, but one day on North

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