Two Reasons to Visit the Museum of the Living Artist

August 11th, 2014

One–I’ll have work on display there for the next month!

My painting “Summer Afternoon” was selected for inclusion in this month’s juried show at San Diego Art Institute’s Museum of the Living Artist.

And Two–This museum is a cultural hot spot you’ll want to check out if you haven’t been yet. From their website: It promotes San Diego as a living arts community that fully integrates visual arts into everyday life…featuring more than 3,000 works of painting, sculpture, prints, drawings, and mixed media per year, in addition to running arts education programs.

This painting is one of my newest images, inspired by hours of hiking in Sequoia National Park’s majestic forests:

Summer Afternoon. 30" x 24", Oil on Wood, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Summer Afternoon. 30″ x 24″, Oil on Wood, © 2014 Cedar Lee

The opening for this upcoming show is on Friday, August 22nd, from 6pm-8pm at 1439 El Prado in Balboa Park, San Diego. I plan to be there! 

The exhibition closes on September 21st. They received just over 300 entries, and 55 pieces (about 18%) were selected. The juror was Dave Kesting, founder of Fountain Art Fair and director of Leo Kesting Gallery and Kesting/Ray Gallery.

If you’re local to San Diego, I’d love to see you at the opening on August 22!

California Show at Art Tradition Gallery

August 9th, 2014

The art opening last night at Art Tradition Gallery in Escondido was a fun one! The theme of this season’s show is “California: Coast to Desert,” so my recent paintings of redwood trees fit in perfectly. You can see my 2 large forest pieces displayed among the other artwork here:

Artwork by Cedar Lee at Art Tradition Gallery, August 2014

Artwork by Cedar Lee at Art Tradition Gallery, August 2014

During this month’s Art Walk, there was also a “Pinup” theme. All the ladies were encouraged to dress up as pinup models, so I thought, “Why not?” Here’s me in a Bettie Page inspired dress borrowed from a fashionista friend of mine:

 

Artist Cedar Lee dressed in pinup attire

Artist Cedar Lee dressed in pinup attire

 

Me with the other artists currently exhibiting at Art Tradition Gallery. Left to right: Cedar Lee, Bradley Kaskin, Alexandra “Sasha” Babic, Darrel McPherson, and Kotinca “Kat” Kerbs.

Escondido, CA Artists: Cedar Lee, Bradley Kaskin, Alexandra "Sasha" Babic, Darrel McPherson, Kotinca "Kat" Kerbs

Escondido, CA Artists: Cedar Lee, Bradley Kaskin, Alexandra “Sasha” Babic, Darrel McPherson, Kotinca “Kat” Kerbs

 

Escondido’s Cruisin’ Grand took place during the Art Walk, in which classic car aficionados bring their beautiful restored cars to show off all up and down Grand Ave.

Cruisin' Grand Escondido, August 2014

Cruisin’ Grand Escondido, August 2014

 

And–clearly the silliest part of the evening–I took part in this lineup of ladies in their glamorous pinup attire out in front of Distinction Gallery. (I’m the one in black. To the left of me is my friend Elena: black and white polka dots, and to the right, my friend and fellow painter Kotinca: pink ruffles.) Fun!

Artist Cedar Lee with pinup models during Escondido's Cruisin' Grand, August 2014

Artist Cedar Lee with pinup models during Escondido’s Cruisin’ Grand, August 2014

Artist Cedar Lee with pinup models during Escondido's Cruisin' Grand, August 2014

Artist Cedar Lee with pinup models during Escondido’s Cruisin’ Grand, August 2014

 

Kids Summer Art Lessons, In Review

August 9th, 2014

The art lessons I’ve been teaching to children ages 4-11  for the past 5 weeks have come to a close.

The theme of the course was “Learning From the Masters,” and each lesson I led the class in creating their own version of a painting from art history. It was a fun experience for me to get to delve into some master paintings myself while using these images to teach art principles that the children will be able to build on in the future.

Lesson 1 was Poplars on the Banks of the River Epte by Claude Monet:

Poplars on the Banks of the River Epte Claude Monet

Poplars on the Banks of the River Epte by Claude Monet

Here are the finished results from the class. You can see I gave the students paper taped to a piece of cardboard with masking tape. This way, when I peeled away the masking tape their painting was given crisp edges framed by a border of unpainted white paper.

Artwork by Cedar Lee's art students

I had my own 4-year-old son (who was too young to participate in the class) help me work out the kinks in my lesson plans. Here is his version:

monet2

Next was Georgia O’Keefe.

