Two young chicken portraits

Cockerel and Pullet, each 9×12 in. on panel, acrylic, © 2017 Cindy Schnackel

Finished two chicken portraits this week! They’re on my Current Inventory Page

Did a few finishing touches to some other pieces. Sorted through a stack of little drawings to see which I might put in tiny frames and which might go in the collage drawer. Next, will tackle cleaning and organizing because things are creeping outwards again and it gets hard to work. Once my space is all neat again, I’ll get back to a large political themed piece, at least for a few minutes a day. It is hard to find that sweet spot where the ‘joy’ of painting overlaps with the feelings of horror about our current administration. Then, (or maybe instead of!), some more thrift store makeovers. Also wanting to draw more again and eyeing a birch panel we got at a lumber yard, to maybe gesso and do some large scale drawing or mixed media on. I dunno. So many ideas, there is a log jam. Usually, cleaning the studio helps un-jam things.

Studio table overflowing with doodles and works near completion earlier in April 2017. © Cindy Schnackel

Inktense colored pencil (sepia?) and wet brush. © Cindy Schnackel 2017

It’s getting to be in the 90s every day now, a bit hot IMO to paint outdoors, but I’ll watch for occasional breaks and do some more plein air so I don’t get out of practice before fall. Maybe just go sketch the nearby canal as water can be a challenging subject. Even though the canal isn’t very pretty, I’ll be happy to represent it fairly accurately, or put some weird spin on it, either one.

For April I’m seeing quite a few of other people’s shows. I hit several galleries on First Friday and will see a few more yet before the end of the month. Other than the miniatures in the gift shop at {9} The Gallery I have plans to show with a women’s painting group at The Artery (Studio 6) again this summer and then in November. Details TBA when I know more! Things are a bit slower here in summer, and I try not to commit to too much that would require riding the city bus in the heat. Summer is a good time to stay in the air conditioning and work on new miniatures!

Plein Air at Papago Park

Mixed media plein air study, Papago Park, March 2017

Much better experience with plein air the second time out! A friend and I went to Papago Park in Phoenix in March, and fought high winds to paint the rounded red rocks and desert scenery that is next to the Phoenix Zoo, as well as the Botanical Gardens. At some point it just got too windy, our stuff was flying all over, but we each did some work. I did two and this was the better of them. Here’s some of the scenery:

“Hole in the rock” is a popular urban hiking trail.

We may revisit this spot another time, where we can see the hole from our painting vantage point. We were off to the side of it this time. I haven’t climbed up to the hole since I was in my teens or maybe early 20’s, but want to check it out again next time.

Panoramic shot of Papago Park.

The little painting was done on a SOHO cardboard painting panel (8×10 in.) that I had coated with thinned down white gesso days before. I wanted the surface to have a little “tooth” because I wasn’t sure in advance if I’d just draw, or mix painting and drawing. This ended up being done with acrylic paint watered down a bit to be more like a watercolor wash, (leaves the surface’s tooth intact), and Inktense colored pencil, (any dark shade should do; I used “bark”). This was a very limited palette of SOHO alizarin crimson, and one of SOHO’s light yellows comparable to cad yellow light, and Golden ultramarine blue, and some kind of sap green I think but didn’t really need it. I also didn’t end up using much of the manganese blue I’d taken.

I painted very quickly and loosely, going for big general shapes and blocks of light and shadow. After the last time at Brown’s Ranch, where I had “information overload” from all the details to see, I had vowed to take off my glasses if necessary, to filter out the noise and just go for the basics!

The Inktense pencil was great for roughly sketching in some of the branchy marks where there were trees and bushes, and I just blobbed some mixed greens where the bulk of the tree forms were in the foreground. Inktense is a richly pigmented water soluble colored pencil brand. With a wet brush you can get ink and wash like effects or tone underpainted washes, besides doing line work.

The sky changed so fast that I didn’t focus on any particular clouds but just put grayish, blue, or white, where I wanted it and didn’t worry about it. Using the paint both transparently, and opaquely, I was able to alter things a bit if I didn’t like it as it went along.

By the end, the whole surface was still pretty toothy and I could’ve continued working on it at home, even with pencils, but decided to just keep it as is and move on. It’s the first plein air study I’m satisfied with, so far.

Because I wasn’t sure if the Inktense would smear, I didn’t seal this with brushed on acrylic like GAC 100 like I normally do with paintings. A spray was called for so I used an archival aerosol satin varnish. I don’t like using that kind of product because of the chemical solvents etc, so a can of it lasts me a LONG time. Now it’s almost gone, so I’ll seek out a more environmentally friendly version soon.

Anyone have any favorite less-toxic spray finishes?

Papago isn’t far from where I live so future trips are pretty likely.

Sold 3 thrift store makeovers! Plus, Handy Art Walk Links

Windsor Castle Surprise, thrift store makeover, SOLD

When in doubt, you can hardly go wrong by adding a monster or a bird, (or whatever is near and dear to your heart).

During Art Detour weekend, numerous artists showed and sold at the Icehouse gallery. It was a fantastic, fun event, and so great to see so many people and get a chance to chat. I was there mostly on Saturday, and stopped by for just a little while Sunday, and am happy to say I sold three pieces, two of them pretty large ones, (large for me!).

