Last Weekend’s Art Opening

March 8th, 2018

Here are some pictures from my art reception in Portland last weekend!

Here I am (on the far right) giving my artist talk.

Cedar Lee artist talk at Portland OR art exhibit opening "Keep the Wonder" at WHUUF Gallery

Cedar Lee artist talk at Portland OR art exhibit opening “Keep the Wonder” at WHUUF Gallery

I shared my artist statements for the various collections of work on display, talked about the common threads uniting all my past work, and took questions from the audience.

Cedar Lee artist talk at Portland OR art exhibit opening "Keep the Wonder" at WHUUF Gallery

Cedar Lee artist talk at Portland OR art exhibit opening “Keep the Wonder” at WHUUF Gallery

We had a great turnout, with folks coming and going throughout the evening.

Cedar Lee artist Portland OR art exhibit opening "Keep the Wonder" at WHUUF Gallery

Cedar Lee artist Portland OR art exhibit opening “Keep the Wonder” at WHUUF Gallery

Cedar Lee artist Portland OR art exhibit opening "Keep the Wonder" at WHUUF Gallery

Cedar Lee artist Portland OR art exhibit opening “Keep the Wonder” at WHUUF Gallery

Cedar Lee artist Portland OR art exhibit opening "Keep the Wonder" at WHUUF Gallery

Cedar Lee artist Portland OR art exhibit opening “Keep the Wonder” at WHUUF Gallery

Cedar Lee artist Portland OR art exhibit opening "Keep the Wonder" at WHUUF Gallery

Cedar Lee artist Portland OR art exhibit opening “Keep the Wonder” at WHUUF Gallery

This inviting table of snacks was demolished by the end of the evening.

Cedar Lee artist Portland OR art exhibit opening "Keep the Wonder" at WHUUF Gallery

Cedar Lee artist Portland OR art exhibit opening “Keep the Wonder” at WHUUF Gallery

Cedar Lee artist Portland OR art exhibit opening "Keep the Wonder" at WHUUF Gallery

Cedar Lee artist Portland OR art exhibit opening “Keep the Wonder” at WHUUF Gallery

And I was delighted to share my artwork with friends in person!

Cedar Lee artist Portland OR art exhibit opening "Keep the Wonder" at WHUUF Gallery

Cedar Lee artist Portland OR art exhibit opening “Keep the Wonder” at WHUUF Gallery

Some may know I am active in the Portland contra dance community. A large group of my dance friends showed up, which was wonderful!

Cedar Lee artist Portland OR art exhibit opening "Keep the Wonder" at WHUUF Gallery

Cedar Lee artist Portland OR art exhibit opening “Keep the Wonder” at WHUUF Gallery

There were still quite a few stragglers at the end of the evening when it was time to go home.

Cedar Lee artist Portland OR art exhibit opening "Keep the Wonder" at WHUUF Gallery

Cedar Lee artist Portland OR art exhibit opening “Keep the Wonder” at WHUUF Gallery

On the whole, it was a special and joyful event.

Thanks to all who came, as well as all who couldn’t be there in person but were in spirit! If you haven’t yet, make sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter for future updates about my art.

Reception This Friday: Cedar Lee Show “Keep the Wonder”

February 27th, 2018

Over the weekend, I installed my solo show “Keep the Wonder” at West Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Southwest Portland.

Here’s me (2nd from right) with the gallery team after we’d worked together to hang the show:

Cedar Lee art installation at WHUUF Gallery in Portland, OR

Cedar Lee art installation at WHUUF Gallery in Portland, OR

This exhibition features a variety of themes I’ve explored in my work: the Tree of Life series, the Eclipse series, a few of my older works from my Cosmic Dance series, and a few pieces from the Lotus series.

Unfortunately, my current focus in the studio, the Looking Up series, is not included in this exhibition, but there will be plenty of future opportunities to see those paintings over the next year!

Cedar Lee art installation at WHUUF Gallery in Portland, OR

Cedar Lee art installation at WHUUF Gallery in Portland, OR

It’s the first time my work has been shown in the sanctuary of a church, and I like the large open room with high ceilings, and the way my bold, colorful paintings transformed the space.