Blue Morning Glories Georgia O'Keeffe

Blue Morning Glories by Georgia O’Keeffe

 

Some of the students’ finished work (beautiful, no?!):

Artwork by Cedar Lee's art students

Artwork by Cedar Lee's art students

 

And my 4-year-old’s version:

Artwork by Cedar Lee's art students

 

Then the iconic Starry Night:

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

Artwork by Cedar Lee's art students

Artwork by Cedar Lee's art students

 

 

My son’s version:

Artwork by Cedar Lee's art students

 

Then Tree of Life by Gustav Klimt:

Tree of Life by Gustav Klimt

Tree of Life by Gustav Klimt

Artwork by Cedar Lee's students

Artwork by Cedar Lee's students

Artwork by Cedar Lee's students

Artwork by Cedar Lee's students

Artwork by Cedar Lee's students

Artwork by Cedar Lee's students

Artwork by Cedar Lee's students

 

 

And finally, Paul Klee’s Cat and Bird:

Cat and Bird by Paul Klee

Cat and Bird by Paul Klee

By this point in the class, I could see their skills had improved. This class was probably my favorite in respect to the awesome results I saw from them!

Artwork by Cedar Lee's students

Artwork by Cedar Lee's students

Artwork by Cedar Lee's students

Artwork by Cedar Lee's students

Artwork by Cedar Lee's students

Artwork by Cedar Lee's students

Artwork by Cedar Lee's students

Artwork by Cedar Lee's students

Artwork by Cedar Lee's students

Three Giants From Sequoia National Forest

August 9th, 2014

This painting is called “Three Giants,” and is a continuation of my exploration of imagery I picked up in Sequoia National Forest. I aim to show not just a realistic representation of these trees, but also to infuse them with a mood–that thrumming vibration of life and growth that makes you feel a little thrill at being a part of this world.

I created dramatic lighting with highlights and shadows. The spiraling trunks and the way the branches curve and cross over each other create visual movement. I’ve chosen to keep the center space clear of messy branches, to allow the eye to zoom all the way to the tops of the tree trunks up in the sky.

Three Giants. 30" x 24", Oil on Wood, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Three Giants. 30″ x 24″, Oil on Wood, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Here is the reference photo that was the starting point for the painting. As you can see, I edited the trees a bit to make them more visually exciting, and I used a lot of artistic license to make the image stylistically my own, through executive choices about color, form, and mark-making.

Reference photo for Three Giants. 30" x 24", Oil on Wood, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Reference photo for Three Giants. 30″ x 24″, Oil on Wood, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Creating these paintings is so exciting to me as I find ways to make a hybridized image: realism combined with unfettered artistic expression.

How to Attach a Hanging Wire to a Painting

July 22nd, 2014

Every painter needs to be proficient at attaching hanging wires!

This is a simple task that I’ve done hundreds of times and is very easy to do–if you have the right tools and hardware, and you know how to do it properly. Here are a couple of instructional videos to remove the guesswork for anyone who’d like to learn how.

Be sure to watch both Part 1 and Part 2.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Sequoias in the Sun

July 21st, 2014

In this painting, Sequoias in the Sun, I chose a palette of turquoise, green, gold, earthy red and deep purple.

The air of the forest is soft and misty in the bright light from above.

Sequoias in the Sun. 30" x 24", Oil on Wood, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Sequoias in the Sun. 30″ x 24″, Oil on Wood, © 2014 Cedar Lee

My favorite part of this painting is the rays of the sun bursting from behind the top of the giant tree. You can see every color of the rainbow in this small area!

Detail from: Sequoias in the Sun. 30" x 24", Oil on Wood, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Detail from: Sequoias in the Sun. 30″ x 24″, Oil on Wood, © 2014 Cedar Lee

I also love the movement in the tree branches that makes it look like the trees are dancing, or blowing in a breeze.

Detail from: Sequoias in the Sun. 30" x 24", Oil on Wood, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Detail from: Sequoias in the Sun. 30″ x 24″, Oil on Wood, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Summer and Winter

July 21st, 2014

Here are 4 studies, 2 of summer trees, and 2 of winter trees.

They come matted in white double mats to 14″ x 11″–Below each image you can see what they look like. An additional frame can then be chosen as you wish.

Study of Clear Summer Sky. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Clear Summer Sky. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Clear Summer Sky. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Clear Summer Sky. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Summer Glow. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Summer Glow. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Summer Glow. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Summer Glow. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Winter Branches. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Winter Branches. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Winter Branches. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Winter Branches. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Winter Crow. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Winter Crow. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Winter Crow. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Winter Crow. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

These are the last of the small studies I’ve done over the past couple of months, and now I’m back to larger-scale works, for a bit.

