Me with my large painting, Giant Coffee Drinking Chicken, photo taken in 2015



Real life is my largest inspiration, translated rather subconsciously into abstracted birds, monsters, or even simple shapes with just enough features that you can tell they’re alive. The results can be surprising even to me. Sometimes when I’m working I’ll add an object for no apparent reason; an extension cord, button, crown, suitcase, etc. I once believed I was just entertaining myself. That is certainly a big part of it. Each piece can end up with multiple possible interpretations, or, just be enjoyed for it’s absurdity! Viewers are relieved of the need to ‘get it.’



My art doesn’t neatly fit into any genre I know of, but might be called humorous surrealism.  There is often an element of cartoon to it.  The genre of “Lowbrow” bears visual and conceptual similarities. But, it does not really worry me that I can’t sum up my work in one word!  I’ve been drawing and painting for at least half a century now, (scary!), and though an art education from Arizona State University, and years of art related jobs, have certainly shaped and improved my techniques over the years, the creatures and concepts are a continuous thread that reaches back as far as I can recall. They are the main identifiable characteristic of my work spanning decades.

Most of my work is in acrylic paint or colored pencils, and I often combine drawing and painting media, taking full advantage of the wonderful qualities of acrylic mediums to make it all work together and stay that way. I also work in graphite and ink, and have done ceramic hand building and small sculptures, even a chicken ‘sock doll’ created without pattern or instructions, just winging it.

It is hard to say what influenced me sometimes.  I really am inside my own world when I create, and certainly external things do influence that, as we’re not in a vacuum.  If I’m angry or happy that comes out in the painting, in dark humor or joyous absurdity, or other symbolic things I’m mostly unaware of at the time.

As far as art influences, I admired the old masters but didn’t learn of very many of them until I was an adult in art history classes.

As a kid, I recall being very critical of poorly drawn TV cartoons! I resisted checking out books from the library if I deemed the illustrations “bad.” Nearly every home I visited in my childhood had a reprint on cardboard of that old man and woman praying over bread.  I liked the style but not the subject, and the usually faded colors didn’t thrill me.

I care a lot about technique, but concept is important to me, too. I believe strongly that all artists are capable of producing highly original art if they tap into their own minds, and let their unique life experiences be filtered through it. There may be ‘nothing new under the sun’, but there are infinite re-combinations of those things.


When it comes to being online I’ve trimmed it down over the last couple years to only those sites that serve me best. This allows me more time to focus on art.

Blogspot: http://cindyschnackel.blogspot.com/ This is an older blog and I stray from art as a topic sometimes.

Red Bubble site, http://www.redbubble.com/people/cschnack I am currently not offering reprints or products on Redbubble. For the time being, I’m keeping my page there open with a sampling of work, Journals, and mostly to participate in the artist community.

I’ve been on a quest for a ‘real’ artist site for years, still have not found one I like enough to commit to it!

I am on social media, (Google Plus, LinkedIn and Facebook) mostly to network with the Phoenix art community. I shut down my public Facebook business page but may reopen it if the site lifts the requirement to pay to promote posts. If you’re in the Phoenix area, and on Facebook, I’d be glad to tell you which Groups on the site are good for local art networking.


All work © Cindy Schnackel, all rights reserved.