Visions of Rain

December 31st, 2017

Here is “Visions of Rain.”

Visions of Rain. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Visions of Rain. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

It is the same panorama-format and theme as my painting, “Pacific Northwest Dreams.” With the theme of nature and trees, these paintings are related to my “Looking Up” series.

Visions of Rain. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Visions of Rain. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

With the panorama landscape view and the addition of human faces superimposed on a landscape, they are also a bit of a departure in style, an artistic exploration.

Artist Cedar Lee working in painting studio: Visions of Rain. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Artist Cedar Lee working in painting studio: Visions of Rain. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

In this painting, dark rain clouds are rolling in from the left. The sky is full of water–clouds of mist as well as heavy rain spatters. The trees below are soft and muted shapes, made vague by the moisture in the atmosphere as well as distance, with the trees closer to the foreground a bit more defined.

Detail: Visions of Rain. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Visions of Rain. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The woman, with her eyes intently closed, is looking inward. The title, “Visions of Rain” implies that this dramatic landscape is possibly being created in her mind’s eye.

Detail: Visions of Rain. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Visions of Rain. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Or possibly, while she is immersed in such a real landscape, her sense of self has dissolved into it. She is translucent, almost ghostly. You can feel her connection to the sky and the land.

Detail: Visions of Rain. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Visions of Rain. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

As I live in Portland, Oregon, and we are currently in the rainy season typical of winters here, this painting is my way of embracing the wet weather. The chill and the gray skies have their own austere beauty. While we are induced into feelings of hibernation, the water outside is giving green life to the lush forests for the whole year to come.

Visions of Rain. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Visions of Rain. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

First on my agenda in 2018 is to create more new “Looking Up” paintings. Happy New Year to all!

Window

December 12th, 2017

Here is “Window.”

Window. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Window. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The tops of the trees frame an opening in the sky, like a giant window looking out from the forest into the heavens.

Window. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Window. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

There is another subtle window within that window, created by the white fluffy clouds framing a patch of blue sky.

Detail: Window. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Window. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The trees in the distance are partially obfuscated by brilliant light, giving only a sense of their shapes as they stand in the sun far away.

Detail: Window. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Window. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The foliage in the background evokes the sound of a gentle breeze rushing through the trees. In the foreground, the tree trunks are in deep shadow, almost black.

Detail: Window. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Window. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Dark shapes of leaves are contrasted against the brightness of the sky.

Detail: Window. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Window. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Light peeks through the tree branches. These negative spaces throughout give the painting a soft, colorful glow.

Detail: Window. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Window. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

This painting is the last of six of this size that, earlier this year, I set out to finish.

Window. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Window. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

With only a few weeks left in the year, I have finally completed the challenging goal I set for myself!

Cedar Lee painting studio. Art: Window. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Cedar Lee painting studio. Art: Window. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

I happened to catch the painting in the studio illuminated by the bright rays of sun streaming in from above: A fitting image to celebrate this winter solstice, the gradual return of the sun, and the window of possibility that is 2018.

Cedar Lee art studio. Art: Window. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Cedar Lee art studio. Art: Window. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Pacific Northwest Dreams

November 29th, 2017

This oil painting is a little divergence from my usual style: “Pacific Northwest Dreams.”

Pacific Northwest Dreams. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Pacific Northwest Dreams. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

My inspiration is the rainy season in Portland, Oregon.

Detail: Pacific Northwest Dreams. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Pacific Northwest Dreams. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

On the left, the face of a young woman, semi-translucent to show her mind is completely immersed in the setting, is superimposed on the blue-green landscape, her eyes gazing dreamily upward. She is soaking in the fresh, cleansing rain-scented air.

Detail: Pacific Northwest Dreams. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Pacific Northwest Dreams. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

She feels the healing, refreshing power of nature. She absorbs a calm, sleepy feeling from the uniquely soft cool grays of winter in the Pacific Northwest.

Detail: Pacific Northwest Dreams. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Pacific Northwest Dreams. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Mt. Hood in the far distance is framed by the evergreens of Mt. Tabor Park, in a blue-gray misty sky.