Summer Afternoon & Bathed in Sunlight

July 10th, 2014

“Summer Afternoon” shows a thick forest lit by glowing sunlight, the sun low in the sky. This painting was made using the same reference photo, which I took in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, that I used for my earlier painting Peaceful Forest. The mood in this one is totally different though–I can feel the warmth of the sunshine.

Summer Afternoon. 30" x 24", Oil on Wood, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Summer Afternoon. 30″ x 24″, Oil on Wood, © 2014 Cedar Lee

And here is “Bathed in Sunlight.” It seems to me like the trees are dancing! This is because of the movement I’ve created with the composition, the angles of the trees and curves of the branches which look like dancers’ limbs, and also because of the highly saturated colors, which gives a feeling of vibration. The thick green foliage fills the picture, from the background to the foreground, showing the forest as healthy, thriving, and full of life.

Bathed in Sunlight. 30" x 24", Oil on Wood, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Bathed in Sunlight. 30″ x 24″, Oil on Wood, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Notice the pops of bright turquoise color showing up throughout both these paintings. I’ve been incorporating this color, which is called Cobalt Teal, into my newest work because it delights me so much!

6 New Lotus Paintings!

June 23rd, 2014

Here are six new little paintings I’ve added to my Lotus series. I worked on all six of them at once, and although each is unique, the resulting color and mood is consistent between them all.

Six Lotus paintings by Cedar Lee created in spring 2014, 10" x 8" oils on birch wood panels.

Six Lotus paintings by Cedar Lee created in spring 2014, 10″ x 8″ oils on birch wood panels.

These ended up taking much longer than I expected to complete, because I kept getting lost in the details!

Six Lotus paintings by Cedar Lee created in spring 2014, 10" x 8" oils on birch wood panels.

Six Lotus paintings by Cedar Lee created in spring 2014, 10″ x 8″ oils on birch wood panels.

The thing that defines this group of paintings for me the most is that powerful, bold red!

They can be displayed as a set or individually. Here they are, in no particular order:

Beautiful Lotus. 10″ x 8″, Oil on Wood, © Cedar Lee 2014

Beautiful Lotus. 10″ x 8″, Oil on Wood, © Cedar Lee 2014

Lotus and Bright Dragonfly. 10″ x 8″, Oil on Wood, © Cedar Lee 2014

Lotus and Bright Dragonfly. 10″ x 8″, Oil on Wood, © Cedar Lee 2014

Lotus and Frog. 10″ x 8″, Oil on Wood, © Cedar Lee 2014

Lotus and Frog. 10″ x 8″, Oil on Wood, © Cedar Lee 2014

Lotus and Resting Dragonfly. 10″ x 8″, Oil on Wood, © Cedar Lee 2014

Lotus and Resting Dragonfly. 10″ x 8″, Oil on Wood, © Cedar Lee 2014

Lotus Cluster. 10″ x 8″, Oil on Wood, © Cedar Lee 2014

Lotus Cluster. 10″ x 8″, Oil on Wood, © Cedar Lee 2014

Stately Lotus. 10″ x 8″, Oil on Wood, © Cedar Lee 2014

Stately Lotus. 10″ x 8″, Oil on Wood, © Cedar Lee 2014

8 New Cherry Blossom Studies

June 18th, 2014

By popular demand:

Here is a continuation of my exploration of the cherry blossom theme–8 studies that are striking and colorful. I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to use any of these studies as the basis for larger paintings, but each is a small work of art in its own right!

These are inspired by this big old cherry tree I used to have in my back yard in Maryland. It was glorious every spring, and I spent many hours sitting in its shade on a carpet of pink blossoms.

Cedar Lee's cherry tree

Cedar Lee’s cherry tree

The little paintings:

Study of Blossoms Raining Down. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Blossoms Raining Down. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Cherry Blossom Canopy. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Cherry Blossom Canopy. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

 

Study of Cherry Branches. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Cherry Branches. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Clear Spring Sky. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Clear Spring Sky. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Light Bursting Through. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Light Bursting Through. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Spring's Glory. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Spring’s Glory. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Sunburst and Blossoms. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Sunburst and Blossoms. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

 

Study of Sun-Kissed Orchard. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Sun-Kissed Orchard. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

They are all matted in white, like this:

Study of Sun-Kissed Orchard. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Study of Sun-Kissed Orchard. 10” x 8” (14” x 11” matted), Acrylic on Paper, © 2014 Cedar Lee

The white is versatile, so they can be framed to fit in with any decor. All of these paintings will be available in my Summer Sale which starts this Saturday morning, June 21st! These studies will be on sale for only $100, *and* I will be paying the cost of both sales tax and shipping during the sale, which goes for one month. I’m excited to be offering great deals on original art for people’s homes! It’s my way of giving back to all those who have supported my work in ways big and small. Can’t wait for it to begin!

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