Cedar Lee art installation at WHUUF Gallery in Portland, OR

Cedar Lee art installation at WHUUF Gallery in Portland, OR

The address is: 8470 SW Oleson Rd. Portland, OR 97223

Cedar Lee art installation at WHUUF Gallery in Portland, OR

Cedar Lee art installation at WHUUF Gallery in Portland, OR

The show will be up for 2 months for the congregation to enjoy during services.

Cedar Lee art installation at WHUUF Gallery in Portland, OR

Cedar Lee art installation at WHUUF Gallery in Portland, OR

If you are in the Portland area, I’d love for you to come by and see me at my reception this Friday, March 2nd, 6-9 pm.

Cedar Lee art installation at WHUUF Gallery in Portland, OR

Cedar Lee art installation at WHUUF Gallery in Portland, OR

I will be there to talk about my thoughts, inspirations, and methods in making my artwork.

Cedar Lee art installation at WHUUF Gallery in Portland, OR

Cedar Lee art installation at WHUUF Gallery in Portland, OR

Refreshments will be served.

Cedar Lee art installation at WHUUF Gallery in Portland, OR

Cedar Lee art installation at WHUUF Gallery in Portland, OR

This is the first time my recent Eclipse paintings will be exhibited in Portland since they came down from my solo show in Kentucky that celebrated the total solar eclipse last summer!

Cedar Lee art installation at WHUUF Gallery in Portland, OR

Cedar Lee art installation at WHUUF Gallery in Portland, OR

If you can’t make it to the reception on Friday evening, please stop by another time. Anyone who wants to can go see the paintings: besides during services on Sundays, the gallery is open by appointment. Just let them know you’d like to come by: Call Katie at (714) 203-4804.

Cedar Lee art installation at WHUUF Gallery in Portland, OR

Cedar Lee art installation at WHUUF Gallery in Portland, OR

Most of these originals are available for sale, with prices ranging from $190 to $1,790, along with a couple paintings from my personal collection that are not for sale. This show will be up until April 27th.

Cedar Lee Upcoming Exhibit at WHUUF Gallery: “Keep the Wonder”

February 9th, 2018

Portland-area folks: Mark your calendars, and come see me and my art in person on March 2nd!

KEEP THE WONDER

Paintings by Cedar Lee

Eclipse Day Climber. 30″ x 30″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Eclipse Day Climber. 30″ x 30″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Show February 25th to April 27th

Reception: March 2nd

6pm to 9pm

West Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

8470 SW Oleson Rd, Portland, OR 97223

Gallery Hours Sunday 11:45am to 1:00pm.

By appointment please call Katie at 714-203-4804

Whuuf.net

ArtByCedar.com

Art By Cedar Spring Sale

May 7th, 2017

Are you ready? The Art By Cedar Spring Sale begins today at noon Pacific time!

(1pm Mountain, 2pm Central, 3pm Eastern.)

Available artwork from studio of Cedar Lee, Spring 2017

Available artwork from studio of Cedar Lee, Spring 2017

Once the sale page is live, get in quickly and claim the artwork you want using the PayPal button under your painting before someone else does! After you pay the 10% deposit, you’ll receive an email to finish your transaction, including deciding on a payment plan if you need one.

Be sure to read the terms of the sale carefully. There are lots of great perks for this sale. I hope to hook you up with some beautiful art you will love for a long time!

Let me know if you have any questions at all. Email or Facebook.

Artist Interview

December 12th, 2016

Today I was sent some questions by a college student requesting an interview. Scroll down to read my answers.

Earlier this week, I also took some new head shots in the studio to use on my website and social media accounts. The paintings in the background are “Oxygen,” and “A Dream of Joy and Sorrow.”

Artist Cedar Lee

Artist Cedar Lee

Artist Cedar Lee

Artist Cedar Lee

Artist Cedar Lee

Artist Cedar Lee

Right now in the studio: I’m hoping to finish one last large Eclipse painting before the year ends. I’m working again with silhouetted people in this next one! Coming soon…

Interview with Cedar Lee:

Your artwork seems to have a common theme; how would you describe your art?

I currently have four different series of paintings I’m still adding to, and I skip around from one to another: “Looking Up”— tree canopies and giant sequoia forests, “Lotus”—stylized lotus flowers, “Eclipse”—exploring the moment of a total solar eclipse, and “Tree of Life”—different images of the Tree of Life, often showing the roots underground, and some including small human figures.

