A place that has a magical way of fading into and out of existence

Lee Mothes, New Island, Extraordinary

by Gary John Gresl

Disclaimer: I am known to some as Soltaire, The Assembler, and I have personal interest in New Island and its primary architect, Paul Faramond, AKA Lee Mothes…an artist residing in both Kaukauna, WI and in an alternative invented world. My involvement is as landowner in the “Commonwealth of New Island” wherein I possess a home. You can see this home on page 170 of the newly published book titled “Lee Mothes, An Artist’s Journey to Nevermore…Art, Waves, Beaches and Wandering”.
Lee came to my attention years ago when I chanced upon some paintings of his and a story which intrigued me. I drove to Kaukauna and the “Land Office for the Commonwealth of New Island”. There I met Lee in his second floor studio, above the KC&T coffee shop operated by his daughter. On the walls of his studio were maps, drawings, finished paintings and prints all revealing facts, scenes and fascinations about the Commonwealth of New Island.
Lee was constructing an alternative bit of Earth in the Indian Sea, southwest of Australia. He had been building a huge imaginary island with a rich history of discovery and slow growth, with tribes and towns, currency, stamps, transportation facilities, mountains, rivers, beaches and extraordinarily gorgeous land and seascapes. I wanted to own a residence in the new land where I could escape the real world of Wisconsin winters and my day to day mundaneness. I then purchased a package of information from the Land Office and soon thereafter paid Paul Faramond/Lee Mothes to create my earth bound home overlooking Otter Bay with its breathtaking views…my gossamer escape.
Now Lee has completed an illustrated book providing us with his personal history that led to New Island, from his evolution through boyhood along the Oceanside in California to his eventual settlement in Wisconsin. His personal adventures are told in text and through a wealth of paintings, drawings and prints which he created along the way. The book concludes with images of the fantastic and beautiful scenes on New Island…a place that has a magical way of fading into and out of existence.
The fact the Lee Mothes chose to settle in Wisconsin has proven to be a boon to those of us who appreciate a unique and talented artist, and one with the ability to offer us a magical form of mental transportation. Response to the book is such that Lee is already looking to a second printing.
Lee’s book can be found at: Coventry Glass Works in Appleton, bought directly from Lee at his studio, 425 Dixon St., Kaukauna, WI 54130, or online at www.OceansAndDreams.com.

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