Tree of Life With Phoenixes & Wherever Light Is

These 2 paintings are quite different from each other, but I’m sharing them together because I painted them at the same time as commissioned pieces–one made for a mother and the other for her daughter.

Tree of Life With Phoenixes is a new iteration of my previous painting, “Tree of Life” which I made way back in 2008 as a commissioned piece for a friend.

Here is the previous painting:

Tree of Life. 24″ x 30″, Acrylic on Canvas, © 2008 Cedar Lee

And here is “Tree of Life With Phoenixes,” 2021:

Tree of Life With Phoenixes. 30″ x 60″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2021 Cedar Lee

My client wanted the same theme–the Tree of Life flanked by two flying phoenixes.

Detail: Tree of Life With Phoenixes. 30″ x 60″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2021 Cedar Lee

But she wanted the image stretched out horizontally to be 60″ across–a very large-scale piece!

Tree of Life With Phoenixes. 30″ x 60″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2021 Cedar Lee

She also wanted the colors to be a bit more earthy.

The symbolic themes in this painting are fitting as we go through another cycle of winter holidays, on the edge of a new year.

Tree of Life With Phoenixes. 30″ x 60″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2021 Cedar Lee

The Tree of Life: The interconnectedness of all life on Earth. Universal wisdom. A link between the physical and the mythical. Inspiration and growth.

Art in painter’s studio: Tree of Life With Phoenixes. 30″ x 60″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2021 Cedar Lee

The phoenix: Eternal rebirth and cyclical renewal.

Detail: Tree of Life With Phoenixes. 30″ x 60″, Acrylic on Linen, © 2021 Cedar Lee

The second piece, made to the daughter’s specifications, is one of my paintings on a live edge slab.

Wherever Light Is. 41″ x 14″, Acrylic on Live Edge Slab, © 2021 Cedar Lee

She loved my previous painting from last year, “Sunflower With Rain.”

Sunflower With Rain. ~33″ x 19″, Acrylic on Live Edge Slab, © 2020 Cedar Lee

So, based on that previous painting, I created a background with similar colors and long drips of paint, and took the same sunflower from my previous painting, but I flipped it, stretched it, and gave it two leaves instead of three, to fit the tall and narrow shape of this live edge slab better.

Wherever Light Is. 41″ x 14″, Acrylic on Live Edge Slab, © 2021 Cedar Lee

This painting is organically framed by the unpainted wooden edges of this slab.

Wherever Light Is. 41″ x 14″, Acrylic on Live Edge Slab, © 2021 Cedar Lee

I left the most beautiful features of the wood grain exposed, working the natural details of the wood into the designs of the artwork.

Wherever Light Is. 41″ x 14″, Acrylic on Live Edge Slab, © 2021 Cedar Lee
Detail: Wherever Light Is. 41″ x 14″, Acrylic on Live Edge Slab, © 2021 Cedar Lee

My client also requested I add specific text into the painting, part of this quote by Helen Mirren:


“I don’t think there’s anything on this planet that more trumpets life that the sunflower. For me that’s because of the reason behind its name. Not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky. A satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it. And that’s such an admirable thing. And such a lesson in life.”

Detail: Wherever Light Is. 41″ x 14″, Acrylic on Live Edge Slab, © 2021 Cedar Lee

I painted the text using an acrylic paint pen.

Detail: Wherever Light Is. 41″ x 14″, Acrylic on Live Edge Slab, © 2021 Cedar Lee
Detail: Wherever Light Is. 41″ x 14″, Acrylic on Live Edge Slab, © 2021 Cedar Lee
Detail: Wherever Light Is. 41″ x 14″, Acrylic on Live Edge Slab, © 2021 Cedar Lee
Wherever Light Is. 41″ x 14″, Acrylic on Live Edge Slab, © 2021 Cedar Lee

These paintings were both fun and interesting projects. I love creating new artwork that revisits previous themes I have painted, but doing it in a new way.

Happy collector with commissioned art by Cedar Lee

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