These themes are pretty varied but are all obviously nature-inspired, and they all include a bold use of color. My work is a combination of realistic imagery and things pulled from my imagination.

Who and what are your inspirations in your work and as a professional artist?

I take a lot of photographs and I’m always collecting mental images that find their way into my paintings. I’m heavily influenced by my travels and many different places I’ve lived—this is most evident in my paintings inspired directly by nature hikes through forests, but in my more whimsical images as well—there is often a spirit of wonder and adventure to be found in the image, and sometimes there is even a human adventurer pictured.

In the studio, I like the challenge of mastering the materials. My inspiration is often found in the act itself of creating artwork, as things I discover while experimenting or solving a problem will lead into the next piece.

How did college prepare you for your career as an artist?

I have a BA in studio art from Goucher College in Baltimore. They have an excellent art department. Beyond the obvious benefits of taking art classes—introduction to different art mediums and techniques, and art history, during my time there I learned how to think about and talk about art with my fellow art students. My senior year was most valuable to me as a painter, when I did a semester of independent study, which was my first experience creating a cohesive series of paintings for my senior thesis show. This was my first time seeing a long-term creative project through to the end. Persistence towards bigger goals than just whatever current art piece you’re working on is such an indispensable part of artistic success.

Notably lacking from my college curriculum was any focus on art business—something that I had to figure out afterwards on my own. I think that college art programs should all include courses on entrepreneurship, marketing, and small business strategy. Most don’t, and this is a great disservice to many students who are serious about pursuing careers as artists, but aren’t being given the tools they need.

What do you consider to be your most important accomplishment to this date?

I have just recently created my 500th painting! (Not including any artwork created in my childhood and teens before I started cataloging my artwork.) The work is always my biggest accomplishment. Selling artwork is exciting, exhibiting is exciting, but without the paintings themselves, none of that could happen.

Please note: arguably much more important than this, I am also raising two beautiful children.

What advice would you give to an aspiring artist today?

Never stop. To be a professional artist, you have to want it more than anything. You have to have a certain kind of stubborn personality that won’t ever let you quit, and you have to have just the right balance of ego and humbleness. You have to understand that you suck while also believing in your work enough to keep striving to be great. You have to commit to figuring out your blind spots and teaching yourself everything you need to learn.

Figure out early on how to create a professional image and how to present your work well to the public. A website is a must. Create a consistent body of work, photograph it well and keep your files organized. Use the best quality art materials you can afford. Value your own time and expertise, and refuse to work for free.

Read about art business, make strategic plans, and work your plans. Subscribe to Professional Artist magazine, the email newsletters from Alyson Stanfield aka “Art Biz Coach” and Jason Horejs’ “Reddotblog.” Read “The War of Art,” “Steal Like an Artist,” “Art and Fear,” and all the other books you can that help you gain perspective.

If you must work an unrelated job to keep your finances afloat, or you have family responsibilities that limit your time, that is okay. Just keep the thread of your art alive throughout the years, and you’ll be glad you are prepared when opportunities present. Take the long view. Being an artist is a lifetime endeavor.

Seek out and surround yourself with artists that inspire you. When in doubt, look at lots of great art to re-ignite your passion and commitment to your own work. Just as they say, “write the book you want to read,” it’s important to paint the painting you want to hang on your own wall. Create the thing that you need to exist in the world, and if all else fails, you’ll still have experienced one of the best parts of being human.

Re-Working “Red Trunks” During Portland Open Studios

October 17th, 2016

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.”

This is what the painting originally looked like:

Red Trunks. 48" x 36", Oil on Wood, © 2014 Cedar Lee

Original version of Red Trunks. 48″ x 36″, Oil on Wood, © 2014 Cedar Lee

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!

Newly re-worked painting: Red Trunks. 48" x 36", Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Newly re-worked painting: Red Trunks. 48″ x 36″, Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Red Trunks. 48" x 36", Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Red Trunks. 48″ x 36″, Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

The end result of re-working this painting is a much brighter, more three-dimensional, textured, and overall more vibrant and beautiful image. I’m so glad I stuck with this one.

