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!

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.

Installation of Hector Hernandez Monarca Mural in Portland, OR

June 13th, 2018

All spring I have been taking this course in muralism under the brilliant mural artist Hector H. Hernandez through PSU.

Cedar Lee assisting in installation of Hector Hernandez Monarca Mural in Portland, OR

Here’s the project my team just completed! Hector already had a mural up on this building, and we added the top part under the eaves of the roof to complete the image.

Cedar Lee assisting in installation of Hector Hernandez Monarca Mural in Portland, OR

Cedar Lee assisting in installation of Hector Hernandez Monarca Mural in Portland, OR

We painted the image onto Pellon interfacing fabric, (similar to parachute fabric) then glued it onto the building with acrylic soft gel medium.

 
Cedar Lee assisting in installation of Hector Hernandez Monarca Mural in Portland, OR

Cedar Lee assisting in installation of Hector Hernandez Monarca Mural in Portland, OR

It’s a very cool technique that allows you to complete all your hours of painting elsewhere, then install the mural on site very quickly in one day.

Cedar Lee assisting in installation of Hector Hernandez Monarca Mural in Portland, OR

Hector Hernandez Monarca Mural in Portland, OR

Hector Hernandez Monarca Mural in Portland, OR

Hector Hernandez Monarca Mural in Portland, OR

I’m excited about all I’ve learned in this class!

Hector Hernandez Monarca Mural in Portland, OR

Hector Hernandez Monarca Mural in Portland, OR

I have done some mural work in the past, but in assisting Hector with this project, I’ve added some of the newest advances in mural-painting techniques to my qualifications as an artist.

Hector Hernandez Monarca Mural in Portland, OR

Hector Hernandez Monarca Mural in Portland, OR

If you are in Portland, go check out this mural at SE 49th and Division!

Cedar Lee (left) and Hector Hernandez (right) with Monarca Mural in Portland, OR

Cedar Lee (left) and Hector Hernandez (right) with Monarca Mural in Portland, OR

 

 

Art Show up at Beeswing in Portland for Month of June

May 31st, 2018

I’ve just hung a show at Beeswing Cafe in Northeast Portland!

Art by Cedar Lee at Beeswing Cafe in Portland

Art by Cedar Lee at Beeswing Cafe in Portland

You can see 24 of my paintings up on the walls there through the month of June.

Art by Cedar Lee at Beeswing Cafe in Portland

Art by Cedar Lee at Beeswing Cafe in Portland

Art by Cedar Lee at Beeswing Cafe in Portland

Art by Cedar Lee at Beeswing Cafe in Portland

My large-scale pieces accentuate the high ceilings of the sunny space.

Art by Cedar Lee at Beeswing Cafe in Portland

Art by Cedar Lee at Beeswing Cafe in Portland

If you’re local to Portland, it’s a chance to experience some of my work in person before my big Summer Sale in July.

Art by Cedar Lee at Beeswing Cafe in Portland

Art by Cedar Lee at Beeswing Cafe in Portland

The address of the cafe is 4318 NE Cully Blvd, Portland, OR 97218. Their hours: MON-TUES 8AM-3PM, WED-SUNDAY 8AM-9PM.

Art by Cedar Lee at Beeswing Cafe in Portland

Art by Cedar Lee at Beeswing Cafe in Portland

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.

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