Sun & Shadows

I’ve finished another 48″ x 48″!

Here is “Sun & Shadows.”

Cedar Lee, artist in the studio with oil painting Sun & Shadows. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee
Cedar Lee, artist in the studio with oil painting Sun & Shadows. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

It’s a sunny summer day in the redwood forest. There is a sharp contrast between light and dark throughout the image.

Sun & Shadows. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee
Sun & Shadows. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Brilliant white sunlight floods the whole sky, completely washing out the highest parts of the large sequoia tree in the center.

Artwork in painting studio: Sun & Shadows. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee
Artwork in painting studio: Sun & Shadows. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The sunlight illuminates some of the distant tree tops in yellow.

Detail: Sun & Shadows. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee
Detail: Sun & Shadows. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

In the foreground, but still high above our heads, as we are craning our necks to look straight up into the sky, floats a cluster of rich green leaves.

Detail: Sun & Shadows. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee
Detail: Sun & Shadows. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Some of the leaves are in shadow, a green so dark it’s almost black, while others are brighter, lighter shades of green, catching sunlight from above.

Detail: Sun & Shadows. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee
Detail: Sun & Shadows. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The giant tree trunk is blue and purple in shadow, back-lit by the sun. In front of it, leaves sit in a bright patch of sun, shining white and yellow.

Detail: Sun & Shadows. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee
Detail: Sun & Shadows. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The far-away tree tops high in the sky are represented by thousands of tiny shapes, dots of light and color strewn together. It gives a sense of movement, and the twinkling of light as it filters through the many tiny shapes.

Detail: Sun & Shadows. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee
Detail: Sun & Shadows. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The forest on this day is dazzling! There is a sense of cool shade from this vantage point.

Sun & Shadows. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee
Sun & Shadows. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

The heat of the sun is all outside, above the forest, being captured up there in the sky by the living green network of ancient trees.

Sun & Shadows. 48" x 48", Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee
Sun & Shadows. 48″ x 48″, Oil on Wood, © 2017 Cedar Lee

Here is a quick glimpse of the painting progress, taken in the studio earlier this month:

2 thoughts on “Sun & Shadows

  1. Mark

    I really like the swirling movement of colour in this piece: the way the blues give way to greens, the greens give way to the pale yellow/orange (I don’t know which colours you’re using). And also the variation in marks, just like variations in nature.

    I also like how with both this piece and Sun-Dappled Sequoias you’re developing your own identifiable palette.

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