“Exceeded Expectations”


It’s always nice when a product works BETTER than you expected!

A few months ago, I was experimenting with doing a collage on a terracotta or saltillo type floor tile as the support. I decided the tile was too heavy to be practical and abandoned it.

But, I had already sealed it on all sides and edges with Golden paint co’s GAC 100, an all purpose acrylic medium that is also a good sealer.  I’d also already adhered parts of an old vintage magazine page in a way that would look aged and peeling. I then sealed all of it with GAC 100, and left it on the patio for months, while I thought about whether to do anything more with it.

Once I decided it was just too darn heavy and would require too much futzing around to hang it safely, I decided to turn it into a stepping stone by the water hose. I laid it face down in the perpetual mud there, and fully expected the bits of magazine page would come off if or when I ever got around to lifting it to check.  Well, it was laying in mud, water, and 110+ sun and heat all summer so far, and I decided to turn it over this weekend.

To my GREAT surprise…it was completely unaffected by the sun, heat, and long mud bath!

The GAC 100 held up in every way.  I feel confident now that it must be a pretty durable product, and it’s what I have been using to seal the wood scraps, etc, that I’ve painted on to do some of my ‘recycled art’ like the ‘Recycled Rooster’ on an OSB scrap, and the painting, ‘Good China in the Bad Desert’ which is on a scrap of hardboard.  I also use it as a painting medium sometimes, as I believe it dries a bit slower than regular acrylic gel or fluid mediums.  It does not seem brittle, which is often a trade off for really durable clear acrylic products, but it is probably not quite as plastic when dry as, say gel medium.



GAC 100 dries clear and glossy. As with the above mentioned paintings on lumber store scraps, I have used it as a sealer on surfaces I think might need sealing, before I gesso them, or sometimes just the GAC 100 if I want the surface to show through.  (If I want the end result to be matte, I coat the final work with fluid matte medium, instead of a glossier acrylic varnish/medium or more GAC 100.)


BTW this is not any sort of official endorsement. I shared this blog with Golden on their Facebook page and they seemed happy to know about this experience.  I was not paid by Golden, and I am not guaranteeing you can soak your art in mud and expect the same results.  🙂

Subconscious Sketching

Going Somewhere (Bird with Baggage) Cindy Schnackel

Going Somewhere
(Bird with Baggage)
Cindy Schnackel

Suitcases again!  Three years ago, I was painting peanuts with arms and legs but no facial features, some carrying suitcases.   I might like to migrate like some birds, and go North for the summer someday, to escape this 100+ heat.  The bird and his luggage is a small sketch with a fountain pen and wet brush, on graph paper. There were numerous things doodled around him but I liked the bird best.

Ugly Man Cindy Schnackel

This portrait is ink pen with a wet brush, and is about 8 x 11 inches.  None of my “people” are attractive.  I’m sure that has been due to a lifelong preference for animals that has always made me make people very weird.  It amuses me.  I love doing gaping maws with big teeth, too.  If I start to draw with absolutely no plan in mind, a big toothy mouth frequently appears on my paper.  Along with the chickens, etc, that are also favorite subjects.

UglyWomanSMThe companion piece is in the same sketchbook, same technique. Maybe I was thinking of Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring.” (I hate that painting for some reason, even though I like Vermeer and his style. Maybe it was just shown one too many times in Art History or something.)

I must have worked out the ugly people thing with these two portraits, because it was a couple days later I was back to drawing birds again.

As there is no single, correct meaning to such spontaneously sketched beings, you may interpret their meanings differently!

“Sharing” is a misused term that needs to die


“How Image Sharing Sites are Undermining Photography,” by photographer Tara Bradford, July 18, 2013


This could as easily be about infringement of images of paintings, sculpture, etc, or for that matter, poetry and writing.

This article was posted on a Facebook group this morning, and many artists I know, (myself included), are well acquainted with the author’s struggles to protect her copyrights.  Infringement really does cause damage. It’s not flattering and it’s not really free promotion. (If its unattributed the ‘free promotion’ excuse is especially stupid.)

People may not understand that an image IS a product. It can be used as illustration, advertising, to generate ad income, support causes, make greeting cards and other products like pillow covers, key chains, mousepads, reprints, knock off versions of the art from Chinese sweat shops, and more.  All without the artist or photographer being asked or paid.  It is no wonder that many are marking their images with a giant name and copyright notice now, even though that does mar the image. But it also mars it for many unauthorized uses that cost artists money and time.One of the biggest myths I’d like to see die, along with the misuse of the word ‘sharing,’ is the false belief that everything online is in the public domain.  It isn’t.  These people may be confusing ‘public place’ with ‘public domain,’ but either way it exhibits ignorance and a sense of entitlement that makes image owners clamp down.  The public domain applies to almost nothing online, despite increasing appearances of even search engines to make it easier to infringe than ever.

