Arboreal Dendrites

May 24th, 2018

Here is “Arboreal Dendrites,” 12″ x 36″.

Arboreal Dendrites. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Arboreal Dendrites. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

This painting was inspired by pictures I took of some amazing kiawe trees in the grounds outside the entrance to Hanauma Bay on Oahu, during my trip to Hawaii this past winter.

Oahu Tree

As you can see, the branches of these beautiful trees follow a winding, meandering path up into the sky.

Close-up detail: Arboreal Dendrites. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Arboreal Dendrites. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The way these trees reach and branch out is reminiscent of dendrites, the tiny branching arms of the nerve cells within our bodies.

Close-up detail: Arboreal Dendrites. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Arboreal Dendrites. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The eye can follow the twisting branches up into the sky, getting lost in the interesting shapes of negative space and interweaving lines.

Close-up detail: Arboreal Dendrites. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Arboreal Dendrites. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Looking at this painting is a meditative experience. As the mind focuses on the colors, and the feeling of gazing up into the sky under the shade of the trees, a peaceful feeling comes over the viewer.

Arboreal Dendrites. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Arboreal Dendrites. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

This painting includes all the colors of the rainbow. The painting continues around the deep edges of the canvas, for a clean, modern look.

Painting: Arboreal Dendrites. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Painting: Arboreal Dendrites. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

No frame is needed for this art!

This painting is one of many originals that will be available in my Summer Sale coming up in July.

Reach Boldly Into Sunny Skies

April 30th, 2018

This painting is called “Reach Boldly Into Sunny Skies.”

I have been creating it over the past month along with my painting, “A Soft Enchanting Forest.”

Reach Boldly Into Sunny Skies. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Artist Cedar Lee with painting: Reach Boldly Into Sunny Skies. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

This 30″ x 40″ oil painting is bold, with strong geometric shapes and bright, saturated colors.

Reach Boldly Into Sunny Skies. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Reach Boldly Into Sunny Skies. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The painting style suits the subject: these ancient trees are strong giants, seeming to reach high above us with great energy and purpose.

Reach Boldly Into Sunny Skies. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Reach Boldly Into Sunny Skies. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

A golden glow of light permeates the sky, the warm light highlighting bits of the foliage and tree trunks. The lower corners fade into a cool, deep teal blue.

Reach Boldly Into Sunny Skies

Detail: Reach Boldly Into Sunny Skies. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The many thin branches criss-cross each other throughout, creating interesting triangles and trapezoids in the negative spaces between them.

Reach Boldly Into Sunny Skies

Detail: Reach Boldly Into Sunny Skies. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Reach Boldly Into Sunny Skies

Detail: Reach Boldly Into Sunny Skies. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

It is an image of the peaceful forest–the teamwork within the network of trees living together, reaching into the sky to grab the brilliant rays of sunshine above. It is an image of optimism for the future.

Reach Boldly Into Sunny Skies

Detail: Reach Boldly Into Sunny Skies. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

It is a fitting painting to celebrate the springtime–and, here in Portland, the long-anticipated return of the sun and the warmth after a gray winter!

Reach Boldly Into Sunny Skies. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Reach Boldly Into Sunny Skies. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

A Soft Enchanting Forest

April 27th, 2018

This painting is called “A Soft Enchanting Forest.”

A Soft Enchanting Forest

A Soft Enchanting Forest. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The viewer is encircled by impossibly tall trees drinking in the light from the sky.

A Soft Enchanting Forest

A Soft Enchanting Forest. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Within the cool depths of this old forest, there are hints at the thick lush foliage that lies in shadow.

A Soft Enchanting Forest

Detail: A Soft Enchanting Forest. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Other parts of the trees are lit bright yellow in full hot sun.

A Soft Enchanting Forest

Detail: A Soft Enchanting Forest. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

It is a peaceful and alluring setting.

A Soft Enchanting Forest

Detail: A Soft Enchanting Forest. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

A glowing sun flare bursts through the trees in the top left corner.

A Soft Enchanting Forest

Detail: A Soft Enchanting Forest. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

This painting is large–30″ x 40″!

A Soft Enchanting Forest Cedar Lee

Artist Cedar Lee with painting: A Soft Enchanting Forest. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The painting continues around the deep edges of the wood panel, giving the artwork a clean, modern look without the need for a frame.

A Soft Enchanting Forest

A Soft Enchanting Forest. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

 

Warm Woods

March 23rd, 2018

Here is “Warm Woods.”

Warm Woods. 20" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Warm Woods. 20″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Warm sunlight permeates this painting.

Warm Woods. 20" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Warm Woods. 20″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

You are walking through the woods on a carefree summer day. The forest rises up around you, the trees glowing in the amber light.

