Sneak Peek of “For the Birds” show at R. Pela Contemporary Art


Update on my show at R. Pela Contemporary Art, April 2014, where I’ll be exhibiting bird themed works alongside artist Scott Wolf and his delightful, bold pieces. Gallery website and Facebook page will be showing examples and info about the event:



I often shop thrift stores for good, especially vintage, picture frames to refurbish and use to frame my artwork. Last year, I spotted a large nice looking frame with a probably 70s era reprint of Rembrandt’s Girl in an Open Half Door (1645).  The reprint, on cardboard, had some scuffs in it but at the time I was only interested in the frame.


Then, I got the idea to alter it.

I coated the whole reprint with a tough clear acrylic medium.  Then, I brushed in bird shapes and a pear with a good quality opaque white gesso, making sure the brush strokes were smooth or at least in keeping with the forms, so as not to interfere with whatever I painted over it.  After the ‘ghosts’ as I like to call them were dry, I used an old technique called Grisaille to create a monochromatic underpainting to determine values and some details.  I had seen an artist I know through the internet doing grisaille beautifully on his Hawaiian tiki themed art and a lightbulb went off…I would incorporate the old master’s technique in my alteration of Rembrandt’s work. It seemed fitting.  I often do ‘color’ my monochromatic works, and can be torn because I also love monochromatic work. Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker is the artist of whom I speak, you should check him out!




There was a white scratch on the girl’s right arm that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to touch up adequately, and it looked for all the world like a streak of white bird poop running down her sleeve. At one point I enhanced it and made it just that, LOL! But even I, a bird lover with pet cockatiels, was just bothered by it, so I took a stab at painting it out and that worked very well. I do like it better without poop, which surprised me, given my brand of humor.

RembrandtStreakYou can see I got quite far along, adding most of the colored glazes and details that go over grisaille underpainting, before I actually got around to removing the turd.  The painting is now done and in it’s original frame, (cleaned up of course).

Here is the finished version showing the frame. It hangs in our living room for now, where my husband and I refer to it as “The Rembrandt” with a capital T on “The,” and spoken in a reverent voice. It’s a bargain at $300. If you are interested, please contact the gallery.


I will be showing it along with quite a few new, and some older, bird art pieces. Prices will range from about $25 for very small original framed drawings, to $1000 for large original paintings. A few reprints of my work may be available, that’s TBD.

Below is a group of some of the small framed works starting at about $25. These tiny guys will most likely be part of Robrt’s ’boutique,’ small works that you can take with you when you purchase them.  (Regular show pieces stay in the gallery until the end of a show even if ‘sold.’)

MinisMarApr2014The show opens April 4th, (First Friday), at 6 pm.  The gallery is at 335 W. McDowell, in Phoenix, AZ, in the back off the street. For more info see the gallery site or Facebook page.


Hope to see you there!

○ copyrights, Cindy Schnackel


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