Chicken Portrait, Herberger gallery at AZ Center


Work in progress; I had not yet finished some details here.

A few weeks ago, photographer Archie Tucker and his photographer wife Connie Tucker asked me to participate in a show at the Herberger Gallery at Arizona Center. The gallery is fairly new and has a variety of local artists and photographers. The invitation was to create a derivative work, a painting based on one of their photos. They wanted me to paint from one of their beautiful chicken portraits that I’d previously “Liked” on their Facebook page. I didn’t do an exact copy, but I wanted to stick pretty close to it, as I loved the dark background and the chicken’s various textures. I suspect that chicken was part silkie, because it had fur-like feathers but a red comb, (silkies usually have black combs). There are lots of delightful silkie crosses, and silkies are so near and dear to my heart.

Here is the finished painting, which is now hanging in the Herberger gallery, and will be there for about a month.


“Chicken Portrait,” Acrylic on deep edged panel, 20 x 16 in. Cindy Schnackel, from photo by Archie Tucker with permission, 2016.

I was asked about doing another for later in November and I would sure like to. A hummingbird this time most likely! Now I need to go buy a plant that hummers like, so I can sit outside and sketch them before I embark on a painting of one! Oh the horrors, to ‘have to’ go buy flowers!ūüėÄ

Herberger Gallery at Arizona Center

455 N. 3rd St. Ste 1200

(602) 254-7399

The gallery has more open hours than many of those on the first and third Friday art walk routes, but call first if you plan to go, to be sure what the hours that day are. To make sure you don’t go to the wrong gallery,¬†go to the one in the AZ Center, which is a shopping/dining area. Confusion could arise because the¬†Herberger Theater Center across the street from the AZ Center also has a gallery.

Herberger at AZ Center Facebook page

Archie (A.O. Tucker) and Connie’s site

The Price of Art Supplies!

I won’t publish the photo of the painting panels that cost $134 for a pack of 10, 8×10 in., panels, it might not set well with the store or the brand. ¬†The panels were double sided which, since they were marketed as handy for outdoor painting, could be ok. But what if both sides ended up being something you would sell? If they were only for studies, then there are much cheaper panels made of paper, or heck, why not repurpose something like cardboard coated with gesso? For keepers, two sided does not make sense. For disposables, expensive does not make sense.¬†Nonetheless, it speaks to the fact we can’t sell our work for peanuts!

The other panels I looked at had suddenly jumped in price since I last bought a few for work I did this year. Small uncradled panels that used to cost me two-six dollars were now more like six to ten dollars. Cradled ones were insane! One brand of cradled panels in 8×8 in was about $25 and that was the “sale” price! I looked at the labels of at least three or four brands. One that had formerly been all American made now had ¬†“Made in China” on it. So there goes any advantage to paying more for American made.


My favorite brush cleaner, 24 oz tub, lasts me at least a year!

Usually, I wait until I get a coupon or there is a sale, to buy the large size or really expensive items. Michaels seems to be the only store that carries the large tub of my favorite brush cleaner. Even at half off with a coupon it’s not cheap, but it lasts a long time so over time it’s still economical. Last time I bought a tub, about a year ago, it was in the 20’s or 30s, now it is over $40. It’ll make me consider switching to a liquid that I bought some small bottles of to try, to see whether they are more economical, but I doubt they will be. The solid cake as in the picture has virtually no waste, an important factor in how economical it is to use. Also never evaporates or dries up and can’t spill!

Brushes have always been costly for good ones. Lately, the good ones seem to be of less quality though, making me consider cheaper ones. A number of ‘good’ brushes are also made in countries known for cheap junk. The heads wobble in the store; you know they won’t stay on long at home! Before quality and prices took their last jumps up/down, I had gotten a good varnishing brush. I can tell the construction is kind of shoddy but I’ll glue its head back on if it comes off. The brush itself is really nice, though.

Some of my brushes are from the 1980s! Some of those are still in great shape. I’ve taken good care of them. Any time I think I can’t get all the paint out, I leave the brush cleaning lather in it, shape the tip, and just leave it that way until I use it again. That seems to keep paint from drying permanently in the bristles if you have a tough one. Just rinse it out before you paint with it!


Some of my brushes drying.

Other brushes, especially round ones that are supposed to have a nice sharp point, may not last long as the intended shape. I just go ahead and use them for scumbling or other rough uses. When they splay really badly, they make great ‘grass’ and ‘hair’ brushes, more random and natural looking IMO than the special effects brushes cut to do the same thing. (Top brush in photo above.)

The cheap replacement for it, (middle), has bristles that aren’t packed very tight, so paint can still be up in there no matter how carefully it’s cleaned. I leave the lather in it to try to keep it from becoming splayed.

Bottom brush is a favorite for applying isolation coats and top coats of acrylic medium, as its fine, soft bristles don’t leave marks and it holds a lot. The head is cheaply attached, but I’ve had good luck simply gorilla-gluing heads back on to brushes, so will do that if/when I have to.




A women painters group I recently joined decided we all needed to challenge ourselves with the color green, since so many of us said it was our least favorite color. That prompted me to start something I’ve been putting off; making a sketchbook into a color mixing chart like I did years ago and foolishly threw away in one of my many moves. Just started today, with swatches of all the greens I had on hand. Next, I’ll do some mixing samples with other colors to make my own greens. And so on.

The little painting isn’t done yet, and not sure it’ll end up being my “Green Challenge” piece.

What are YOUR favorite or least favorite colors? Are there any premade greens you like or dislike? My favorite ready made green is Golden’s Green Gold. I have others on hand but that is one I would have a hard time living without. It’s quite transparent. Even though I don’t much like green, I like Green Gold. Sap Green is another I kind of like. And, to do the challenge, I made myself buy a small tube of Chrome Green, a color I haven’t bought since I did oils back in the 80s. I kind of like it, so far, but most of it has been covered up in the little painting.

October’s 10 x 10 sale at Mesa Arts Center


Pink Monster 1, acrylic on deep edged canvas, 10 x 10 in.



Pink Monster 2, acrylic on deep edged canvas, 10 x 10 in.

These two paintings are at the Mesa Arts Center for their 10 x 10 sale Oct 10th, 2016. A good opportunity to get affordable work, each piece in the event is this size and only $100 each. Event is a fund raiser to support the arts center, which is a beautiful space. You can see the other gallery shows at the same time as far as I know, and during normal hours just seeing the gallery is free. There are concert venues and a gift shop in the complex, too.


Show openings went well!


Hanging night at Olney, almost done putting up the artworks.

Abstract to Absurd, with Carlos Raush’s abstract paintings and my birds and monsters, opened Friday, Sept 2nd, and runs through Wed Sept 28th. Olney has some daytime hours, weekdays 9-4, a good idea to call in advance to be sure they will be open.

It was a great opening, with a steady crowd, and people really seemed to enjoy the color and whimsy of the show, overall. Carlos and I were kept occupied in conversation, and Manny who manages the gallery was also kept busy. It was wonderful to have people say my work made them smile or laugh! The work in this show was mostly just fun and absurd, so it’s good to know you hit the mark. People also asked what inspired me to do this kind of work, and of course a love of animals, particularly birds, was part of that answer. I explained that I usually work pretty spontaneously and without a conscious message, and they seemed to like that they really could interpret it themselves. I made a couple of sales and there was interest in buying some of the small series as a group, so hopefully that will happen.



Fatal Farm show at {9} The Gallery. Before opening night, all hung.

I didn’t get hardly any shots during the show, I was too busy, and tend not to think of my phone there in my purse, to take pics! But I did take pano shots of both shows while being hung. People who tend to take lots of event shots did so and I saw many on Facebook and shared a few to my public page:

Fatal Farm opened Friday Sept 16, and also runs through Sept 28. {9} The Gallery can open by appointment and has some hours on Friday afternoon Sept 23, and Saturday afternoon Sep 24. I will be there on Saturday off and on, taking someone to both shows that day.

The opening was really fun!¬†A good crowd, and people really talked to me about the subject, (animals, and most notably not eating them). Many people had stories about special animals they have or have known. People often bring¬†dogs at the art walks and at least two were rescue dogs. Though this was the most ‘message-y” art I’ve shown so far, there was still room for personal interpretation, plus a few miniatures that weren’t particularly related to the theme, so people were having fun spotting things that especially spoke to them. I made sales here also, I think 11 so far but don’t quote me on that yet.

If you missed it so far, I hope you can make it when they’re open again Fri Sep 23, 2-7 pm, and Sat Sep 24, opens at noon. There is a paid concert event that night, so not sure when they’ll close the gallery to set up for that. Better to come earlier than wait too long! Also by appointment. (In case anyone wonders, the downtown Phoenix galleries typically do not have a lot of daytime hours; they open on art walk nights, and some have limited daytime or weekend hours, and this is often subject to change. It is always best to check with the gallery and ask when they will be open.)

Taking work to Olney we ended up doing two car loads. I knew it was possible to do it in one but there just wasn’t time to “play Rubik’s Cube.” We were cutting it close on time, as my husband had to work that day. I thought a lot about it between then and the next delivery, (to {9} for Fatal Farm), as I didn’t want to have to make extra trips for that show, too. When we were loading Fatal Farm, I was afraid that the sculptures would be the tipping point where we could not do it in one car load. But, I¬†came¬†up with a way of layering medium sized pieces and boxed small pieces first, then packing blankets and large sheets of cardboard, then large paintings on top of the rigid cardboard support. It¬†all went¬†in on one load for {9} Gallery. Got there with no damage. Going home, not sure we can do BOTH shows in one load, but now I know that especially with the sales, we can at least do it in¬†one per show!

There is still time to see both shows. Both galleries will open for special viewing, if you can’t make the listed hours and if you call in advance.

Thank you to everyone who attended, and to the buyers, I hope you really enjoyed the events and if you bought, I hope it gives you lots of joy!

Sculpture pics for Fatal Farm show

I got some better pictures of the four sculptures for Fatal Farm. The smallest is only about five and a half inches tall. The largest is about 16 in tall. These were really fun to make! Most of the armature is empty containers that would’ve ended up in recycling or trash. The rest is a combination of paper mache powder, air dry molding materials, and acrylic paint.


Giblet, mixed media sculpture about 5.5 in high on a 7 inch wide round base.



Just Wrong, mixed media sculpture, about 16 in high, 12 in deep, and 20 in long (base).



A small giblet or glob of meat of some sort rides Just Wrong.



What mystery meat product would be complete without half a rat? One of the many details gathered at the feet of the Just Wrong creature.



Mock Duck, mixed media sculpture, around a foot tall. The vintage meat pamphlet page on its base shows that you can make “mock duck” out of I guess ‘cheaper’ cuts of lamb.



No Tongue Today, (aka Veal), mixed media sculpture, around 9 in tall.

Fatal Farm is a two week show at¬†{9} The Gallery¬†in Phoenix, AZ, opening Fri, Sep 16, and will be up until Sep 28. The reception Friday is from 6 to 9 pm. The gallery often has other hours particularly Saturday afternoons. Good idea if you’re on Facebook to keep track of the event there.

Fatal Farm Event Page on Facebook


A peek at more Fatal Farm pieces (updated to indicate sold pieces)


“Baby,” acrylic on canvas panel, 4 x 6 inches, the pieces that sparked the idea for this series.

These aren’t ALL the pieces that will be in Fatal Farm! Prices for the works range from under $100 for miniatures, to $200-$400 for medium sized pieces (mostly on panels), and up to $1500 for Birds Rule, and $2500 for Chicken Pajama Party, the largest. All pieces are either on cradled panels or deep edged canvas, or in a few cases, framed. Looking thru my notes it is clear I could easily do a sequel on this theme perhaps later in 2017, or even 2018.


Hunting Season, 20 x 16 in., mixed media on panel. SOLD


“Aged Ham,” mixed media on panel, 11 x 14 in.



“Beef,” mixed media on panel, 20 x 16 in



“Birds Rule,” Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 24



A huge inspiration for this show! Tamara and her Bobby Bob Bob! NFS, private commission for Tamara.



Evolution of the Size of Chicken Breasts and Cell Phones, mixed media on panel, 16 x 20 in.



“Duck U,” mixed media on panel, 8 x 10 in. SOLD



“Birds Eating Birds…Noooo!” Acrylic on panel, 11 x 14 in.



“Pigeon in Hoodie,” mixed media on panel, 12 x 15 in.



“Chickens Need Their Parts!” mixed media on panel, 20 x 20



“They Kill the Boys,” acrylic on canvas panel, 5 x 7 in.



“Lamb Chops” mixed media on panel, 16 x 20



“Big Girl,” mixed media on panel, 24 x 18



Chicken Pajama Party, Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 in.


“Chicken Dinner,” acrylic on canvas, 12 x 16 in.



“Just Add Worms,” acrylic on canvas panel, 10 x 10 in.


Lots of miniatures, some sold, some remain in the gallery lounge area, starting at $45.



“Giblet,” mixed media sculpture, about 7 x 7 in circular base, about 5.5 in high



“Just Wrong,” mixed media sculpture, base 20 in long x about a foot deep, approx 16 in high

Show info:

Opens Friday, Sept 16, from 6-9 pm, and is up for two weeks.

{9} The Gallery

1229 Grand Ave

Phoenix AZ

Facebook Event page, if you’re on Facebook, helps to keep track of what’s going on!¬†

Thanks to the folks at the video company Fatal Farm¬†who generously are allowing me to use the phrase, “Fatal Farm,” to title this show. No other title seemed to work as well!¬†

Show update, and Dave Hanson’s chicken mosaics

First, here’s a blog post I wrote today about Dave Hanson’s beautiful mosaic art, that just happens to include some chickens!¬†

Found A Chicken is the blog I set up a year or two ago, to feature some of the many artists I encounter who do chickens, whether it’s an anomaly in their portfolio, or a whole lot of chickens. The inspiration to do Found A Chicken was that I WOULD often find a chicken in nearly every portfolio, (maybe Herbert Hoover really meant that, instead of a “chicken in every pot.”) I think the shape and character of these birds must be attractive to artists.

I’m pleased to say Dave now owns one of my little chicken paintings from the current¬†Olney Gallery show right now. Which is a handy¬†segue into a recap of Friday night’s opening there! I also sold Bluebird of Crabbiness to another person, and there was interest in two separate series of paintings by the time the gallery closed at 9 pm. I’ll be stopping by there during some week day hours, probably to take family members who couldn’t really brave Roosevelt Row on First Friday. If you plan on going maybe I’ll see you there.

Thank you to everyone who attended! Lots of familiar faces, and some new ones, too. It was a great crowd and people noted many times how colorful and fun the show was, that it made them smile, laugh, and feel good. That’s a great feeling to know that your sense of enjoyment is passed along to viewers. I also enjoyed talking to an art teacher and wished I’d had HER for art when I was in grade school, that would’ve been so much fun!


Panoramic shot of hanging night at Olney; the crew was fast and efficient!

Olney’s crew did a great job of hanging the show! Manny Burruel has a very good eye for how things should be hung together. They have a nice cable system and lighting, and the crew was speedy and efficient in getting it all up and looking great. On opening night, it all looked fantastic. The doors opened at 6 pm on Friday Sept 2nd. The show will be up until Sept 28, a Wed. Olney has daytime hours if you missed the opening.

It was nice that so many people made a point of talking to both Carlos and I, and were interested in how the art was made, what inspired us, etc. One woman noted that both artists were engaged in painting and showing late in life and found it inspirational. Carlos started painting a few years ago and is now 92, definitely an inspiration. I agree that keeping active and creating probably helps to keep one’s mind sharp. At least, I hope so! While I worked as an artist-employee when I was younger, I didn’t really produce as much of my personal art, or work to show it much, until I was over 50. Looking back, the business aspect of it was simply something that came later in life for me. Of all second careers, art may be one of the most forgiving, because a lifetime of experiences enhance it, and it can be done at your own pace, full bore or part time, as you wish or need it to.

Olney’s website for hours and other info:¬†

You can see shots from the show at the Olney Gallery’s Facebook page. As is so often the case, I had my cell phone with me but didn’t take many pictures! ¬†



I have changed my flyer for the Olney show to say closing day is Sept 28 as that’s what their Facebook Event Page says. We take the show down the 29th, and not sure yet whether that’s daytime or evening. So, I’d assume the 28th is the last day!

A reminder, my solo show opens Friday, Sept 16 at 6 pm at {9} The Gallery. I believe this show will close on Sat Sept 24 but that is not yet set in stone.