Cedar Lee painting: “Sun-Dappled Sequoias” large scale wall art
The colors include pops of bright turquoise, purple, magenta, yellow and tangerine orange. Aside from those artistic color choices, when you look at the image in its entirety, it appears as a realistic image of an ancient redwood forest–you are looking up into the treetops.
I’m back to work after visiting with family for two weeks over the holidays. Happy New Year!
In the studio on this sunny but frigidly cold first week of January, I have my five most recent Eclipse paintings laid out on the drying rack, all awaiting their final coat of varnish.
Eclipse paintings in Cedar Lee art studio
In 2016, I created 53 paintings–not bad! This is an average of slightly more than one painting per week, especially considering there were 5 weeks out of last year when I did not work in the studio due to various travels. So, 53 is my goal to beat for 2017! There are never enough hours in the day. I’m sure I’m not alone in this feeling.
I’m already working on my first painting of the new year, but it’s a fairly large one (30″ x 40″) and therefore a bit time-consuming, so it probably won’t be finished until next week. I like to start out a new year with something ambitious before moving on to the many smaller things I want to do.
I don’t want to show the new work in progress in entirety, but here is a close-up of a little piece of it.
Also in the studio today, I’ve just finished painting this belly cast for a friend. She requested a Tree of Life as the main theme, with the cycles of the moon across the chest.
Here are the colors currently on my palette after working on both my large work-in-progress and the belly cast. I always like to look at messy paint palettes–sometimes they can stand on their own as inadvertently beautiful abstract paintings.
This was my first year as a participating artist in Portland Open Studios. It was a much bigger event than what I’d pictured when I applied to be part of the tour, but I’m glad I did!
This was the event that gave me a hard deadline for finishing the interior of my new studio and getting moved in. It was a lot of work all at once, but if I hadn’t had that deadline pushing me, I may not even have walls up in there right now!
During the two weeks of the event, I sold a few paintings to new collectors, which is always exciting. I got to meet a lot of nice art lovers. Some of my favorite people to talk to were the younger teenage artists who brought their parents along with them as they got to geek out about art.
I took a time-lapse video on Saturday this past weekend. Traffic was very slow that day because there was a rain storm with high winds going on outside. I took advantage of it being relatively slow to finish re-working my painting, “Red Trunks.”
I had called it finished and even exhibited it in its former state. Don’t get me wrong–I liked the painting. I just did not feel completely satisfied with it or ready to move on from it. It would not leave me alone.
About a year ago, I took the painting down from my website and stopped exhibiting it, determined to re-work it until I absolutely loved it. I re-worked it quite a bit, changing the colors a lot as I painted over the original image, but it wasn’t yet where I wanted it to be. I put it aside to work on other things, where it has been sitting for many months in an in-between state.
That’s what you see at the beginning of this video–big painting on the easel towards the right of the frame. At the beginning of the video, you’ll see me prepping three 12″ x 36″ canvases to paint on later. From then on, I’m focused on the big painting on the easel for most of the day. Later in the afternoon, I get a crowd of visitors when the sun comes out. You’ll see me welcoming people and giving talks about the various artwork in the studio. One amusing detail throughout is the frequent interruptions from the little figure in magenta: my 5-year-old, who is very persistently seeking to be hired on as my official studio assistant.
Enjoy watching the transformation of this painting into its new incarnation over the course of my day in the studio!
Here is what the finished painting now looks like!
By Sunday, the storm had cleared and I got a constant stream of visitors all day! What a whirlwind this event has been.
Now that Portland Open Studios is over, at least until next year, my studio will now shift away from this setup that is designed to be welcoming to guests, more like an art gallery–and towards every inch of usable work space being used for paintings in various stages of completion–beautiful chaos. It’ll probably get a little messy. Can’t wait.
It’s a very similar composition to my earlier painting, “Redwoods in the Sun,” but the earlier painting has a more pastel color palette and a flatter texture. In this painting, I painted the tree trunks with cold wax medium and a palette knife, so the bark of the trees is reminiscent of the rough surface of real redwood bark.
