Moon Dreams

April 29th, 2016

Here is “Moon Dreams.”

Moon Dreams. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Moon Dreams. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

This solitary person is gazing out at the gigantic full moon as it rises into the starry sky. He sits on top of one of the huge roots of the tree which rises up out of the ground.

Detail: Moon Dreams. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Detail: Moon Dreams. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

I love the whimsical shape of this tree. It looks like many graceful fingers all reaching towards the stars!

Detail: Moon Dreams. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Detail: Moon Dreams. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

The giant tree stands at the top of a hill, so the land drops away down below the person as he looks out into the open space of the clear blue night sky.

Detail: Moon Dreams. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Detail: Moon Dreams. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Moon Dreams. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Moon Dreams. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

This painting will be available for the first time ever in my Spring Sale, May 15-30. I will be adding new works to the sale right up until the last moment, but here is a partial list of what I’ll have available: Partial Art Inventory, Spring Sale

Mother’s Day is coming up! Give your mom a budget and tell her to go choose her favorite on May 15! I can ship directly to her.

A Closer Look

April 27th, 2016

Here’s a quick departure from my recent Tree of Life and cosmic themes–my newest painting in my Lotus series!

This painting is called “A Closer Look” because to me, it gives the feeling of really slowing down to examine this lotus flower, half-bloomed on a backdrop of glossy green leaves. The image is sort of zoomed-in, the flower larger than life.

A Closer Look. 24" x 30", Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

A Closer Look. 24″ x 30″, Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

When we take the time to look up close at beautiful things like this, we access another layer of wonder–the beauty in the details–that we might not notice just in passing. The title has an alternate meaning to me as well, because of the spiritual symbolism of the lotus flower. The lotus is associated with transcending beyond the physical, reaching for something beyond the daily distractions and attachments we all deal with.

Close-up detail: A Closer Look. 24" x 30", Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: A Closer Look. 24″ x 30″, Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

In the act of meditation, or even just slowing down to take a few deep breaths, we are taking a closer look inside ourselves, taking stock of what’s going on in the mind and the body.

Close-up detail: A Closer Look. 24" x 30", Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: A Closer Look. 24″ x 30″, Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

This painting to me is about reflection, examination, slowing down, appreciating. I quite think it’s a good image to gaze upon while taking a time out to breathe deeply and relax.

Close-up detail: A Closer Look. 24" x 30", Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: A Closer Look. 24″ x 30″, Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Splashy and colorful, it’s also about love and happiness!
The oil paint is mixed with cold wax medium and was painted with a palette knife. I can’t tell you how beautiful the texture of this piece is in person!

Close-up detail: A Closer Look. 24" x 30", Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: A Closer Look. 24″ x 30″, Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

The painting makes a huge impact on the wall.

A Closer Look. 24" x 30", Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

A Closer Look. 24″ x 30″, Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

It’s of a good scale to be the focal point of a beautiful room.

Artist Cedar Lee with painting: A Closer Look. 24" x 30", Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Artist Cedar Lee with painting: A Closer Look. 24″ x 30″, Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Sea Sky

April 25th, 2016

This painting, Sea Sky, is another merging of my Tree of Life imagery with an image from my trip to Belize.

Sea Sky. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Sea Sky. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Here is the sky that inspired this painting:

Belize sunset. Photo by Cedar Lee

Belize sunset. Photo by Cedar Lee

I took this photo with my cell phone, while standing in the water! This was the sun setting on a perfect day in paradise. My friends and I had traveled to a relatively secluded spot called Secret Beach, at the northern tip of Ambergris Caye, where the water was perfect for swimming–shallow enough to walk very far out from the shore. In the full sun of daytime, the water is clear blue all the way to the white sand of the ocean floor.

So for the painting, I used my photo to capture the basic shapes of those incredible cloud formations, with the sun low against the horizon.

Detail: Sea Sky. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Detail: Sea Sky. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

From that point on, imagination took over. The Tree of Life in the foreground is similar in shape and color to the Tree of Life in my last painting, Release. It’s obviously fantasy, as a tree like this would never exist right near the ocean like this.

But what a place! I would love to be here under this tree, feeling the salt on my skin and listening to the gentle waves.

Detail: Sea Sky. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Detail: Sea Sky. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

The painting wrapping around onto the edges of the canvas gives an additional three-dimensional look to the scene.

Sea Sky. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Sea Sky. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Only 3 weeks until my Spring Sale opens to the public! I’ll be working in the studio every day until then, hoping to add as many new pieces as possible to the sale–but for those curious, click here for a list of what I will have, so far.

Release

April 22nd, 2016

This oil painting is called “Release.”

Release

Release. 12″ x 16″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

The starting inspiration for this painting was this photo from my trip to Belize back in February:

Cedar Lee in Belize

Cedar Lee in Belize

My friend snapped this lucky photo of me just after we arrived on Ambergris Caye. Overcome with joy at having arrived in Belize after 22 hours of travel, I struck this impulsive pose, my hands thrown up and back, my body forming a bow, just as the pelican happened to fly directly over my head! It turned out looking like I’d just flung the bird up out of my arms into the air!