Detail: Warm Woods. 20" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Detail: Warm Woods. 20″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Pops of bright right red and yellow contribute to the feeling of warmth.

Detail: Warm Woods. 20" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Detail: Warm Woods. 20″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

I achieved this loose, painterly style by creating much of the image with a palette knife. Up close, the image is broken down into rough sections of color.

Detail: Warm Woods. 20" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Detail: Warm Woods. 20″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The slightly blurred effect gives the trees a softness. This forest holds the drowsy contentment of a hot summer day full of birdsong.

Warm Woods. 20" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Warm Woods. 20″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The painting continues around the deep edges of the canvas.

Art By Cedar Lee: Warm Woods. 20" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Art By Cedar Lee: Warm Woods. 20″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Dazzling Sky

February 15th, 2018

Here is “Dazzling Sky,” 24″ x 36″.

Dazzling Sky. 24" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Dazzling Sky. 24″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The starting point for this painting was a photo I took of the sun bursting through the trees, obliterating part of the image. I decided to incorporate the dramatic lens flare into the painting.

Artist Cedar Lee in the studio: Dazzling Sky. 24" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Artist Cedar Lee in the studio: Dazzling Sky. 24″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

As I built up the surface with many layers of paint and cold wax medium, there is a lot of thick texture. As with all art, this one is so much better to experience in person.

Dazzling Sky. 24" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Dazzling Sky. 24″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The painting wrapping around the deep edges of the canvas gives the art a clean, modern look. The colors cover the whole spectrum, from the vibrant teal in the sky to the deep purple, magenta, orange-yellow and blue-green found in the trees.

Close-up detail: Dazzling Sky. 24" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Dazzling Sky. 24″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Upon close inspection, you can see the giant sunburst, which dominates the center of the image, contains rainbow colors.

Close-up detail: Dazzling Sky. 24" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Dazzling Sky. 24″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The trees are full of delightful painterly details–the many small marks of the brush creating areas of curved movement like a breeze through the foliage, and unexpected pops of bright colors throughout.

Close-up detail: Dazzling Sky. 24" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Dazzling Sky. 24″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The glowing yellow-white emanating from the sky fills the whole painting, appearing in of many of the negative shapes between the branches.

Close-up detail: Dazzling Sky. 24" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Dazzling Sky. 24″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The perspective of the tall trees makes you feel you are standing right there beneath them.

Close-up detail: Dazzling Sky. 24" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Dazzling Sky. 24″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The tiny shapes of a few wild birds soaring up in the distant sky add to the sense of scale.

Close-up detail: Dazzling Sky. 24" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Dazzling Sky. 24″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

These staggeringly tall trees painted in many colors, reaching up into the paradise of a glorious open sky, fill the viewer with awe at nature’s grandeur.

Dazzling Sky. 24" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Dazzling Sky. 24″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

This beautiful imagery can bring a feeling of peace to a frenetic mind dwelling on a harsh world.

 

Sky Dwellers

January 31st, 2018

Here is my very newest available original oil painting, “Sky Dwellers.”

Sky Dwellers. 16" x 16", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Sky Dwellers. 16″ x 16″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

With 2018 comes a renewed commitment to my series of forest paintings, “Looking Up.”

Cedar Lee art studio: Sky Dwellers. 16" x 16", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Cedar Lee art studio: Sky Dwellers. 16″ x 16″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

For the past 6 months, I’ve been working very large scale, and now I’m back to creating more small/medium sized paintings. At 16″ x 16″, this affordable size makes it easy to own original art.

Sky Dwellers. 16" x 16", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Sky Dwellers. 16″ x 16″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The deep edges of the wood panel give a dramatic look on the wall.

These majestic giant sequoia trees reach hundreds of feet up into the bright sunshine and clean air above, living high in the sky–“Sky Dwellers.”

Detail: Sky Dwellers. 16" x 16", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Detail: Sky Dwellers. 16″ x 16″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The sunlight filling the center of the sky is a brilliant white.

Detail: Sky Dwellers. 16" x 16", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Detail: Sky Dwellers. 16″ x 16″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

I used palette knives to build up a very thick texture to the paint, then small brushes to create the tiny details of distant leaves and branches.

Detail: Sky Dwellers. 16" x 16", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Detail: Sky Dwellers. 16″ x 16″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

This art stands out with its beautiful colors: the clear sky is a vibrant teal; the trunks of the redwoods include bright red, violet, and yellow.

Cedar Lee art studio: Sky Dwellers. 16" x 16", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Cedar Lee art studio: Sky Dwellers. 16″ x 16″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

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

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