My Mountain Wildflower Landscape Phase

February 19th, 2018

In 2007, one of my biggest inspirations was the beautiful views in the countryside and national parks in Maryland and Virginia.

That year, I created all of these raucously colorful mountain landscapes. Some of them were based directly on photos I took on road trips, but I used a bit of creative license in all of them, having fun creating images out of vibrant colors and patterns of brushstrokes.

autumnal outlook

Autumnal Outlook. Acrylic on Canvas, 20″ x 20″, © 2007 Cedar Lee


Blossoming Hills. Acrylic on Canvas, 16″ x 20″, © 2007 Cedar Lee

crimson wildflowers

Crimson Wildflowers. Acrylic on Canvas, 16″ x 20″, © 2007 Cedar Lee


High Elevation. Acrylic on Canvas, 16″ x 20″, © 2007 Cedar Lee


Virginia Wildflowers. Acrylic on Canvas, 18″ x 36″, © 2007 Cedar Lee

Shenandoah Splendor & Distant Lake

February 5th, 2018

I made these two paintings, inspired by Shenandoah National Park, a decade ago.

shenandoah splendor

Shenandoah Splendor. Acrylic on Canvas, 28″ x 46″, © 2007 Cedar Lee

Back when I lived on the East Coast, my husband and I spent time there every summer with our dog. We had a few favorite hiking trails.

distant lake

Distant Lake. Acrylic on Canvas, 28″ x 46″, © 2007 Cedar Lee

The endless rolling hills of this mountain range appear in beautiful hues from green to blue-violet.


Paintings of the Caribbean Sea

January 22nd, 2018

In 2003, I visited St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands and took a lot of pictures of the island and the sun reflecting off the water at sunset. In 2007, I created this small series of seascapes inspired by those photos. This goes to show how traveling to new places can be of immense value to an artist’s work, even years later.

If it is cold where you are right now, I hope these paintings momentarily transport you into a moment of paradise: A gentle, warm breeze, salt in the air, the sound of water lapping against the hull of a boat, and sunshine on your face.

departing saint thomas

Departing Saint Thomas. Acrylic on Canvas, 24″ x 36″, © 2007 Cedar Lee

glowing water

Glowing Water. Acrylic on Canvas, 24″ x 36″, © 2007 Cedar Lee

sailboats at sunset

Sailboats at Sunset. Acrylic on Canvas, 18″ x 36″, © 2007 Cedar Lee

sundown on the shore of saint thomas

Sundown on the Shore of Saint Thomas. Acrylic on Canvas, 24″ x 36″, © 2007 Cedar Lee

Being near the ocean makes me feel more alive! I try to get a dose of warm ocean every year, or at least as often as I can.

July’s Abundance

January 8th, 2018

Sunflowers have held a special place in my heart my whole life. Growing up, my mom always grew them in her garden. As an adult, every year that I have had a garden of my own, I’ve made a point to do the same.

In the past, I’ve created whole series of paintings with a sunflower theme. My “Sunflower” series came about when I discovered how many varieties of sunflowers there are, and how unique some of them look. My “Sunflower Heart” series was based on my fascination with the hypnotic pattern of the seeds in the center of a sunflower.  You can see them all on this page. (Scroll down past the lotuses.)

July’s Abundance. Acrylic on Canvas, 30″ x 20″, © 2007 Cedar Lee

I painted this photo-realistic image from a snapshot of sunflowers in the front garden of the little house I lived in for 10 years in Baltimore, MD. The little bit of the house that’s visible in the background here fills me with nostalgia. Notice the two bees on the flower!

To me, sunflowers symbolize abundance–good times, beautiful harvests, long days of sunshine, the active lifestyle of summertime. Last year, I got my first ever tattoo, of a sunflower and a bee on my shoulder.

From the Art By Cedar Archives: Delicious Warmth

December 18th, 2017

Here’s a perfect painting from my past to share with you as we near the Winter Solstice! It captures the feeling of warming your hands on a hot cup of tea on a chilly day.

Delicious Warmth . 20" x 16", Acrylic on Canvas , © 2006Cedar Lee

Delicious Warmth . 20″ x 16″, Acrylic on Canvas , © 2006 Cedar Lee

Wishing peace and coziness for all this winter.

From the Art By Cedar Archives: Into the Winter Sun

December 4th, 2017

I used to take walks in these woods bordering a little park near my home in Baltimore, rain or shine. This painting was inspired by one of those walks.

Into the Winter Sun. 45" x 30", Acrylic on Canvas, © 2006 Cedar Lee

Into the Winter Sun. 45″ x 30″, Acrylic on Canvas, © 2006 Cedar Lee

I love how the whole painting is in warm tones, but it still gives a feeling of cold. It’s the bare branches of the trees, and that faint little sun, so low in the sky even though it’s probably 4pm. The brilliant sunset hues are mixed with frosty white in the atmosphere.

From the Art By Cedar Archives: Radiant Sky

November 20th, 2017

I love the sky in this painting: pure, clear light shining down from above, a hint of crepuscular rays coming down from behind the bright clouds.

Radiant Sky. 42" x 36", Acrylic on Canvas, © 2006 Cedar Lee

Radiant Sky. 42″ x 36″, Acrylic on Canvas, © 2006 Cedar Lee

While the original is long-sold, you can get a print of this painting from my selection on Fine Art America!

From the Art By Cedar Archives: Fall Jubilation

November 6th, 2017

This painting from 2006, inspired by a huge tree I used to walk by every day, outside the arts building on the campus of Goucher College, is called “Fall Jubilation.”

Fall Jubilation. 49" x 34", Acrylic on Canvas, © 2006 Cedar Lee

Fall Jubilation. 49″ x 34″, Acrylic on Canvas, © 2006 Cedar Lee

I added the little robin sitting on the branch on a whim. He’s looking out at the viewer quizzically, sharing a gorgeous moment with us all.

Here’s a video of me being interviewed that year, (hello, younger me!) where I talk about how I started with my photo of a green summer tree, and used Photoshop to turn the colors autumnal.

From the Art By Cedar Archives: Upward Momentum

October 30th, 2017

This painting was an exercise in one-point perspective, a theme that so thoroughly captured my interest when I began to paint forest canopies. With very tall trees, the effect is so dramatic, your eyes zooming straight up the lines of the tree trunks into the sky.

Upward Momentum. 40" x 30", Acrylic on Canvas, © Cedar Lee 2013

Upward Momentum. 40″ x 30″, Acrylic on Canvas, © Cedar Lee 2013

The painting was originally simpler and flatter, with the tree trunks more of a solid color. The couple that purchased it requested that I add more detail, and that’s when I created the texture of the bark you see in the foreground, the shapes shown in brilliant light and shadow. This was an early example of my continued interest in using paint in creative ways to construct light, shadow, and color into the thick bark of a tree trunk.

From the Art By Cedar Archives: Autumn Clouds

October 16th, 2017

This painting embodies autumn.  It makes me think of tromping through the woods on a muddy trail through a carpet of colorful dried leaves, with my dog. The tips of my fingers and ears cold, breath puffing.

Because this experience of being under trees has filled so many moments in our lives, people often tell me my paintings bring back memories, from childhood or camping trips or some beautiful place they’ve known.

Autumn Clouds fall trees sky painting

Autumn Clouds. 44″ x 37″, Acrylic on Canvas, © Cedar Lee 2006

The original, long-sold, is a large painting. You can now get a print of it from Fine Art America!

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