When I created the painting, I actually printed out the photo of me and the pelican, experimenting with different sized printouts until I found the size I liked, then cut out the shapes and traced them onto the canvas to get my silhouettes. I used artistic license to enlarge the bird quite drastically in relation to my body.

Release detail1

Detail: Release. 12″ x 16″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

The title, Release, came to me easily. I love how it literally references the release of the giant bird into the sky, but also the release of pent-up stress that I experienced on my brief escape to the tropics.

The setting of the painting is entirely from my imagination. The blue-green sea from my photo is still there, but everything else is different. Instead of standing on the end of a wooden dock, I’m standing on the tip of this dramatic rock formation, high up in the air overlooking the sea below.

I am standing at the foot of the Tree of Life. For me, I first see the woman, then the bird, then my eye continues up into the branches of the tree and around in a clockwise circle, finally down to the roots of the tree and back around to the rocks beneath her feet. It’s like she’s releasing the bird into the circular flow of the tree.

Release detail2

Release. 12″ x 16″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

The color scheme–tangerine, turquoise, crimson, violet–feels tropical and sunny to me. I loved Belize and would like to go back in the future.

This painting is one of at least 54 paintings that will be available in my Spring Sale May 15-30!
Here is a list of available artwork so far (not a complete list, as I have many works in progress in the studio yet to be added, and will be working right up until the day of!)

You won’t want to miss it! Make a note in your calendar to go check it out on May 15th!

Blackbirds and Blossoms

April 18th, 2016

This is a perfect painting to share with you today–where I am, it is blazing hot and sunny, our first glimpse of what I predict to be a hot summer.

I can feel the sun’s warmth baking the red-orange clay of this hilltop in the sky.

Blackbirds and Blossoms. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Blackbirds and Blossoms. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

The tree, decked out in scarlet blooms, is lit up by the sun so it glows in shades of creamy pink and bright golden yellow.

Close-up detail: Blackbirds and Blossoms. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Blackbirds and Blossoms. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Behind the tree, the blackbirds are circling gracefully through the air. I see the birds as mysterious visitors who show up unexpectedly, then fly in this beautiful formation right before our eyes.

Close-up detail: Blackbirds and Blossoms. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Blackbirds and Blossoms. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

In this painting I feel the heat of the sun, the promise of the blooming flowers, and the delight at watching these birds streaking through the cloudless sky in big circles.

Blackbirds and Blossoms. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Blackbirds and Blossoms. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Blackbirds and Blossoms. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Blackbirds and Blossoms. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Night Thinker

April 15th, 2016

Here is “Night Thinker,” a painting I created after sudden inspiration, which is leading me in an exciting new direction!

I am hesitant to call it a new series thus far, but I do have several new paintings in progress that feature people sitting or standing at the base of a Tree of Life, silhouetted dramatically by a giant rising full moon. I’m really loving the new images I am creating, so I’m going to keep painting and see where it takes me!

Night Thinker. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Night Thinker. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

The painting is called “Night Thinker” because the human form here is based on the pose of Rodin’s sculpture The Thinker. My Thinker is a little different, but the pose is close enough that it’s reminiscent of the sculpture. It seemed the perfect position for this person to be in, and gives the impression of deep contemplation that I wanted. You can just feel him lost completely in his thoughts.

Who wouldn’t feel contemplative, given the chance to be present in this setting? I’ve seen the beautiful full moon rising many times before–my very favorite way to see the moon is when it’s just risen over the horizon, and the moon illusion makes it look larger than life. That effect is even more exaggerated here, and in my other recent paintings featuring a gigantic moon.

When I see the moon like this, I can’t tear my eyes away and as I involuntarily start breathing deeper as I’m hit with the wonder of it, my thoughts go to a perspective more outside of myself, at the reminder that billions of other people are also living under the same moon at that very  moment.

Close-up detail: Night Thinker. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Night Thinker. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Aside from the glorious vision of the moon in the blue starry sky, the man is also perched atop a root at the base of the giant tree, which rises up high out of the ground, so he would have had to climb up onto it, after hiking up to the tree over the rocky terrain you can see in the foreground.

The tree itself is strange and unique–it has an upside-down sort of a shape and the branches look kind of like roots, plugging upwards into the sky.

Close-up detail: Night Thinker. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Night Thinker. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

All of this imagery works together to create a strikingly beautiful scene, which I hope most of us can put ourselves into when we look at it. Would you like to be this Night Thinker for a bit? I would!

Night Thinker. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Night Thinker. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

This painting will be available for sale for the first time ever during my Spring Sale May 15-30. Mark your calendar if you haven’t yet. It is exactly one month away now!

The sale will go live at this URL on May 15: http://www.artbycedar.com/spring-sale/  You can read the terms of the sale there now until the end of April, when the page will go under construction as I add info about all of the available artworks with PayPal buttons to purchase.