Old and new, side-by-side (click to enlarge):

Red Trunks. 48" x 36", Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee. Old version (left) and new after re-working the painting (right)

Red Trunks. 48″ x 36″, Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee. Old version (left) and new after re-working the painting (right)

The paintings I spend the most time agonizing over are sometimes the ones that end up closest to my heart.

Close-up details:

Detail: Red Trunks. 48" x 36", Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Detail: Red Trunks. 48″ x 36″, Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Detail: Red Trunks. 48" x 36", Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Detail: Red Trunks. 48″ x 36″, Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Detail: Red Trunks. 48" x 36", Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Detail: Red Trunks. 48″ x 36″, Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

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.

Redwoods in the Sun, Thick Bark

October 13th, 2016

I made this little painting during the first weekend of Portland Open Studios:

Redwoods in the Sun, Thick Bark. 10" x 10", Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Redwoods in the Sun, Thick Bark. 10″ x 10″, Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Redwoods in the Sun, Thick Bark. 10" x 10", Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Redwoods in the Sun, Thick Bark. 10″ x 10″, Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

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.

Detail: Redwoods in the Sun, Thick Bark. 10" x 10", Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Detail: Redwoods in the Sun, Thick Bark. 10″ x 10″, Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Detail: Redwoods in the Sun, Thick Bark. 10" x 10", Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Detail: Redwoods in the Sun, Thick Bark. 10″ x 10″, Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

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.

Redwoods in the Sun, Thick Bark. 10" x 10", Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

Redwoods in the Sun, Thick Bark. 10″ x 10″, Oil on Wood, © 2016 Cedar Lee

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!

Email me for the address and more info. For access to the whole tour of 106 art studios around the city, pick up the tour guide or mobile app.

Tree of Life paintings at Nectar Cafe

September 20th, 2016

Portland, Oregon folks: there’s yet another place to see my artwork!

For the next month, you can see 15 of my Tree of Life paintings in person at Nectar Cafe in NE Portland.

Cedar Lee's Tree of Life paintings at Nectar Cafe in NE Portland

Cedar Lee’s Tree of Life paintings at Nectar Cafe in NE Portland

If you’re in the area, enjoy a coffee or a snack while you check it out!

Here is the address: 1925 Northeast 42nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97213

Cedar Lee paintings at Eco Art PDX

September 16th, 2016

This week I delivered 6 large-scale paintings from my Looking Up and Lotus series to display at Eco Art PDX in downtown Portland!

Eco PDX is an existing business that specializes in unique handmade furniture from salvaged and reclaimed wood. Now, they are expanding into an art gallery as well: Eco Art PDX. I’ll be among the very first artists ever to show in this new gallery!

CedarLeeEcoArtPDX3

The space is beautiful: a huge, high-ceilinged warehouse with brick walls, onto which they’ve built gigantic display panels for artwork.

The handmade wooden furniture is really interesting–each piece with unique details–and fills the center of the space.

CedarLeeEcoArtPDX1

Here’s my display panel. The titles of these large-scale paintings are, from left-right, top-bottom: Dance of the Redwoods, Golden Lotus, The Clearing, Dragonfly and Fish, Explorers, and Three Dragonflies. They range in price from $990 to $2,490.

I love how the most prominent colors in this arrangement alternate between red and teal, with pops of gold, green and white throughout.

CedarLeeEcoArtPDX4

As I was the first of the gallery’s new artists to deliver artwork to hang, in these pictures all of the other white wall panels are still blank, this one panel standing out as it’s filled with my large, colorful paintings. The other panels will be filled over the next two weeks as all the artwork goes up.

CedarLeeEcoArtPDX2

Here’s me with Eco Art PDX’s curator, Elliott Bennett, who contacted me a few months ago with the invitation to show here. It’s always great to work with people who believe in the vision behind my art!

The gallery is not officially open until the weekend of October 1st and 2nd. All that weekend, they’ll be hosting a big grand opening event.Mark your calendars: Saturday and Sunday October 1st & 2nd from 12-6pm. There will be beer, wine and nibbles. I believe I’m one of about ten local artists to be featured.