While on the topic of public domain: Beware of sites that offer images they claim are in the public domain; they may have been uploaded by infringers so anyone using them is subject to being accused of infringement, too. Problems with False Creative Commons Licenses: http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2013/06/11/the-problem-with-false-creative-commons-licenses/

More Brick sculptures

It remains over 100 degrees outside, and sometimes closer to 110 many days. So, sometimes I still grab the container of Lego® building bricks, sit where the AC blows on me, and just get lost in the process of seeing what new things I can make. There’s almost always a chicken.  If it’s different enough from a previous one I may photograph it before disassembly.  Last week, I made another black chicken, plus a furnace monster. Many kids who grew up in cold climates with a big noisy glowing furnace in the basement will relate to that.




Besides these, there was one I called “The Pink Tower,” that I used my other blog to discuss recently. It began as simply stacking same-sized but different colored bricks.  http://cindyschnackel.blogspot.com/2013/07/connotations-pink-tower-1-and-2.html  When it was done I thought it looked like a pink tower.  Then my husband added a mini figure of a judge, and it took on all sorts of possible meanings beyond what anyone might believe was in the original.  I love that aspect of art, that people can see meanings of their own.  In some art, there is a definite correct meaning, but not always.  And not sure I’d call the pink tower ‘art’ but some would, if for nothing else, because it might invite thought and controversy.


(Built with Lego® building bricks; LEGO®is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site. http://aboutus.lego.com/en-us/legal-notice/fair-play/  Sculpture not for sale; I dismember my brick sculptures so we can make more.)

Block Chicken

ChickenRobotSampleMy husband got some Lego® bricks recently, kits to build various vehicles and space ships.  He also got some extra blocks.   I could not resist making, (of course), a chicken!  I like the robotic steampunk quality, and adding wheels to nearly any sculpture is fun.  I like the scientific looking keyboard or display pieces, at the tips of the wings.  Angle sided pieces are especially useful. Once I started playing with the bricks, too, we went to the Lego store and got some extra pieces.  I’m coveting my husband’s kit-pieces that marry blocks in a way you can have the distinctive pegs pointing both ways, so we might order some of those off the Lego® site.  I only like the appearance when the distinctive pegs point “up.” The pieces meant to marry blocks so they can do both seem like they’d open up more possibilities.  I’ve made a dozen or so creatures now and photographed a few that I liked best.  All but this one have since been disassembled now.

Here are a few more of my creatures.


White Thing


Red Robot


Minimalist Chicken

(Built with Lego® building bricks; LEGO®is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site. http://aboutus.lego.com/en-us/legal-notice/fair-play/  )

Monster with Ice Cream Cone; Dolls to take apart later



A small piece, mostly acrylic but technically is mixed media, on a 5 x 8 piece of mat board.  Quite a bit of the blue in this is ‘genuine lapis lazuli’ acrylic, from Daniel Smith.  I have been experimenting with it to find its best uses, as it is not strong in mixtures and has not shown me so far why I’d buy it again at nearly $20 per tube. But it was something I’d always heard was a great blue, so I finally had to try it.  I do like it, just not sure how economical it is or that it’s really ‘worth it’ to me. So far.  It’ll have to show me it does something the other blues don’t.



Toys R Us had a sale on Singamajigs, a doll that sings and has a moving mouth. They are CREEPY, and that’s why I’ve had my eye on them since they came out a year or two ago!  But, knowing I would take them apart or alter them, I had a little problem buying them until they went on a fabulous sale price of only 98 CENTS! There was a fancier kind with a baby that was just under $3, and I passed on those, maybe I shouldn’t have but I did.  Not sure why one’s naked…but soon they all will be.  I can’t wait to see what’s inside, and it may show up in a future found art sculpture. When we ride our bikes around we look at what people are throwing away, in case that treasure should show up, and I usually scrutinize what we throw out, too.  A trip to a thrift store should about do it, then I can begin making something.


Sculpting is what I’ve really been leaning toward lately. Guess I’ve missed doing ceramics, and wasn’t quite convinced the air dry clay I have is sturdy enough when dry.  I’ve even been building things from plastic building bricks, and looking at info to see just what I can do with photos I take of them, if anything.