I made a quick time lapse video of the painting process, condensing about 4 hours of painting into 2 minutes. As you can see, I painted the sky and background foliage first using oil medium and a brush, then switched to cold wax medium and a knife for the thick tree trunks in the foreground before switching back to a brush to add in small branches and details like highlights and shadows.
The painting wraps around the deep edges of the wood panel, an effect I always love, but it looks especially cool in this case because of the the thick texture of the paint.
I’ve sold four painting in the past week, and I’ve been enjoying sharing my work and process with the steady stream of art lovers who’ve come through.
Local folks: Portland Open Studios wraps up this weekend. I’ll be accepting visitors at my studio in SE Portland Saturday and Sunday, 10-5. The weather report is calling for heavy rain all weekend. I hope this won’t stop some more visitors from making the trek over. My studio is warm and cozy in this wet weather!
The giant full moon hangs near the horizon over deep green hills. And standing on top of one of the tree’s roots, which rises up out of the ground like a lookout tower, is this little person. She surveys the landscape spread out below, the streaks of atmosphere in the starry sky, and the quiet, beautiful moon.
This is one of many new paintings in my Spring Sale that have sold before they’re dry! You can expect several of the newly sold pieces to become available as prints on my Fine Art America page over the next few weeks.
If you haven’t yet visiting my big sale, check it out. People are taking advantage of the extended payment plans and free shipping to get beautiful art onto their walls. The sale will be up until May 30th!
Invoicing, packing and shipping is keeping me busy this week. I am available if you have any questions–just email.
To me, it looks like the tree, with its curved branches reaching, is calling out, beckoning towards the moon on its path through the sky.
After I painted that part, I sat back and looked at the painting, asking myself what else it needed. Suddenly, I envisioned this little person, sprinting down the hill towards the tree, his path lit by the big moon overhead. It had to be. I added him, and it transformed the image into something fun and exhilarating!
The Art By Cedar Spring Sale is officially underway as art lovers are making their choices and taking advantage of the free shipping and payment plans! Make sure to go check it out if you haven’t yet. There are still plenty of awesome paintings left to be claimed!
They can hardly believe how far they’ve come and that they are still intact after the overwhelming whirlwind of stress and big changes that life has thrown at them. The feeling is a mix of deep gratitude, accomplishment, celebration, relief and joy.
Their long shadows spread out into the foreground, as they are silhouetted by moonlight.
This shared moment is made particularly memorable by the vision of the impossibly gigantic full moon! I took time with the details of the moon’s cratered surface. The moon is painted in a warm white, in contrast to the cool whites in the rest of the painting, giving it a golden glow.
You can see a price list for many of my new works of art that will be available, here. I will be posting updates on Facebook when the sale goes live, so follow me there if you haven’t yet.
I’m hoping that the perks I’m offering–free shipping, multi-painting discounts, and no-interest extended payment plans, will make it possible for a lot of art lovers to get something beautiful to add to their homes. If you have any questions regarding the sale, as always, you may email me!
A continuation on my “Thinker” theme, this painting has a similar color scheme to my painting “Five-Year Plan,” filled with red-orange and gold. The person in this one is positioned a little differently, but is still clearly in a thinking pose, clasping her hands around her knees, with her head leaned back against the tree as she looks up and out at the star-filled sky.
The way the branches weave and arch gracefully through the sky, curving at their ends, remind me of dancers. The bright moon filling the whole sky with a golden light enhances the dramatic form of the tree.
The mountains in the distance range in color from ash blue to inky purple, while reflected orange light from the rising moon glows on the horizon. The sky spreads out to infinity, whole galaxies showing up as clouds and streaks of burning white stars.
I had an image in my mind of this tree, shimmering silver in moonlight, its gently curving branches reaching out to the sides unbelievably far and low to the ground. And this woman, in the light of the moon, framed by the embrace of the tree.
This feels like a special moment to me, a momentous night to remember. I imagine she is starting a new phase, accepting and celebrating everything that has led her to this point, while gathering up her inner strength and feeling herself fall into step with the course of her life.