Address: 2289 N Interstate Avenue, Portland, OR 97227


 

And, Portland people, don’t forget–if you’re looking to enjoy a happening art event this weekend, I will have a few pieces (small framed works on paper) in this PDXOS group show at Basic Space Gallery tomorrow:

pdxosgrouppreviewshow

Portland Art Show Next Week!

September 9th, 2016

Portland, OR folks: Come see me and my work at this pop-up art show next Saturday 9/17! I will not tell you anything about the paintings I’ll be showing, as it’s supposed to be a surprise. But I will tell you they will be smaller, more affordable pieces.

I can tell you right now the variety of work on display will be truly impressive–I’m in excellent company with the other artists selected by Portland Open Studios.

Even if you don’t find any art pieces calling your name at this event, tickets for the studio tour in October will be on sale there. Don’t miss it!

New Cedar Lee art studio, still under construction

New Cedar Lee art studio, still under construction

Press release follows:

PORTLAND OPEN STUDIOS HOSTS ONE-DAY POP UP PREVIEW SHOW ON SEPT. 17 AT BASIC SPACE GALLERY

Buy Tour Guides, review artists in the October lineup, buy small works

PORTLAND, OR –  On the second and third weekends of October each year, Portland residents must traverse the entire city to visit 106  artists’ studios selected to participate in the annual Portland Open Studio event.

But on Sept. 17, you’ll be able to see nearly half those artists’ work in one place – at the one-day Portland Open Studios preview show at Basic Space Gallery in the Everett Station Lofts, located at 625 NW Everett Street, #111.

“There hasn’t been a group preview show in several years, so we are excited to bring it back this year,” says Leah Kohlenberg, vice president of Portland Open Studios and co-organizer of the event.  “We think we’ve got the best artists in the city on this tour, and now we can showcase them in one room.”

Visit the show, open from noon-8 pm, to get a preview of some of the artists you might want to visit in the fall, to get some amazing deals on art, listen to music, nosh and mingle with some Open Studio artists.  For a unique experience, artworks displayed will be identified not by artist name, but by their studio number in the 18-year open studios event.  The only way to discover who has created the works is to either buy the piece of artwork, or buy the $15 tour guide “ticket” to Portland Open Studios, all available at the gallery.

“This is what art is supposed to be about,” says Christopher Roberts, who co-owns Basic Space with Kenny Saylor, and who served as a juror for this year’s Portland Open Studio event. “This show will  give you the experience of being attracted by a piece of art for the art itself, and what the artist is attempting to convey to you, rather than being  guided by a label. The event will allow you to see the many varied ways artists choose to create their art to convey their artistic inspiration,  art forms you may have never seen.”

Basic Space Gallery is an up and coming gallery in Portland’s diverse gallery scene, located on the edge of Chinatown and the Pearl District of NW Portland in the Everett Street Lofts Building.  The gallery displays emerging and professional artists whose work conveys the artist’s deeper understanding of self and in sharing in that story without words.

Cedar Lee art studio

Cedar Lee art studio

What is Portland Open Studios?

Portland Open Studios is an annual event during which 106 professional artists open their studios to the public for the second and third weekends in October.  This is the tour’s 18th year, and the dates for Open Studios 2016 will be Oct. 8-9, and Oct. 15-16, from 10 am-5 pm.  The tour offers a unique and inspiring form of experiential education: interacting with local artists at work within the context of their workplace.   Each year, the artists are selected through a professional juried process to participate in the Open Studio tour.

The tickets to find these artists during the tour itself is a $15 full-color tour guide, organized into 12 neighborhoods, with contact information for each artist, and directions to their studios.  The Tour Guide and mobile apps are available at New Seasons Markets, Muse, I’ve Been Framed, Blick, and Artist and Craftsmen,  or via our website http://www.pdxos.com/ . There will also be a free map-only mobile app available on the website within the next few weeks.

WEBSITE:

www.portlandopenstudios.com

FACE BOOK:

Event invite

https://www.facebook.com/events/1147501808655514/

Portland Open Studios

https://www.facebook.com/pdxopenstudios/?fref=ts

Basic Space Gallery

https://www.facebook.com/basicspacegallery/?fref=ts

INFORMATION:

info@portlandopenstudios.com

See you on the 17th!

Portland artist Cedar Lee painting

Portland artist Cedar Lee painting

 

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