Cedar Lee is a Portland, Oregon-based contemporary painter. A gallery artist, illustrator, and muralist, she has sold hundreds of original paintings into private collections across the U.S. and internationally.
*Do the paintings come framed or need to be framed? All paintings are on gallery-wrapped canvases or wood panels with the painting continuing onto the edges, and are ready to hang–no framing necessary.
The “wood” referred to in “Oil on Wood” usually refers to a hand-crafted solid panel similar to this. I only use high-quality archival materials. Please inquire if you’d like to know the specific materials used for a particular painting.
*Is shipping included in your prices?
For paintings 1200 square inches and smaller, shipping is free within the continental U.S.!
If purchasing art 30″ x 40″ and larger, or outside the continental U.S., you will pay something for shipping but will still get a great deal! If this is the case, you will be billed separately for shipping after making your purchase here. Please email if you need a shipping quote: Cedar@ArtByCedar.com
Paintings ship out as soon as possible once payment has been received in full and cleared.
The utmost care is taken when packing and shipping sold artwork. There may be a wait period of up to a week to allow for packing of very large paintings.
Local to Portland, OR? Ask about free art delivery and installation!
*What forms of payment do you accept? Payment is accepted via credit card, bank transfer, PayPal or Venmo. Paintings are not shipped until payment clears in full.
*Can I purchase with a payment plan? Absolutely! You can put down a deposit on a painting then pay in installments. Once you’ve agreed to a timeline of monthly payments, and your first payment has cleared, your artwork will be marked as “sold” and reserved for you. You will be billed monthly on the agreed-upon schedule. Your artwork will be shipped to you promptly as soon as your final payment clears. Ask about starting a payment plan.
*What does “currently showing in galleries” mean? Some paintings may currently be on display in art galleries, on consignment or as part of an exhibit. The current location of each painting is listed in its caption on this page. Contact the galleries directly to purchase.
*Are the paintings on this page the only originals available? Yes. If you’re looking for a particular painting but you don’t see it here, unfortunately it has already been sold.
*Can I commission a custom painting? This depends on what you are looking for and my current workload. It never hurts to ask! Read my commission policy before contacting me.
Can I purchase prints? I do not currently offer giclées directly from the studio. However, you CAN purchase affordable, high-quality reproductions of Cedar Lee paintings in many sizes, from greeting cards to framed prints and prints on stretched canvases, right here: Cedar Lee Prints on Fine Art America
Here’s what I can tell you about my life as an artist:
Having moved around the U.S. a lot, I consider myself a native of both the East and West Coasts.
I was always a straight-A student, and I hold an art degree from Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. I’ve sold my paintings since I was 12 years old. I had my first solo show at age 16, and I’ve sold my art through galleries since 2006.
I have been working on my “Looking Up” series of forest-themed paintings since about 2005. In recent years, my focus has started to shift away from the trees themselves and more towards the brilliance of the sun, how the light, shadows and colors play out as the sun bursts through the trees and washes over us.
My recent paintings all sparkle with this brilliant light! It’s rainbow prisms, jewels, blinding rays of light and lens flares, all in the context of standing under the peaceful shelter of a forest. The result is joyful, energizing images that give my viewers a peaceful feeling of wonder and help them celebrate their own experiences of Earth’s beautiful forests.
In 2020 I began the “Plant Mama” series, which continues my exploration of brilliant sunlight and vibrant colors. In this series, I paint the plants in my garden and the potted house plants throughout my home. Plants have been a source of joy and endless fascination for me throughout my entire adult life. I began exploring my own relationship to my plants, and all the emotions they inspire in me, by incorporating the plant life around me into self-portraits.
The approximately 600 paintings I’ve created so far depict garden images and plants, the sun and sky, tree canopies and forests, the symbolically rich Tree of Life, colorful images of solar eclipses and the cosmos, as well as florals, portraits, animal portraits, and various landscapes. Practically all of my hundreds of works have been sold to private collectors.
I paint in a small, light-filled studio in my back yard. My paintings fill every wall of my home.
New collectors of my work often discover me through social media, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. I have a lot of artist friends and I provide advice to aspiring artists. I’ve taught art to children and adults.
My original paintings are valued in the range of $300 to $5,000. For people not currently in the market for an original, I also offer a selection of affordable prints, with new images added each year.
I love tending to my house plants and working in my vegetable and flower garden. I’m always reading. I love living in Portland, Oregon with my boisterous family, but I have a thirst for adventure and beautiful places, so I travel and spend time outdoors as often as possible.
When I’m not in the studio, I pack and ship my paintings to galleries and buyers and write about and market my work.
I use acrylics and oils, and I paint on canvas and wood panels.
My paintings include specific images I’ve photographed, but they are also about my memories and emotions, my childhood and world travels, a lifetime of noticing colors in the sky and meandering on so many forest trails.
My work celebrates the endless beauty of this world, inspires environmentalist values, and evokes the calm, grounded feeling that humans have when they connect deeply with nature.
The “Plant Mama” series was born in 2020 with the coronavirus pandemic. While sheltering in place, I turned inward in search of a creative escape from the misery of the world. I found a new subject matter for my art in the plants in my garden and the potted house plants throughout my home, realizing they have been an obvious source of joy and endless fascination for me throughout my entire adult life. I began exploring my own relationship to my plants, and all the emotions they inspire in me, by incorporating the plant life around me into self portraits.