Detail: Pacific Northwest Dreams. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Pacific Northwest Dreams. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Moisture fills the air throughout the image, from soft misty clouds to large spatters of raindrops.

Pacific Northwest Dreams. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Pacific Northwest Dreams. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

This panorama-format painting is 3 feet across.

 

Forest Art: Suffused With Light

October 31st, 2017

Here’s what I’ve been up to this month: “Suffused With Light.”

Suffused With Light. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Suffused With Light. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

This large-scale painting shows the forest on a brilliantly sunny day.

Cedar Lee artist working in the studio. Painting: Suffused With Light. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Cedar Lee artist working in the studio. Painting: Suffused With Light. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

White light fills the sky and washes out the top of the giant sequoia’s trunk where it falls.

Detail: Suffused With Light. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Suffused With Light. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Beams of light shoot down through the background trees. There’s a feeling of movement in the leaves, the sun shifting, shimmering, and glinting.

Detail: Suffused With Light. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Suffused With Light. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Cedar Lee artist working in the studio

Cedar Lee artist working in the studio

While the foliage of the large tree in the center is lit up in yellow, completely washed out to white in places, other trees are in shadow.

Cedar Lee artist studio. Painting: Suffused With Light. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Cedar Lee artist studio. Painting: Suffused With Light. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The shadowed foliage is blue and emerald green. Two trees appear small, in the distance, in dark blue green, almost in silhouette.

Detail: Suffused With Light. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Suffused With Light. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Some of the thin branches hang gracefully, swaying gently in the sunshine.

Detail: Suffused With Light. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Suffused With Light. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The painting continues around the deep edges of the painting. The wood panel is heavy and solid.

Cedar Lee studio. Painting: Suffused With Light. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Cedar Lee studio. Painting: Suffused With Light. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

One more of this size is still in progress!

Cedar Lee artist working in the studio. Foreground: Suffused With Light. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Cedar Lee artist working in the studio. Foreground: Suffused With Light. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

From the Forest Floor

September 25th, 2017

Here is the latest in my new series of realistic 4-foot square forest paintings. It is taking me approximately 4 weeks to complete each one.

“From the Forest Floor”

From the Forest Floor. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

From the Forest Floor. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

One of my goals is to create an image detailed enough to achieve realism, but still loose and playful enough to convey artistic creativity within the medium. I want to create not just a beautiful image of the forest, but also an image full of interesting colors, a variety of rough and smooth textures, both vague and sharp distinctions between forms.

This painting shows the experience of craning your neck to look straight up above your head.

Detail: From the Forest Floor. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: From the Forest Floor. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The canopy of leaves directly overhead shelters us. These leaves closest to the ground can be seen in detail, their edges outlined in yellow sunshine.

Detail: From the Forest Floor. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: From the Forest Floor. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Beyond them the foliage higher up in the sky is merely hinted at, fuzzy, out of focus, tree shapes of yellow and turquoise, partially washed out by the brightness of the sun.

Detail: From the Forest Floor. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: From the Forest Floor. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The negative spaces where the light shines through look like countless little glinting jewels.

Detail: From the Forest Floor. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: From the Forest Floor. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

In the foreground, the texture of the redwood bark is shown in sharp light and shadow. The highlights are warm pink and the shadows in the crevices are deep magenta and purple.

Detail: From the Forest Floor. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: From the Forest Floor. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

At the crown of the giant sequoia tree, the branches are splayed out–close up, this makes a beautiful abstract pattern of shapes and colors. When you back up and look at the entire image, it says, “tree.”

From the Forest Floor. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

From the Forest Floor. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The painting continues around the deep edges of the heavy wooden panel. In person, the quality of the materials and the texture of the painting add to its beauty. I’ve loved getting back into more large-scale pieces this year! The time put into it becomes worth it when I see the completed painting.

Artist Cedar Lee with painting: From the Forest Floor. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Artist Cedar Lee with painting: From the Forest Floor. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Giant redwood trees in particular work well on a large scale. Viewers are pulled into the scene like they are really there!

