Brisk Day, Vivid Evening | Large-Scale Blue Trees Paintings

I recently asked my friends on social media to send me images of fall trees I could use as inspiration for new paintings. The deal was that if you send me a photo, and I end up using it as inspiration for a painting, you will get a free print of the painting. My friends delivered! I have a huge new trove of images saved to my “inspiration” folder.

Among those are these two photos, neither of which explicitly screams “fall” but both of which were taken in the fall, by my friends who were walking under beautiful trees and felt inspired to take a photo.

This one was taken by my friend Alfredo in Maryland:

Reference photo for painting by Cedar Lee: “Brisk Day”

This one was taken by my friend Eve in Ohio:

Reference photo for painting by Cedar Lee: Vivid Evening

It struck me how much these two photos gave me a similar feeling, despite being taken in totally different places and at different times of day. Both these photos embody that romantic, exhilarating feeling of walking beneath the sky and the trees, and looking up at the intricate tangle of tiny branches. The trees are backlit, in one photo by sun-filled clouds and in the other by a bright moon in a starry night sky.

And both images are dominated by a calming blue color. When I looked at them together, I knew I had to paint these images as a diptych.

Here is “Brisk Day.”

Brisk Day. 60″ x 30″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2022 Cedar Lee

There’s a lot of movement throughout this painting. In the background, a shifting zigzag of bright blue sky is framed by puffy white clouds.

Brisk Day. 60″ x 30″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2022 Cedar Lee

The sun, while not directly visible, fills the clouds with a glowing light.

Detail: Brisk Day. 60″ x 30″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2022 Cedar Lee

The autumn leaves are a range of colors from green to yellow, orange, red and brown, and they are sparse on the countless tiny branches, indicating that we are deep into the fall season and many of the leaves have already fallen.

Detail: Brisk Day. 60″ x 30″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2022 Cedar Lee
Detail: Brisk Day. 60″ x 30″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2022 Cedar Lee

Many small details will be noticed up close.

Detail: Brisk Day. 60″ x 30″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2022 Cedar Lee
Detail: Brisk Day. 60″ x 30″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2022 Cedar Lee

The overall effect is the brilliance of a cold and sunny day. It brings to mind the sound of leaves crunching underfoot.

Brisk Day. 60″ x 30″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2022 Cedar Lee

And here is “Vivid Evening.”

Vivid Evening. 60″ x 30″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2022 Cedar Lee

Moonlight fills the center of this painting with a cool, soft glow, which fades into shades of blue, violet and black at the periphery.

Vivid Evening. 60″ x 30″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2022 Cedar Lee

White splatters of paint illustrate a bright starry sky.

Detail: Vivid Evening. 60″ x 30″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2022 Cedar Lee

The tiny branches weave together in a complex, busy tangle, backlit by the moon and stars.

Detail: Vivid Evening. 60″ x 30″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2022 Cedar Lee
Detail: Vivid Evening. 60″ x 30″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2022 Cedar Lee

The edges of the trees are soft and feathery against the night sky.

Detail: Vivid Evening. 60″ x 30″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2022 Cedar Lee

Layers upon layers of blue and black give this painting depth.

Detail: Vivid Evening. 60″ x 30″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2022 Cedar Lee
Vivid Evening. 60″ x 30″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2022 Cedar Lee

Of course both paintings can be displayed on their own, but they are particularly striking when hung side-by-side.

Large-scale blue tree paintings: Brisk Day (left) and Vivid Evening (right) © 2022 Cedar Lee

Notice that I made the branches of one painting reach off the edges of the canvas and into the other canvas!

Detail: Brisk Day (left) and Vivid Evening (right) © 2022 Cedar Lee

The huge scale of these paintings is hard to convey in photos. Seeing them in person is a different experience!

Artist Cedar Lee with large-scale blue tree paintings: Brisk Day (left) and Vivid Evening (right) © 2022
Large-scale blue tree paintings: Brisk Day (left) and Vivid Evening (right) © 2022 Cedar Lee

Yes, my friends who gave me the inspiring photos have been sent beautiful art prints on metal.

Artist Cedar Lee with large-scale blue tree paintings: Brisk Day (left) and Vivid Evening (right) © 2022
Feel free to contact me with any questions about purchasing the originals, or if you’d like to order prints of these paintings.
Artist Cedar Lee with large-scale blue tree paintings: Brisk Day (left) and Vivid Evening (right) © 2022

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