Eclipse Over Red Hills

Here is “Eclipse Over Red Hills.” This image had been forming in my mind since my trip to visit family in Asheville, NC in December, so it was one of the first things I painted when I got back into the studio in the new year.

Eclipse Over Red Hills. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee
Eclipse Over Red Hills. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Of course, since I’m fully focused on my Eclipse series right now, depicting solar eclipses in an awe-inspiring way is forefront in my current art.

Detail: Eclipse Over Red Hills. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Here you can see the “diamond ring effect” in the sun’s corona at this moment of the eclipse. You can see I’ve painted the yellow/gold sky smooth and flat, while the texture of the moon and the land is an extremely thick texture created with cold wax medium painted on with palette knives.

Eclipse Over Red Hills. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee
Eclipse Over Red Hills. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The Blue Ridge Mountains, one of the most beautiful landscapes you’ll ever see, are etched into my mind’s eye from the years I lived in Asheville during my teens. Seeing those mountains again this winter was a treat for me.

One of the distinctive features of this ancient mountain range is how ripply it is, the mountains spread over the land like a very rumpled blanket with many folds. Because of this, particularly when the sun is low in the sky, the mountains in the distance appear in a multitude of gradations of color. This effect has always inspired the way I paint mountains.

Detail: Eclipse Over Red Hills. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee
Detail: Eclipse Over Red Hills. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The painting, including the thick texture of the paint of the mountains and the thin smoothness of the paint of the sky, continues around the edges of the canvas.

Eclipse Over Red Hills. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee
Eclipse Over Red Hills. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The painting is only 12″ high. But it’s width is spread out over 36″. Because of the dramatic panorama format, it has the presence of a larger painting.

Paintings in art studio of Cedar Lee. On easel: Eclipse Over Red Hills. 12" x 36", Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee
Paintings in art studio of Cedar Lee. On easel: Eclipse Over Red Hills. 12″ x 36″, Oil on Canvas, © 2017 Cedar Lee

I find this size and format particularly satisfying, and I have more paintings of this size planned.

My studio is starting to fill up with images of solar eclipses as I complete them!

Cedar Lee Eclipse paintings in art studio
Cedar Lee Eclipse paintings in art studio

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