Cedar Lee 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
This one is called “Dignity.”
This lotus flower is standing up so straight and looks so cool and composed.
The deep, dark purple in the bottom half of this painting is especially reflective in the right lighting.
Here is “Family.”
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.
And this one, “Fearless,” also shows one flower in full bloom, flanked by two smaller buds.
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.
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.
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: