Not that I’ll ever stop painting chickens…


Work table with paintings and works in progress, Aug 2014, Cindy Schnackel

Decided to do three more miniature cartoony chicken paintings.  Also on the table in various stages of progress are bottle caps with tiny birds painted on them! Right now, the table is taken up by frames that need cleaning in anticipation of another group of affordable miniatures being offered next year, or sooner.  They are always available. I have penciled in plans with a gallery to show again in April next year, a two person show.  I won’t say what it’s about, and you won’t see me post much if anything that’s going to be in it! I want it to be seen for the first time AT the show, and I probably won’t announce the show until the gallery does.

In the meantime I’ll still be painting birds, big and small probably. It’s almost fall here, which means outdoors might be nice enough soon to take big canvases out and paint with palette knives again.  I’ve got quite a few things going. Before I can really proceed I need to do a thorough cleaning and organizing of my studio again. Amazing how fast that can get out of order if I neglect that “place for everything” principle.  I have no idea how I managed at our old house where I didn’t even have a studio.  Besides collage material, frames, work in progress, there is now the material to work with for the 2015 show.  Some of it defies categorization.  Will there be birds? Almost certainly, but not entirely birds.

One of my new projects this summer was to create a new blog , titled “Found A Chicken.”  You can read an interview I did with Sarah Hudock and her chicken art here:

I plan to blog there about a variety of chickeny topics, from chicken sightings to artist interviews to maybe even a review of ‘fake chicken’ brands, because since we don’t eat chickens, we have tried many. Some are very convincing and tasty!

Congrats, Paul Wilson!


Paul at the Phoenix Art Museum 2012 with part of his Lee exhibit

Great article in the Phoenix New Times today about my friend, artist Paul Wilson!

Paul’s presence in college classes in the 80s, and scenic art jobs thru the 80s and 90s, made a lot of those things so much more fun. In some cases there were jobs from hell and then, he made them bearable! There were days my face hurt from laughing.

There are few times in life I’ve met anyone who shared my weird sense of humor or just ‘clicked’ with.   In those years of college and art industry day jobs it was often Paul I was giggling with over some absurd thing.  He was one of the rare people with whom I could really open the door and let the creatures out.


Me, “Tim B,” and Paul, somewhere up by Oak Creek Canyon, AZ, in the mid 80s.

The above photo is of Paul and I, (and a guy named Tim, whom we’ve long lost touch with so I pixelated his face because of permissions and all that), on an impromptu camping trip in probably our last year of college, so around 1985 or 86.  We just decided to go on a road trip, totally unprepared and ended up eating truck stop junk snacks and sleeping on the ground in some completely dark patch of desert, where we were basically lost until the sun came up and we could see roads again. I can’t believe we weren’t stung by scorpions! In those days I’d never seen one so didn’t think about such things.  Another case of laughing til our faces hurt, we had fun doing what would be considered extremely uncomfortable under any other circumstances.  I remember that shirt, it was once black and said “Real Good Art” or some such thing.

I believe it was the year we graduated that we had a two person show at a leather shop/gallery in Tempe that’s no longer there. It was on Mill Ave not far from the Valley Art Theater, where BTW Paul once showed a collection of his amazing films and parodies.  We titled our show “Buy it!” to kind of make fun at consumerism, which the New Times article mentions as a factor he has spoofed before.  I don’t remember what paintings either of us had in it in much entirety but I think Paul was into Parker Stevenson then, maybe he showed the amazing colored pencil drawing of Parker watching a horror show on TV and eating popcorn out of a large stainless steel bowl. The execution was flawless, right down to the reflections on the bowl and individual hairs on Parker, if I recall. We also served junk food, Twinkies probably. And, I am not sure, but don’t think we sold a thing. I know I didn’t. Glad to say that situation has improved by now.

When my husband Brian and I moved away from Phoenix in the late 90’s Paul and I kept in touch, mailing each other senseless and often tasteless cartoons and stories. When we returned to Phoenix in 2009 I was not at all surprised to see Paul going strong with his unique brand of art. It was good to see him having solo shows and an an exhibit in the Phoenix Art Museum.  His events were always packed for good reason. And he always had so many things going on I could never keep up! I really enjoyed the artist’s statement at his Lee Harvey Oswald themed show at Willo North a couple of years ago, that explained how the fantasy was ‘what if’ Oswald had been a teen heart throb instead of an alleged assassin.  Who else could turn that into a positive? More recently he had a solo show at R. Pela themed partially on Oswald but also toasters. I became a collector and now own a couple of small pieces of Paul’s, a “Lee” image on toast, and a photo of Paul dressed as Rod Serling of the Night Gallery TV show.  Of course, somewhere in unpacked boxes from many moves, are the cartoons and such, too.

Like the author of the article, I’m amazed at the range of characters Paul can play, and how well he plays them. I’m a big fan of the “Kimbles,” especially “Carol-ann.”

Despite having known Paul for decades now, he’s so productive I have probably only seen a fraction of his work. He continues to surprise, amuse, and amaze me.

I’m glad to see him getting this coverage!Congrat’s Paul!

Tour de Farce, the faux, fake and fabulous art of Paul Wilson, by Kathleen Vanesian, Phoenix New Times, Thursday, 7 Aug. 2014:

The Art of Making Mistakes..


Wonderful post! Reblogging…

Originally posted on The Secret Kingdom:


Throughout The Secret Kingdom you will find several little drawings that I made using a ball-point pen.

I did all the interior illustrations for Lemon Bee and Other Peculiar Tales with just a pen and paper.

I love to draw in pen.


Because you can’t make mistakes.

Well, technically you CAN make mistakes.. but drawing in pen teaches you to not be defeated by mistakes.

Big difference.

Drawing in pen teaches you to be creative.

Drawing in pen teaches you to bounce back.

When mistakes do happen.. and they will

do you just trash the whole thing and start over?


You work through it.

You get creative.

You bounce back.

Such is life.

View original

Show extended after PBS coverage; Thrift store makeovers


Good China in the Bad Desert, Acrylic on deep edged panel, 48 x 20 in. $600

“DRY” Extended into at least early August due to interest after media coverage

After PBS’s show, Horizon, covered the art show I’m in, there was a lot of interest from people who had not seen the show. So, gallery owner Robrt Pela decided to extend the show into August, (when the gallery had been planning to be be closed until the September show opened). So, if you missed the art show, it is still there and will be for a little while!  Below is the gallery site, and a link to the Horizon segment covering the show, in case you missed that, too:

R. Pela Contemporary Art Gallery, Phoenix AZ:

PBS Horizon, Art Beat coverage of “Dry” show at R. Pela gallery 22 July 2014:



A thrift store makeover (and some paintings on bottle caps) in progress. Reprint being altered is Robert Zund’s “Way to Emmaus,” originally painted in the 1800’s.

Thrift store makeover sold

Another thrift store makeover has sold, this time a take off on Robert Zund’s 1800’s painting, “Way to Emmaus,” (a cardboard reprint of it)!  I added some giant chickens, a pensive peanut, a monster, and a gave Jesus a balloon. A buyer saw my post about it on Facebook and snapped it up. Yay!

A painting of this era is in the public domain due to age, copyrights having expired. While alterations are the copyright of the new artist who comes along and changes a public domain image, the original unaltered version remains in the public domain. There could be many altered versions of this around though I don’t know of any.  Initially I was just going to add the balloon, but of course that was not going to stand. I had to add chickens, etc.  The above image was  nearly complete.  I’ll probably offer it printed on products on my redbubble site, haven’t decided which ones yet, but I tested out the templates for products and really liked Jesus with a balloon for the cell phone cases.  Subtle but irreverent.

Because of a request I’ll be doing more thrift store makeovers. I will never lose interest in painting birds but as most artists do, I sometimes like to shift focus to something different. A new medium or subject, or whatever. Doing more thrift store makeovers is what excites me right now, so I’ll be scouring local thrift stores for reprints of classics especially.  Below is one I did earlier this year, while it was still in progress. (It also sold).


Work in progress shot, adding birds to thrift store reprint of Rembrandt’s Girl in an Open Door, (originally painted in the 1600’s). This was completed for a show in April 2014 and sold. I ended up painting out the white scratch. At first I was going to capitalize on what it obviously looked like, but it was just “too much poop” even for me, LOL!

On PBS’s Horizon tonight

If you’ll be in front of your TV tonight check this out! I’m told that the show I have a painting in at R. Pela Contemporary Art is going to be covered on tonight’s episode of Horizon on PBS (channel 8) here in the Phoenix area.  Here is the channel guide for our local PBS stations:

The gallery is still open by appointment until we the show is taken down at the end of the month, so if you wanted to see it hurry, it’s not going to be there much longer! Gallery link:

Anxious to see what they say. Not sure if it’s an interview with the gallery owner, a visit to the show, or both, or something entirely different.

Blogs For Artists


Good collection of blog links by David McDonough!

Originally posted on David McDonough's Art Blog:

Whatever your interest, the internet’s got it. From tips and tricks, to news and reviews, if art is your thing, you’ll dig the following blogs.


I love art blogs. Here are some of my favorites:


Billing itself as a forum for playful, serious, and radical perspectives on art and culture in the world today, Hyperallergic pulls no punches – case in point, this review of Jeff Koons at the Whitney.

Art F City

In addition to blunt criticism, Art F City keeps it casual with a section called STUFF. Basically, STUFF is a look inside the lives of artists through their personal possessions. A unique peak inside the creative mind.


With tons of articles on how to launch and grow a successful art or craft business, Aryshark is a valuable resource for artists at any stage of their career. Art + Business is especially useful.


Like Artyshark, Artpromotivate provides lots of…

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Taking a sketchbook (almost) everywhere


Monster with Soul Patch, graphite pencil on paper, 7 x 5 inches, Cindy Schnackel

The other night, I went to my husband’s recreational hockey game, where I knew there would be about a half hour before the game, and after, for all the changing, showering, etc.  I almost always take something interesting to do, usually a sketchbook and basic pencils or pens. This time, I was in the mood to do some graphite drawing. I like Ebony pencils, they’re very black and soft, though it’s not the only kind I use. Also, I had one of those little rolled paper stomps, to blend small areas.  I had a small eraser to re-pick out some highlights that got smudged.  When I got home I sprayed it with a non aerosol fixative called Spectrafix, which I like because it is far less toxic than most fixatives.

If you like to use wet media, (which I do too),  there are at least two brands of the water pens; mine’s Pentel’s Aquash.  I believe Koi and Niji also make water brushes. I first got one during a Pentel demo at an art supply store awhile back. The brush tip is really nice, and they’re great to use with ink pens that have at least a bit of water solubility to them, or water soluble pencils, (color or graphite). I fill mine with distilled water, because I don’t know if the minerals in tap water might eventually build up.

The easiest thing to take traveling could be a ballpoint pen. You can get multi-color ones and overlap strokes, creating nearly any hue you like.  There is some amazing ballpoint pen work out there. Some people get into photorealism with it but it can be much more. Here’s an article about ball point pen art, albeit  probably not done in a few minutes on the bus:

On a long trip or long wait somewhere, I’d be lost without some way to create.  Absent drawing tools, I may fold paper, play with my food, arrange dust, or scratch concrete with a rock.   It can be mesmerizing to just get lost in the shading and details, or whatever process you choose, and before you know it, the long boring wait is over.