Eclipse Art: A Dream of Joy and Sorrow

A woman stands alone in a bleak rocky landscape, gazing at the total solar eclipse that fills the expansive golden sky.

She feels simultaneously desolate and wonder-stuck by the awesome scene before her.

A Dream of Joy and Sorrow. 30" x 40", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee
A Dream of Joy and Sorrow. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

I’ve always loved the poem “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann, especially the line towards the end:

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.

This is such a true description of the bittersweet nature of our experience. Within a very short window of time, and sometimes even all at once, we can feel the heavy weight of grief and pain and also the buoyancy of gratitude and wonderment. This is what I was thinking of as I created this image: “A Dream of Joy and Sorrow.”

A Dream of Joy and Sorrow. 30" x 40", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee
A Dream of Joy and Sorrow. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

The joyful feeling comes from the rare treat of witnessing this solar eclipse–the light of the sun bursts from behind the dark disk of the moon, flooding the sky with red and gold light. At the periphery, where the sky is darker, countless twinkling stars are visible.

Detail: A Dream of Joy and Sorrow. 30" x 40", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee
Detail: A Dream of Joy and Sorrow. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

The shadows of the moon’s rocky surface are an earthy charcoal, the highlights a muted gold.

Detail: A Dream of Joy and Sorrow. 30" x 40", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee
Detail: A Dream of Joy and Sorrow. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

The sorrowful feeling is represented by the stark, barren landscape surrounding the woman, and by the inky black liquid dripping down the hills in the foreground like endless seeping tears. The earth is crying.

Detail: A Dream of Joy and Sorrow. 30" x 40", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee
Detail: A Dream of Joy and Sorrow. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

You’ll notice that there is a teardrop trailing down below each of her feet, as if the sorrow is flowing down through her body, out her feet which are planted on the top of that little hill, and into the ground along with the other tears. Meanwhile, her body is still and her face is lifted in amazement towards the spectacle in the sky.

This painting is 30″ x 40″.

Artist with her work: A Dream of Joy and Sorrow. 30" x 40", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee (Background: Oxygen. 30" x 40", Oil on Wood)
Artist with her work: A Dream of Joy and Sorrow. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee (Background: Oxygen. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Wood)

The painting continues around the edges.

A Dream of Joy and Sorrow. 30" x 40", Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee
A Dream of Joy and Sorrow. 30″ x 40″, Oil on Canvas, © 2016 Cedar Lee

 

4 thoughts on “Eclipse Art: A Dream of Joy and Sorrow

  1. Kenneth Kirkpatrick

    Yes Cedar ,

    You really are a wonder & quite a busy bee .

    Can’y really get into purchasing your work . However I would be interested in purchasing some card of your work if you decide to venture into that area , which seems doubtful ? as some much is going on in your universe it would seem by the paintings output to have , Phenomenal !

    Keep on smiling & have a great Christmas Hey!

    Fellow Artist in NZ / ( 2/1216 )

    Kenneth / Big Bear or Kirky – for short !

  2. Laila

    Hello Cedar,
    You are an amazing artist. By looking and seeing your beautiful artwork, it made me to go back and start painting again.
    Please add me to your email list and keep me updated with your new artworks. You are such a great inspiration for me.
    I am an artist too and want to share something with you.
    I know you are very busy, but I was wondering if I could reach you by phone or email to ask you for your advice the art work that I am planing to start.
    It will be beneficial for me to start it right with the help of professional like you.
    Please email me if you can.

    Best Regards

    Laila Shneezai

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.