If you’re interested in owning one of my original paintings, the Spring Sale is something you’ll want to check out. New buyers of my artwork will be added to my Art By Cedar VIPs, a select group of people to get future special offers not available to anyone else. Make your home and your life a little more beautiful by surrounding yourself with art!

More news to come.

Moonlit Flight

April 11th, 2016

This painting is called “Moonlit Flight.” Everything about it is shimmery, silvery, glowing.

A gigantic full moon in a bright starry sky rises behind the Tree of Life.

Moonlit Flight. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Moonlit Flight. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

In the distance, two flying birds are dramatically silhouetted by the full moon, E.T. style. The title, Moonlit Flight, references this pair on their journey through the shimmery moonlit sky.

Close-up detail: Moonlit Flight. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Moonlit Flight. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

The tree’s roots grow down deep into the rocky blue slate hilltop it stands upon. The tree is burnt orange, shot through with magenta and violet, and crowned with inky purple-black foliage. These colors complement the rest of the palette–light blue and gray with hints of sage green and turquoise.

Close-up detail: Moonlit Flight. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Moonlit Flight. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

To me, the composition of the image is elegant. The scene is captivating and mysterious!

Moonlit Flight. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Moonlit Flight. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

This painting won’t be available for purchase until my Spring Sale, May 15-30. It is one of many new paintings I’ve created in this size, 16″ x 12″, that will be priced at $290 each with free shipping and extended no-interest payment plans available. Not all of the new paintings are photographed yet. I’m so excited to share them all with you over the next few weeks. After completing so many in this one size over the past several months, I have a few larger pieces coming up soon as well.

The studio is a sight to behold right now, packed with colorful artwork filling every wall, in various stages of drying on racks, and leaning on every available surface. Lots of work ahead in the coming weeks, as I get all the new pieces finished up, photographed, varnished, cataloged into my inventory, and posted on the website.

Stay tuned for more news about the upcoming sale!

Perched in Moonlight

April 9th, 2016

Here is another variation on the same theme as my last painting, Night Birds.

“Perched in Moonlight.”

The moon in this one is full and bright, its light washing over the whole scene. Delicate tendrils of mist are formed in a circle behind the tree, similar to my painting, Misty Night. The stars are thin splatters of light against the deep blue sky, an effect that looks cool juxtaposed against the thick textured paint of the tree trunk. It makes the atmosphere look thin and airy in comparison to the solid ground and tree.

Perched in Moonlight. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Perched in Moonlight. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

The birds are dark silhouettes. I can picture their little heads turning from left to right.

Close-up detail: Perched in Moonlight. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Perched in Moonlight. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

The tree glows golden in the moonlight.

Close-up detail: Perched in Moonlight. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Perched in Moonlight. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

This painting seems to emanate a light of its own.

Perched in Moonlight. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Perched in Moonlight. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Night Birds

April 1st, 2016

This is the nocturnal version of my last painting, Morning Birds.

Here, the tree is bathed in silvery moonlight. The sky is deep blue and the ground is red clay.

Night Birds. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Night Birds. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

The birds are perched in the chill of a clear starry sky, under a rising crescent moon.

Close-up detail: Night Birds. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Night Birds. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

The paint on the tree trunk is textured into knots and gnarls, raised up from the canvas in contrast to the flat paint of the sky.

Close-up detail: Night Birds. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Night Birds. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

A magical nighttime scene to behold!

Night Birds. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Night Birds. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

This one will be available for the first time, along with many others, during my Spring Sale May 15-30!

Morning Birds

March 29th, 2016

Good morning! Spring is truly here now, and my Spring Sale is fast approaching.

This new painting is called “Morning Birds.”

Morning Birds. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Morning Birds. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

The warmth of the sun fills the whole sky. I can feel the sunlight gently washing over the branches of the tree. Tendrils of color are rising upwards in the background–dew evaporating into trails of mist? The atmosphere is yellow, pink, happy.

The little birds perched in the tree, silhouetted by the sunshine, to me look so contented and busy. I can imagine their beaks turning from side to side as they look around at the new day, twittering to each other.

Close-up detail: Morning Birds. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Morning Birds. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

The warm tones in the sky and tree are balanced by the blue ground–deep indigo stones set into turquoise. The ground to me looks cold, fresh, mossy, soaked through by a night’s rain.

Close-up detail: Morning Birds. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Morning Birds. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

This feels like the perfect painting to welcome the re-birth of spring. The equinox and Easter having just passed, and with our first warm and sunny week upon us here in Oregon since winter broke, I am feeling the full swing of it! It is time to start planting the garden.

Morning Birds. 16" x 12", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Morning Birds. 16″ x 12″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

I painted all of this from my imagination, but it seems my eyes are constantly seeking the real thing everywhere I go. Here’s a shot I took on a trail near Breitenbush Hot Springs over the weekend. Notice the little bird perched in the tree, looking out at the morning sunshine.

BreitenbushBird

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