Example of possible living room with painting: From the Forest Floor. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Example of possible living room with painting: From the Forest Floor. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

A painting of this scale can fill a large wall, totally transforming a living space.

Example of possible living room with painting: From the Forest Floor. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Example of possible living room with painting: From the Forest Floor. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

I hope to complete two more of this size before the end of the year, while fitting in work on some smaller pieces as well.

Sun & Shadows

August 25th, 2017

I’ve finished another 48″ x 48″!

Here is “Sun & Shadows.”

Cedar Lee, artist in the studio with oil painting Sun & Shadows. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Cedar Lee, artist in the studio with oil painting Sun & Shadows. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

It’s a sunny summer day in the redwood forest. There is a sharp contrast between light and dark throughout the image.

Sun & Shadows. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Sun & Shadows. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Brilliant white sunlight floods the whole sky, completely washing out the highest parts of the large sequoia tree in the center.

Artwork in painting studio: Sun & Shadows. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Artwork in painting studio: Sun & Shadows. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The sunlight illuminates some of the distant tree tops in yellow.

Detail: Sun & Shadows. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Sun & Shadows. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

In the foreground, but still high above our heads, as we are craning our necks to look straight up into the sky, floats a cluster of rich green leaves.

Detail: Sun & Shadows. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Sun & Shadows. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Some of the leaves are in shadow, a green so dark it’s almost black, while others are brighter, lighter shades of green, catching sunlight from above.

Detail: Sun & Shadows. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Sun & Shadows. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The giant tree trunk is blue and purple in shadow, back-lit by the sun. In front of it, leaves sit in a bright patch of sun, shining white and yellow.

Detail: Sun & Shadows. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Sun & Shadows. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The far-away tree tops high in the sky are represented by thousands of tiny shapes, dots of light and color strewn together. It gives a sense of movement, and the twinkling of light as it filters through the many tiny shapes.

Detail: Sun & Shadows. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Sun & Shadows. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The forest on this day is dazzling! There is a sense of cool shade from this vantage point.

Sun & Shadows. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Sun & Shadows. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The heat of the sun is all outside, above the forest, being captured up there in the sky by the living green network of ancient trees.

Sun & Shadows. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Sun & Shadows. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Here is a quick glimpse of the painting progress, taken in the studio earlier this month:

Four New Resin-Coated Lotus Paintings

August 17th, 2017

I’ve been working on these four paintings for the past month! Here I was, back in July, working on the backgrounds.

In my new Lotus paintings, I create the backgrounds by dripping layers of thinned oil colors over other colors.

Artist Cedar Lee working in the studio, July 2017

Artist Cedar Lee working in the studio, July 2017

While I let this stage of the paintings become completely dry, I went on a road trip with my family to see the Grand Canyon and other wonders of the West. When I arrived back to the studio, I spent the first week of August painting lotus flowers into the foregrounds.

After waiting for them to completely dry again, my final step was to coat them in resin. Here, you can see a quick video of that process. The result is the paintings have rich, hyper-saturated color, and their surfaces are smooth, glassy, and reflective.

This one is called “Acceptance.” I placed the flower with its open petals towards the bottom of the canvas, positioned to soak up all the golden light flowing down from the top.

Acceptance. 16" x 16", Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Acceptance. 16″ x 16″, Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

It is a positive, almost basking sort of acceptance: accepting the bountiful gifts that life brings, which we sometimes can’t see unless our minds are open to accept them. However, it could also mean acceptance of whatever comes–the peace that comes with detachment from desire. The flower is saying, “Yes. Bring it on.”

Acceptance. 16" x 16", Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Acceptance. 16″ x 16″, Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The edges of these paintings are 2.5″ deep, with the paint continuing around the edges. They stand out from the wall in a dramatic way.

Reflections on resin-coated painting: Acceptance. 16" x 16", Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Reflections on resin-coated painting: Acceptance. 16″ x 16″, Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Up close, the quarter inch of clear resin gives the paintings a lot of depth. It’s fun to watch the reflections shift as you move past them.

