Cedar Lee

Here’s what I can tell you about my life as an artist: Having moved around the U.S. a lot, I consider myself a native of both the East and West Coasts. I was always a straight-A student, and I hold an art degree from Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. I’ve sold my paintings since I was 12 years old. I had my first solo show at age 16, and I’ve sold my art through galleries since 2006. I have been working on my “Looking Up” series of forest-themed paintings since about 2005. In recent
years, my focus has started to shift away from the trees themselves and more towards the brilliance of the sun, how the light, shadows and colors play out as the sun bursts through the trees and washes over us. My recent paintings all sparkle with this brilliant light! It’s rainbow prisms, jewels, blinding rays of light and lens flares, all in the context of standing under the peaceful shelter of a forest. The result is joyful, energizing images that give my viewers a peaceful feeling of wonder and help them celebrate their own experiences of Earth’s beautiful forests. In 2020 I began the “Plant Mama” series, which continues my exploration of brilliant sunlight and vibrant colors. In this series, I paint the plants in my garden and the potted house plants throughout my home. Plants have been a source of joy and endless fascination for me throughout my entire adult life. I began exploring my own relationship to my plants, and all the emotions they inspire in me, by incorporating the plant life around me into self-portraits.

The approximately 600 paintings I’ve created so far depict garden images and plants, the sun and sky, tree canopies and forests, the symbolically rich Tree of Life, colorful images of solar eclipses and the cosmos, as well as florals, portraits, animal portraits, and various landscapes. Practically all of my hundreds of works have been sold to private collectors. I have worked on murals, large contracts, book illustrations and covers. I paint in a small, light-filled studio in my backyard. My paintings fill every wall of my home. New collectors of my work often discover me through social media, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. I have a lot of artist friends and I provide advice to aspiring artists. I’ve taught art to children and adults. My original paintings are valued in the range of $300 to $5,000. For people not currently in the market for an original, I also offer a selection of affordable prints, with new images added each year. I love tending to my house plants and working in my vegetable and flower garden. I’m always reading. I love living in Portland, Oregon with my boisterous family, but I have a thirst for adventure and beautiful places, so I travel and spend time outdoors as often as possible. When I’m not in the studio, I pack and ship my paintings to galleries and buyers and write about and market my work. I use acrylics and oils, and I paint on canvas and wood panels.

My paintings include specific images I’ve photographed, but they are also about my memories and emotions, my childhood and world travels, a lifetime of noticing colors in the sky and meandering on so many forest trails.
My work celebrates the endless beauty of this world, inspires environmentalist values, and evokes the calm, grounded feeling that humans have when they connect deeply with nature.

-Cedar Lee