Loving plants, enjoying their beauty, their structure and patterns, marveling at the automatic way they create themselves, is as old as humans.
Flora and fauna go together. What’s one of the secrets to happiness as a human animal? Plants. The secret is in germination and cultivation, the feeling of progress that comes with watching seeds sprout and new leaves unfurl. It’s in noticing how a plant responds to sunlight and water. Sometimes it’s the feeling of an easy win, because when it comes down to it, a gardener cannot take credit for anything a plant does. The plant grows automatically. All we have to do is provide it with the conditions it needs then step back.
I have always loved the concept of the divine feminine as a creative force that exists in us all regardless of gender: it’s a balance between actively nurturing and simply providing a space for the growth of new life. Regardless of what you want to call it, this is the wisdom behind the green thumb. And when the growth happens, you get to celebrate!
Williams Plaza Project: Summer of 2020
I was commissioned by a local architecture firm and Home Forward, Portland, Oregon’s housing authority, to create paintings on 14 live edge slabs to hang on all nine floors of the Williams Plaza building, a low-income housing project for senior citizens.
The slabs were cut from two large trees on the property that had to be cut down. The sustainable solution of turning the trees into art for the building lessened this loss. They will go on to fill the building with beautiful, peaceful nature images that will be enjoyed every day by the residents.
The themes of the different paintings in this body of work range from forest landscapes to various flowers and open skies. All of the imagery was inspired by past artwork that I’ve done.
Watch time lapse videos of the creation of this body of work!
Enjoy the “Looking Up” series below, inspired by the giant sequoia forests and other forest hikes.
Walking in the woods beneath green summer trees or evergreens gives me a feeling of joy and peacefulness, of being a small part of something tremendously beautiful, and all being right in the world. The light of the forest floats down through the trees. The fresh smells of plants and earth fill the clean air. I can hear birdsong, my own feet snapping twigs, and small animals rustling leaves on the ground. I’m fascinated by the dramatic angles of tall trees zooming up into the sky.
This series is born of my lifelong love of trees, and my aim is to transport the viewer into the peaceful and magical realm of the forest.
My Lotus series explores the bold simplicity and deep symbolism of lotus flowers. Lotus flowers symbolize many things, including divine beauty, purity, love (romantic & non), faithfulness, and expansion of the soul. Buddhist and Hindu art often features them.
The lotus is a metaphor for the light of the human soul transcending the darkness that surrounds it. It grows out of a mucky, scummy, vile swamp but is pure, clean and vibrant, perfectly symmetrical, delicate and fragrant.
My inclusion of various pond creatures—frogs, fish, and dragonflies, as well as occasional whimsical floating bubbles, are my way of showing that spiritual themes need not be serious, but can be contemplated from a joyous, child’s perspective.
The Lotus series is striking and elegant, painted in opulent tones of ruby, ivory, sage green and gold. Red is a common thread throughout the whole series. This gives the paintings a feeling of boldness and lively energy.
The Sunflower series began the summer I started growing sunflowers in my garden. Through seed catalogs, I soon discovered many varieties of gorgeous sunflowers with fascinating names. These paintings have a bold, modern look and are painted in vibrant oil colors with thick texture.
The Sunflower Heart series is abstract and not botanically accurate. They’re based on real flowers, but are not so much about realism as they are about getting lost in the exquisite patterns in the hearts of my own personal fantasy sunflowers. The vibrant colors command your attention immediately, while the intricate details ask to be examined more closely.
Solar eclipses are rare, and have always been mysterious, exciting, special events for humanity. I’ve found the singular lucky moment of alignment during a solar eclipse is a visually striking illustration.
I show a real astronomical event–total solar eclipse–with colors and compositions from a world of pure fantasy. Visually, these paintings are an exploration of light against darkness. The blinding, gleaming glow of the sun’s corona breaking out around the edges of the moon, that piercingly sharp contrast, is an indescribably satisfying phenomenon to look at.
Depending on how I choose to present the image of an eclipse, it’s interesting to me how the moon can be depicted as a flat black disk in total silhouette, or it can be shown in the dull red glow from the sun’s reflected light. As a painter, I enjoy the challenge of painting a subject that is, in real life, mostly in darkness–literally an event that blocks out the sun–while finding creative ways to use as much light and color as possible to create a visually engaging, emotionally stirring image.
The Cosmic Dance series embodies the concept of balance in the universe–yin and yang. The vastness and completeness of a perfectly balanced universe cannot be captured in a painting, but I attempt to evoke the wonder we feel as we experience glimpses of it.
The sun is frequently juxtaposed with the moon, light with darkness, sky with earth. Cosmic themes in my work evoke thoughts of epic myths and creation stories, intergalactic travel and the unknown mysteries of far-flung corners of our universe.
The solitary, majestic Tree of Life symbolically encompasses all living things and the cyclical nature of the universe. The Tree of Life is perfectly balanced, the roots residing under the earth while the branches reach into the heavens. Many of my Tree of Life images have a stellar backdrop, and many include the moon. The roundness of the full moon is meant to symbolize the fullness of humanity’s range of experience as we trek through life on Earth.
Peaceful and inspiring imaginative landscapes from 2005 and on.
Portraits of people, in which I lovingly captured that spark of personality.