Acceptance. 16" x 16", Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Acceptance. 16″ x 16″, Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

This one is called “Dignity.”

Dignity. 16" x 16", Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Dignity. 16″ x 16″, Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

This lotus flower is standing up so straight and looks so cool and composed.

Dignity. 16" x 16", Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Dignity. 16″ x 16″, Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The deep, dark purple in the bottom half of this painting is especially reflective in the right lighting.

Reflections on resin-coated painting: Dignity. 16" x 16", Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Reflections on resin-coated painting: Dignity. 16″ x 16″, Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Dignity. 16" x 16", Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Dignity. 16″ x 16″, Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Here is “Family.”

Family. 16" x 16", Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Family. 16″ x 16″, Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The trio of elegant blooms are in it together, growing upwards alongside each other. They are a team. This painting is a symbol of love.

Family. 16" x 16", Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee (Right: Fearless. 16" x 16", Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee)

Family. 16″ x 16″, Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee (Right: Fearless. 16″ x 16″, Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee)

And this one, “Fearless,” also shows one flower in full bloom, flanked by two smaller buds.

Fearless. 16" x 16", Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Fearless. 16″ x 16″, Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The feeling in this painting, glowing brightly in yellow-orange, is whimsical and celebratory. There is no fear hampering the growth of the lotuses–they explode into fullness of being without a care.

Fearless. 16" x 16", Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Fearless. 16″ x 16″, Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

You can see how mirror-like the surface can be in certain lighting–here, the painting is on the wall of my studio, and it’s picking up a clear reflection of a bottle of oil medium sitting in a patch of sunlight near the window.

Reflections on resin-coated painting: Fearless. 16" x 16", Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Reflections on resin-coated painting: Fearless. 16″ x 16″, Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Fearless. 16" x 16", Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Fearless. 16″ x 16″, Oil & Resin on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The paintings can be displayed individually, but I love them as a set as well. I chose to show them to you all at once in one blog post, because I created them all alongside each other. Four separate individual paintings, but also one cohesive art endeavor.

They could be displayed all in a row, or in a grid of four, like this:

Lotus paintings by Cedar Lee

Lotus paintings by Cedar Lee

Lotus paintings by Cedar Lee

Lotus paintings by Cedar Lee

These paintings will be on display along with my other most recent Lotus paintings at the Portland, OR art gallery Eco PDX, in September.

Kaleidoscopic Forest

July 7th, 2017

I’ve finished another large-scale painting! Here is “Kaleidoscopic Forest.”

Kaleidoscopic Forest. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Kaleidoscopic Forest. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

This painting is like looking into a kaleidoscope: the vibrant rainbow of colors, the many small dynamic shapes and the dizzying perspective that gives a feeling of turning movement.

Artist Cedar Lee in the studio with painting: Kaleidoscopic Forest. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Artist Cedar Lee in the studio with painting: Kaleidoscopic Forest. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The large scale pulls the viewer right into the depth of the redwood forest canopy.

Kaleidoscopic Forest. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Kaleidoscopic Forest. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The giant trees zoom high into the sky. The sunlight above the treetops is a brilliant white.

Detail: Kaleidoscopic Forest. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Kaleidoscopic Forest. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Up close, the painting becomes more abstract.

Detail: Kaleidoscopic Forest. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Kaleidoscopic Forest. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

In the yellow sunlight glowing through the overhead foliage, some of the patterns look like plant cells or stained glass, amorphous shapes outlined. Parts of the image have a fluid quality reminiscent of a reflection in water.

Detail: Kaleidoscopic Forest. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Kaleidoscopic Forest. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

From the texture of the tree bark in the foreground to the tiny branches high in the sky and lit up by the sun like a flame, all the colors are vivid. Every color of the rainbow is present.

Detail: Kaleidoscopic Forest. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Kaleidoscopic Forest. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The playfulness of the painting process is evident in unexpected circles and curlicues in the tree branches.

