McGee is a native of Beersheba Springs, on the Cumberland plateau in southeast Tennessee. Having taught biology for eighteen years, his academic background is in the sciences. Now he is bringing elements of ecology, botany, and zoology into his works of art on copper.


Beginning with sheets of copper, plant materials and botanicals that he has collected, McGee applies a series of washes over the copper; which allows the materials to etch and patina with time. The markings left behind vary by combination of color with the different chemical compositions reacting with the copper, some of them red, yellow, blue, green. 

The process can take place during an entire season or year, all the while taking away and adding to the surfaces.

“As the process goes, it is empowering and brings me into the natural world. Each time, there are elements of surprise the way the patinas take to the metal. There are so many variables.”          

– G. Sanford McGee