Happy Mother’s Day! Last Day of Spring Sale

May 13th, 2017

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day! Several of the paintings sold over the past week were a mother’s gift to herself or a gift selected for the honored mother in someone’s life, to commemorate this Mothers’ Day.

Sold artwork by Cedar Lee, being prepared for shipment

Sold artwork by Cedar Lee, being prepared for shipment

I love helping people to experience original, handmade art as the truly unique gift that it is. I hope the paintings’ new owners enjoy them for years to come.

The Art By Cedar Spring Sale ends tomorrow…Last chance to go check out what is still available!

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.

One Week Until Spring Sale!

April 29th, 2017

Officially, the dates of the Art By Cedar Spring Sale are May 8-14, but the sale will be going live in the afternoon this Sunday, May 7th, to allow everyone who will be at work on Monday morning to check out the sale the day before without being rushed.

Please keep a close eye on the Facebook page this weekend, or continue to check back at the sale page on Sunday, so you won’t miss the moment it goes live! The sale will then remain open through the evening of May 14th, Mother’s Day.

Original artwork is an unbeatable Mother’s Day gift, whether you choose to surprise her or to have her go to the sale page and choose the one she loves!

Prices for the paintings in this sale start at $290 and all shipping within the continental U.S. will be free! For anyone not in the market for an original, I will also be selling beautiful 10-packs of assorted art note cards for $29.

Can’t wait! If you have any questions leading up to the sale, please email or contact me on Facebook.

Here is a sneak peek at some of my favorite paintings that will be available on Sunday:

Spring Sale in 2 Weeks

April 24th, 2017

May 8 is fast approaching!

With the exception of any last-minute additions I’m able to make to my available artwork before the Spring Sale, you can now see what original paintings will be available, along with their sizes and prices, here.

Available paintings from Art By Cedar studio, spring 2017

Available paintings from Art By Cedar studio, spring 2017

Here’s the studio after a major cleanup, the calm before the next storm of paint-flinging.

Art studio of Cedar Lee

Art studio of Cedar Lee

As you can see, there are many paintings both finished, on the walls, and in various stages of progress, on the drying rack and easels.

The work currently in the studio is mostly from my Eclipse and Lotus series, but my sale will include pieces from the Tree of Life and Looking Up series as well!

Preparations for Art By Cedar Spring Sale

April 17th, 2017

The Art By Cedar Spring Sale is fast approaching!

The dates are May 8-14.

For weeks now I’ve been working on multiple works in progress all at once–starting new paintings and letting them dry before their next stages, then moving on to work on others.

Works in progress in Cedar Lee art studio

Works in progress in Cedar Lee art studio

I will be completing as many of these beautiful Lotus paintings as I can, right up until the day the sale opens to the public!

I love how events like this give me the extra boost of motivation to put more hours in and tap deep into my creativity. I’m in art-studio-flow-mode. We will see how many I get done! Can’t wait to show you. Stay tuned…

Why Is Art Expensive?

February 6th, 2017

Years ago, I wrote an article attempting to explain why art costs what it does, for anyone who may not know what goes on behind the pricing of the paintings you see in an art gallery or on an artist’s website.

I mostly wrote this because I am lazy. Whenever the question comes up, I can just direct people to my article rather than having to articulate the same answer again. My approach to art pricing continues to evolve over time, but the basic underlying factors remain the same. I’ve just posted my latest revision, adding a few new details.

Keep in mind: the numbers in this explanation are all hypothetical and are subject to individual variance in real life. Art, artists, and pricing methods come in infinite variations. This breakdown is given just to illustrate the general concept of a typical art pricing strategy.

Read my answer to this burning question: Why is art is expensive? If what I say makes sense to you, feel free to share the article with others.

In the studio this week, I am playing around with very thick paint! Here, the painting experience crosses into the realm of sculpture as three-dimensional forms rising off the canvas are created out of paint.

Close-up of work in progress by Cedar Lee

Close-up of work in progress by Cedar Lee

This is a sneak peek at a close-up of my current work in progress.

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.

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:


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.




Event invite


Portland Open Studios


Basic Space Gallery




See you on the 17th!

Portland artist Cedar Lee painting

Portland artist Cedar Lee painting


PDXOS Community 6 Preview Show

July 29th, 2016

Please join me at this upcoming art event! My artwork will be on display and it’s a great chance to meet some local SE Portland artists if you are in the area.

Ben Will Gallery is hosting a Portland Open Studios Preview Show for the artists in Community 6, which includes nine artists selected by Portland Open Studios to represent Foster-Powell, Mt. Scott-Arleta, South Tabor, Woodstock and Creston-Kenilworth neighborhoods.

Portland Open Studios 2016 Community 6

Portland Open Studios 2016 Community 6

This Preview Show will feature live music with artists in attendance from these areas to talk with you about their art process and the Portland Open Studios Tour on the 2nd & 3rd weekend in October. All art, prints, sculpture and ceramics by the artists will be for sale at Ben Will Gallery.

Mark your calendar! Saturday, August 13, 5:30 pm at Ben Will Gallery4533 SE 67th Ave, Portland, OR 97206.

Ben Will Gallery, Portland, OR

Ben Will Gallery, Portland, OR

The artists in this exhibit are Cedar LeeNicole Bereczki, Shawn Demarest, Kelli MacConnellAlison O’Donoghue, Ben Will, Jill Torberson, Vicki Wilson, and John Shlichta.

Salem Art Festival & Portland Open Studios

July 17th, 2016

On Friday, I worked a booth at the Salem Art Festival, spreading the word about Portland Open Studios!

Portland Open Studios is a group of just over 100 artists in the Portland, OR metro area, myself included, who will be opening their studios up to the public during the 2nd and 3rd weekends in October.

If you are local to Portland, put it on your calendar! You will be astonished to see where and how different artists work. The variety of techniques and mediums we all use is truly impressive. It is a great way for any art lover to meet a lot of artists and pick our brains. And, if you feel compelled to seek some new pieces of art for your home, this will be a perfect opportunity to do so.

I will be at my studio greeting visitors during the whole event in October. Otherwise, I would take the tour myself!

Cedar Lee at Salem Art Festival, 2016

Cedar Lee at Salem Art Festival, 2016

If you will be taking the tour, you have to buy a tour guide & map. A tour guide is $15 and covers 2 adults. Kids under 18 are free! This comes with a mobile app as well. You also have the option of buying the mobile app alone, which still gets you admission and a map, but does not include as much info about the artists, for only $4.99. You can purchase your tour guide here, anytime between now and October!

So, in between explaining this exciting upcoming event to people at the PDXOS booth in Salem, I worked a little bit on this Lotus painting in progress, working with a palette knife and cold wax medium, as well as with oil and brushes, to show some of my techniques.

Cedar Lee at Salem Art Festival, 2016

Cedar Lee at Salem Art Festival, 2016

I got a lot of curious visitors. Some of my favorite people to talk to were younger aspiring artists and little kids!

Cedar Lee at Salem Art Festival, 2016

Cedar Lee at Salem Art Festival, 2016

This month I am working on several of these large Lotus paintings so they’ll be ready to deliver to this handcrafted furniture store/new Portland gallery next month, Eco Art PDX–their focus until now has been beautiful handmade wooden furniture, but now they are expanding to include an art gallery. I’ll be among the first artists showing there. Pretty cool!

The Lotus paintings will be taking a lot of my time for the coming weeks, but I have other projects in the works, ready to start when this group of paintings is done–lots of blank canvases are awaiting new images!

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