Decapitated, thrift store makeover, SOLD

“Decapitated” was the smaller of the three that sold, about 14 x 16 in. or thereabouts. It seemed to be part of an old sign or ad that was cut out to fit the little frame it was in. A magnificent bird was in it, but whoever had cut it out had lopped off the head, so I made it really lopped off, and the head is walking around lower right. I also added numerous faces, mouths, etc, to the fruit.

Pink Kite Eating Monster, thrift store makeover, SOLD

This, (along with “Windsor”), were the larger ones. The Kite Eating Monster was added to what may have been a kit painting, I could  not tell. It seemed to be a reprint but with little tentative dabs of what may have been added paint here and there, like a paint by number with no numbers, I dunno. I can’t remember now what was there, where the monster is, maybe a mountain or tree, maybe nothing.

At this point I have only a few thrift store makeovers left in inventory! That’s why I went thrifting about a week ago and picked up three reprints on rigid board of some kind. One is pretty big, about one by three feet, the others maybe 9 x 11. All are of forest scenes. I’ve cleaned them up and sealed them with GAC 100, and adhesion is good, so now I’ll think on them, and alter them as ideas come.

APRIL PLANS

I have nothing new planned for April, so far! However, I still have some miniatures in the gift shop at {9} The Gallery on Grand Ave. in Phoenix, an ongoing thing. This month, I hope to get around to a lot of other people’s shows on both First and Third Friday’s artwalk nights. A good site to see what all is going on in the arts here is The Arts Beacon .

If you’re not familiar with our artwalks:

The main artwalk areas are Roosevelt between Central and about 7th St, and Grand starting on Roosevelt and going South. But, by going a bit farther you can see other galleries on Central, Indian School, Jackson, and more. Planning your art walk usually involves driving since the Artlink Trolley doesn’t go to all venues. Artlink often has a map of galleries and shows, however, so take a look at their site to plan your trip.  We (that is, my husband, because I do not drive) usually drive because it’s worth going off the path to see Icehouse, Coe House, The Artery, Practical Art, FoundRE Phoenix, New City Studio, and more. Also, First Studio on 1st Ave just south of Roosevelt, and Olney on Roosevelt and 1st Ave.

We never get to them all! Even during the 3 day Art Detour weekend our record is still in the teens. We kind of lost count this year but it was over 14, our old record. For a single night we rarely do more than a handful as we don’t wish to rush thru good shows, nor pass up the chance to visit with people we don’t usually see except at shows. And, we turn into pumpkins at 9 or 10 pm, so we try to get home before the transformation.

More Thrift Store Makeovers! Icehouse–Art Detour

 

Carrot Love, thrift store makeover (acrylic on reprint, w/frame it came in, warts and all but with some repair). 12 x 16 approx size of reprint. $150

This weekend at the Icehouse in Phoenix, I’ll be showing several ‘Thrift Store Makeovers,’ including some that were not yet done when I did a show on this theme in 2015. That show, ‘Everything After,’ was reviewed very nicely by the Arts Beacon: http://www.theartsbeacon.com/everything-after

The newest is “Carrot Love,” giving new life and meaning to a badly faded reprint in an even badder frame. I made a few repairs but retained the feel of the original. Only purplish hues remained in this reprint so the orange carrot who fell in love with the palm tree really stands out. The alterations are done with acrylic paint.

Bullies, 18 x 21, $300

A Constable reprint gets transformed in my imagination, too.

Bigfoot at Giverney, thrift store makeover, 30 x 40, $300

This Monet bridge screamed out for Sasquatch.

ICEHOUSE, 429 W. Jackson

Sat. Mar 18 and Sun. Mar 19, Phoenix, AZ

Opens 10 a.m. both days, until 5 p.m. (possibly later, stay tuned, I do not have ALL the details yet!)

I’ll also have work at {9} The Gallery in the lounge/gift shop area. Look for my miniatures on a shelf. And, I’ll have work at The Artery on 7th St. and Indian School, and a mural section for sale at the Phoenix Center for the Arts (Saturday sale). The Artery, like Icehouse, may only be open Sat and Sun for Art Detour. Details on all four shows and Art Detour

Art Detour! Mural Sale,other shows, 3 Day Event

Hope to see you during Art Detour, a 3-day event, Fri Mar 17, Sat Mar 18, Sun Mar 19, 2017! I’ll have a few things going on. There is a lot to see on Roosevelt Row, Grand Avenue, Central Ave, and galleries sprinkled throughout the central and downtown Phoenix area.

ART DETOUR INFO: https://artlinkphoenix.com/

MURAL SALE

Every December, during another event, the Phoenix Festival of the Arts, artists create a huge mural and the sections are for sale, for $300 each. Unsold sections are being offered at a sale during Art Detour weekend. Part of the money helps fund the arts and part goes to the artists. I have participated two years, and sold my section one year. The one from 2014 (pictured above) is still available. It’s on plywood and is 4×4 feet, acrylic.

Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 N. 3rd St., Phoenix, AZ

Saturday March 18, 2017, 10 am to 3 pm.

Facebook Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1492656557434216/

Squareup Catalog page for mural sections: https://squareup.com/store/phoenix-center-for-the-arts/

Screenshot: squareup site for purchasing mural sections from past Phoenix Festival of the Arts. Mine is circled.

GALLERIES

ICEHOUSE

Thrift Store Makeover 2017 Cindy Schnackel

Thrift store makeover of large Monet reprint, Cindy Schnackel

ICEHOUSE, 429 W. