Friday in the Rainbow Forest

January 15th, 2019

Here is “Friday in the Rainbow Forest.”

Friday in the Rainbow Forest. 30″ x 40″, Acrylic on Canvas, © 2019 Cedar Lee

The setting of this painting was inspired by the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, but it evokes the feeling of many similar beautiful natural locations. The two little people share a moment on a sun-warmed rock near the burble of flowing water, with warm sunshine streaming down all around them through a glorious forest.

Friday in the Rainbow Forest. 30″ x 40″, Acrylic on Canvas, © 2019 Cedar Lee

Every color of the rainbow is present in this landscape, which was so whimsically titled: “Friday in the Rainbow Forest” by my seven-year-old child, in the manner of the book titles of the Magic Tree House series.

Artist Cedar Lee in the studio. Painting: Friday in the Rainbow Forest. 30″ x 40″, Acrylic on Canvas, © 2019 Cedar Lee

The image embodies a feeling of child-like joy and freedom.

Close-up detail: Friday in the Rainbow Forest. 30" x 40", Acrylic on Canvas, © 2019 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Friday in the Rainbow Forest. 30″ x 40″, Acrylic on Canvas, © 2019 Cedar Lee

It is easy to put ourselves in the place of the two small, anonymous figures and share in the moment.

Close-up detail: Friday in the Rainbow Forest. 30" x 40", Acrylic on Canvas, © 2019 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Friday in the Rainbow Forest. 30″ x 40″, Acrylic on Canvas, © 2019 Cedar Lee

The sun fills the blue sky, its blinding light partially obliterating our view of a tall tree.

Close-up detail: Friday in the Rainbow Forest. 30" x 40", Acrylic on Canvas, © 2019 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Friday in the Rainbow Forest. 30″ x 40″, Acrylic on Canvas, © 2019 Cedar Lee

Rainbows appear in the far-reaching rays of sunlight.

Close-up detail: Friday in the Rainbow Forest. 30" x 40", Acrylic on Canvas, © 2019 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Friday in the Rainbow Forest. 30″ x 40″, Acrylic on Canvas, © 2019 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Friday in the Rainbow Forest. 30" x 40", Acrylic on Canvas, © 2019 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Friday in the Rainbow Forest. 30″ x 40″, Acrylic on Canvas, © 2019 Cedar Lee

In the shadows of the woods, birds flit around, adding their musical calls to the scene.

Friday in the Rainbow Forest. 30" x 40", Acrylic on Canvas, © 2019 Cedar Lee

Friday in the Rainbow Forest. 30″ x 40″, Acrylic on Canvas, © 2019 Cedar Lee

Evergreen Spectrum

December 17th, 2018

This 12″ x 36″ panorama-format original oil painting on canvas is called “Evergreen Spectrum.”

Evergreen Spectrum . 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Evergreen Spectrum . 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The sun breaks through the tall trees with a blinding beauty.

Evergreen Spectrum . 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Evergreen Spectrum . 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Every color of the visible light spectrum shines in the brilliant rays that fill the whole center of the canvas.

Evergreen Spectrum . 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Evergreen Spectrum . 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The trees are giant sequoias and other magnificent, huge evergreens.

 
Close-up detail: Evergreen Spectrum . 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Evergreen Spectrum . 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The brilliant sunlight filling the blue sky is a pure white light, obliterating the details of the foliage in front of it.

Close-up detail: Evergreen Spectrum . 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Evergreen Spectrum . 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Tiny details of tree branches can be seen in the distance.

Close-up detail: Evergreen Spectrum . 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Evergreen Spectrum . 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The painting continues around the deep edges of the gallery-wrapped canvas, so it is ready to hang without the need for a frame.

Evergreen Spectrum . 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Evergreen Spectrum . 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

This beautiful rainbow-filled forest painting brings an image of nature’s beauty and a feeling of wonder indoors!

Art by Cedar Lee in living room: Evergreen Spectrum . 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Art by Cedar Lee in living room: Evergreen Spectrum . 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

King of the Clearing

December 3rd, 2018

Here is “King of the Clearing.”

King of the Clearing. 30" x 40", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

King of the Clearing. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

This grassy clearing is absolutely flooded with sunlight. A lone crow alights on the end of an outstretched branch, surveying the calm scene around it. 

Close-up detail: King of the Clearing. 30" x 40", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: King of the Clearing. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

With its gentle landing, a peaceful feeling settles like a warm blanket. He belongs in the center of this beautiful place: he is the “king of the clearing.”

Close-up detail: King of the Clearing. 30" x 40", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: King of the Clearing. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

On the right, the white sunlight bursts through the branches of the trees, obliterating details with its brightness. The landscape is like a rainbow prism. Under the hot sun, the trees and grasses shine in tones of blue, purple, pink, orange and gold.

Close-up detail: King of the Clearing. 30" x 40", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: King of the Clearing. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Parts of the ground shine so brightly in the sun that they are a blinding white. You can feel the soothing warmth of the sun-soaked clearing.

Close-up detail: King of the Clearing. 30" x 40", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: King of the Clearing. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Imagine walking out of the shadow of the woods into this bright space.

King of the Clearing. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The painting continues around the deep edges of the wood panel.

Cedar Lee art in living room: King of the Clearing. 30" x 40", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Cedar Lee art in living room: King of the Clearing. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

 

Sunshine

November 26th, 2018

I started creating this painting four years ago, but stopped before it was finished because something about its rough, unfinished state pleased me. I hung it on the wall in my home and lived with it and loved it. This week, I decided to revisit the painting and finish it all the way! Here is the final result:

“Sunshine.”

Sunshine. 24″ x 30″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

This painting evokes a feeling of pleasant warmth and joy. It brings with it a fantasy of childhood freedom, the carefree feeling of tromping through the woods, surrounded by birdsong.

Painting by Cedar Lee in living room: Sunshine. 24″ x 30″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The space around the massive trees is filled with yellow sunlight.

Close-up detail: Sunshine. 24″ x 30″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Summer grasses fill the foreground, framing the bright opening between the two center trees. In the distance beyond, washed out by the sun, there are hints of more foliage.

Close-up detail: Sunshine. 24″ x 30″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

At the periphery, the tree trunks are painted in deep shadows of crimson and inky purple.

Close-up detail: Sunshine. 24″ x 30″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

There are abstract, painterly elements throughout the image–from a distance, it is the forest, but upon closer inspection, you can see rough smears of color that were applied with a palette knife.

Close-up detail: Sunshine. 24″ x 30″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

It is painted on a heavy, sturdy wood panel.

Sunshine. 24″ x 30″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The color continues around the deep edges for a bold, three-dimensional effect.

Sunshine. 24″ x 30″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Creative Vision

November 7th, 2018

Here is the first self portrait I’ve created in 11 years: “Creative Vision.”

Creative Vision. 20" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Creative Vision. 20″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

It is about being an artist and an agent of purposeful change and action–the process of conceiving new ideas, and initiating the process of actualizing them.

Creative Vision. 20" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Creative Vision. 20″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

A new idea, inspiration or goal that has formed in my mind is represented by the electric blue orb floating between my outstretched hands. It is rotating, flickering, in constant motion as it forms itself under the complete focus of my eyes.

Creative Vision. 20" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Creative Vision. 20″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

This orb of creative power puts off a glowing light like a bright candle flame.

Close-up detail: Creative Vision. 20" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Creative Vision. 20″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Visualizing what could be is the first step of setting an intention, which is the precursor to any action. It is the way that I get things done, whether I’m thinking of new paintings, or things I want to manifest in other areas of my life.

Close-up detail: Creative Vision. 20" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Creative Vision. 20″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The abstract pattern in the background is reminiscent of champagne bubbles rising in a glass, negative shapes of light glowing through tree branches, or sparks shooting from the flames of a bonfire into the sky.

Close-up detail: Creative Vision. 20" x 20", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Creative Vision. 20″ x 20″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back– Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

–William Hutchinson Murray / Goethe

Fall

October 30th, 2018

Here is “Fall.”

Fall. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Fall. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

This painting is full of the vibrant red, orange and yellow colors of autumn leaves in the forest.

Detail: Fall. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Detail: Fall. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Sunlight bursts through the colorful foliage from the bright sunny sky in the background.

Detail: Fall. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Detail: Fall. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The deep blue in the top left corner serves as a complementary color to the warm oranges, bringing out the full spectrum of warm colors in the fall leaves.

Detail: Fall. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Detail: Fall. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Warm light filters through from the background, permeating the whole space.

Detail: Fall. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Detail: Fall. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

There is a high contrast between the bright white sky and the dark tree trunks in the foreground.

Detail: Fall. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Detail: Fall. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The trees viewed from below create a dizzying perspective as they tower into the sky above.

Detail: Fall. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Detail: Fall. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The painting continues around the deep edges of the wood panel.

Fall. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Fall. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The design, light and colors work together to bring the glorious feeling of a perfect fall day into a large painting on the wall!

Art by Cedar Lee in living room: Fall. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Art by Cedar Lee in living room: Fall. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Mural for Mudbone Grown Unity Farm at Oregon Food Bank

October 26th, 2018

In June,  I worked on a team to help finish a mural in Southeast Portland.

In July, I was added to the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s Muralist Roster.

And now, I’ve finished a beautiful mural for Mudbone Grown Unity Farm at Oregon Food Bank!

I’ve been doing volunteer shifts in the gardens there for a couple years. I very much admire the work of Art and Shantae, the leaders of this urban farm.

Mural completed by Cedar Lee for Mudbone Grown Unity Farm at Oregon Food Bank

The design for this mural was sketched out by urban farmer and artist Edward Hill before I arrived to do the second half of the work.

Mural completed by Cedar Lee for Mudbone Grown Unity Farm at Oregon Food Bank

I finished filling in the color and added all the finishing details to bring it together into this gorgeous, nature-inspired completed mural.

Mural completed by Cedar Lee for Mudbone Grown Unity Farm at Oregon Food Bank

Mural completed by Cedar Lee for Mudbone Grown Unity Farm at Oregon Food Bank

Mural completed by Cedar Lee for Mudbone Grown Unity Farm at Oregon Food Bank

The plan is to eventually mount the mural up high on the wall of the building.

Mural completed by Cedar Lee for Mudbone Grown Unity Farm at Oregon Food Bank

The mural is approximately 8′ tall and 36′ wide. 

Human for scale!

Mural completed by Cedar Lee for Mudbone Grown Unity Farm at Oregon Food Bank

If you are local to Portland, you can go see it at the barn behind the Oregon Food Bank. (Sign up for a volunteer garden shift while you’re at it!)

Mural completed by Cedar Lee for Mudbone Grown Unity Farm at Oregon Food Bank

I’m so happy to have been a part of this project!

Mural completed by Cedar Lee for Mudbone Grown Unity Farm at Oregon Food Bank

As always, contact me to inquire about your Portland-area mural needs!

Wild Wood

September 24th, 2018

Here is Wild Wood!

Wild Wood. 30" x 40", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Wild Wood. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

This painting was inspired by a photo my friend took on Wildwood Trail, a local Portland hiking spot.

Painting in Cedar Lee art studio: Wild Wood. 30" x 40", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Painting in Cedar Lee art studio: Wild Wood. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

This “wild wood” is full of movement, the details of many weaving twigs and branches, light and color.

Artist Cedar Lee in the studio with painting: Wild Wood. 30" x 40", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Artist Cedar Lee in the studio with painting: Wild Wood. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

At 30″ x 40″, painted on a wood panel, this piece of art can set the mood of a whole room.

Artist Cedar Lee in the studio with painting: Wild Wood. 30" x 40", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Artist Cedar Lee in the studio with painting: Wild Wood. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Crimson and gold leaves hang in the foreground, illuminated by the bright sunlight, signifying the beginning of fall.

Close-up detail: Wild Wood. 30" x 40", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Wild Wood. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Some of the branches are draped with sun-lit moss. The sun, low in the sky, bursts around the edge of the large tree trunk in the foreground.

Close-up detail: Wild Wood. 30" x 40", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Wild Wood. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Hints of a dense forest are shown in soft colors in the background. The trees in the distance are softened and partially washed out by a combination of overpowering sunlight and thick mist in the air.

Close-up detail: Wild Wood. 30" x 40", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Wild Wood. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Some of the foliage in the distance is muted green and blue, with the more sun-drenched trees glowing in pink, lavender and gold. Countless thin branches weave together overhead.

Close-up detail: Wild Wood. 30" x 40", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Close-up detail: Wild Wood. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The beautiful trees fill the whole painting with life.

Painting in Cedar Lee art studio: Wild Wood. 30" x 40", Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Painting in Cedar Lee art studio: Wild Wood. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Original available for purchase.

Book Illustration On the Horizon

September 14th, 2018

I just signed as the illustrator for a book by award-winning children’s author Liz Rusch!

I will be creating artwork for the book over the next year, and it is scheduled to be printed in spring of 2020.

Past work: "Sapphire Eclipse." 3 panels, 20" x 60", © Cedar Lee. SOLD

Past work: “Sapphire Eclipse.” 3 panels, 20″ x 60″, © Cedar Lee. SOLD

The theme of the book is the aurora borealis.

Past work: "Moon Watcher." 12" x 36", © Cedar Lee.  SOLD

Past work: “Moon Watcher.” 12″ x 36″, © Cedar Lee.  SOLD

Some of the previous themes I’ve worked with–images of big colorful skies and the cosmos, and of little people experiencing the grandeur of the big world, have prepared me to paint such a theme.

Past work: "Wind in Your Hair." 12" x 16", © Cedar Lee.  SOLD

Past work: “Wind in Your Hair.” 12″ x 16″, © Cedar Lee.  SOLD

I’m looking forward to this project! More news to come.

Thor: A Rare Portrait

September 10th, 2018

I don’t always paint portraits, but when I do…

Thor. 16" x 16", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Thor. 16″ x 16″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

I paint my handsome cousin Thor!

Thor. 16" x 16", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Thor. 16″ x 16″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

These days portrait commissions are something I do only occasionally, usually for friends and family.

Detail: Thor. 16" x 16", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Detail: Thor. 16″ x 16″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The blue and gold colors in this painting work well together. The turquoise pendant of the necklace brings out the blue in the eyes.

Thor. 16" x 16", Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

Thor. 16″ x 16″, Oil on Canvas, © 2018 Cedar Lee

The hammock in the background creates interesting geometric shapes.

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