Denizen – Cedar Lee


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Acrylic on Canvas  – 16″ x 16″ (18″ x 18″ framed)

One of my favorite things about Portland, Oregon is how many trees can fit into such an urban place. Every street is lined with trees. It makes it feel different from other cities, to be walking down a paved street, but still surrounded by so much nature.

I call this painting “Denizen” because this tree has stood and grown in this spot over many cycles of seasons. It lives here. It rightfully belongs here as part of the web of plants and animals that make up the living things of the city.

The Tree Emergency Response Team is a group of artists that paints trees on properties purchased by developers with the intention of capturing a tree’s beauty in a way that translates to art so that developers and city officials may see the same beauty in trees that artists do.

I was asked to participate in their recent plein air painting event to capture the beautiful trees on a lot in North Portland, which are slated to be cut down unless the Portland Bureau of Transportation allows them to stay.

Urban tree painting by Cedar Lee: "Denizen"