Detail: Kaleidoscopic Forest. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Kaleidoscopic Forest. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The leaves (needles?) on the most distant branches show up as tiny patterns of dots and lines. The bright sun washes out parts of the tree canopy.

All these details come together as one realistic image, giving the feeling of being present in a real forest of majestic ancient redwoods.

Kaleidoscopic Forest. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Kaleidoscopic Forest. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

This painting is currently on loan to the newly opened Ever Green Salon in SW Portland, OR, where it can be seen in person starting tomorrow, if you are local!

Appalachian Eclipse

June 30th, 2017

Here is “Appalachian Eclipse.”

Appalachian Eclipse. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Appalachian Eclipse. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

This striking panorama format painting is a feast for the eyes. The colors in the mountains change incrementally from the background to the foreground.

Appalachian Eclipse. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Appalachian Eclipse. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

We are above the misty clouds, which settle in gossamer wisps through the valleys.

Hanging in the sky over this spectacular mountain landscape is the solar eclipse in the moment of totality, the sun appearing as a thin white ring behind the edges of the obscuring moon.

Appalachian Eclipse. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Appalachian Eclipse. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The painting continues around the edges, making the painting a three-dimensional image. It stands out dramatically from the wall without need for a frame.

Detail: Appalachian Eclipse. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Appalachian Eclipse. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The rough contours of the mountains were built up in layers of color using oils thickened with cold wax medium, applied with a palette knife.

Detail: Appalachian Eclipse. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Appalachian Eclipse. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The color palette is warm and earthy. From a rose-gold sky, the mountains gradually shift into amber-orange, magenta-red, and in the foreground, violet-black.

Painting on easel in art studio of Cedar Lee. Appalachian Eclipse. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Painting on easel in art studio of Cedar Lee. Appalachian Eclipse. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

New Lotus Art: Passion Through Purpose

June 20th, 2017

Here is my newest Lotus painting, “Passion Through Purpose.”

Passion Through Purpose. 30" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Passion Through Purpose. 30″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Similar to my other recent paintings, “Rise Up,” (sold) “Imperfect Grace,” (sold) and “Courage Blooms,” this painting features three lotus flowers in a row, each in a different stage of blooming.

Cedar Lee Lotus art in office setting: Passion Through Purpose. 30" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Cedar Lee Lotus art in office setting: Passion Through Purpose. 30″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

This repeated image is a metaphor for personal growth. The lotus growing bravely upwards out of the dark pond water towards the sunlight above can represent the journey of any human aspiration, goal-setting and reaching, self-reflection, self-realization.

Gallery-wrapped painted edges: Passion Through Purpose. 30" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Gallery-wrapped painted edges: Passion Through Purpose. 30″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Like all of my paintings, the painting continues around the deep edges of the canvas. The artwork can be framed if desired, but it has a complete, modern aesthetic all on its own.

Detail: Passion Through Purpose. 30" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Passion Through Purpose. 30″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The paint is thickly textured throughout. A fiery yellow-orange dominates the top of the canvas.

Detail: Passion Through Purpose. 30" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Passion Through Purpose. 30″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

As the paint drips fluidly down the painting’s background, the orange turns to red and differentiates into many thin rivulets that contrast boldly against the inky darkness below.

Detail: Passion Through Purpose. 30" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Passion Through Purpose. 30″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The flower petals were initially painted thickly in white, with strokes of a palette knife. Thin glazes of colors were then brushed over this thick texture. The flowers stand out from the background, both in texture and in the many colors glowing within the white.

Detail: Passion Through Purpose. 30" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Passion Through Purpose. 30″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Are the three blooms the same flower at different stages in its own blooming?

Detail: Passion Through Purpose. 30" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail: Passion Through Purpose. 30″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Or are they three separate flowers, each doing their own thing alongside the others? This is left for the viewer to interpret.

The colors are vividly rich, liquid, sumptuous. They appear even more saturated when the painting is seen in full sunlight:

Detail under full sunlight: Passion Through Purpose. 30" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Detail under full sunlight: Passion Through Purpose. 30″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

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