From the Art By Cedar Archives: Life Cycles of the Apple & Cherry Trees

In both these pieces from 2005, I was playing with a fun concept: Portraying all the stages a fruit tree goes through, from flowering to fruit, to dropping seeds that a new tree can sprout from, in one image all at once.

Both paintings are diptychs–the image is painted on two separate canvases which are then hung together on the wall. Since then, I’ve done more diptychs, and triptychs, and even pieces with four or five separate canvases that are all hung together to make one image!

Life Cycle of the Apple Tree. 28" x 18" (Each panel is 14" x 18"), Acrylic on Canvas, © 2005 Cedar Lee
Life Cycle of the Apple Tree. 28″ x 18″ (Each panel is 14″ x 18″), Acrylic on Canvas, © 2005 Cedar Lee

In this one of the apple tree, you can see the pink blooms on the top left shift to tiny apples in the center then big, red, ripe ones on the left. In the bottom panel, the leaves have all fallen off the tree and the dark rotten apples lie on the ground at the end of the season. A tiny new sprout grows out of one of them.

The cherry tree is similar.

I like how in this one, however, the life cycle makes more of a complete circle: spring on the top left with the pink blossoms, summer on the top right with the glossy green cherry leaves and the tree laden with ripe fruit.

Life Cycle of the Cherry Tree. 32" x 20" (Each panel is 16" x 20"), Acrylic on Canvas, © 2005 Cedar Lee
Life Cycle of the Cherry Tree. 32″ x 20″ (Each panel is 16″ x 20″), Acrylic on Canvas, © 2005 Cedar Lee

The hanging fruit draws the eye down to the bottom right and the brown leaves of autumn, then the bottom left brings us back to spring, with baby tree shoots growing out of the ground, and in the branches of the tree above, more pink blossoms pull the circle back around.

Notice the cute little bird holding a cherry in its beak!

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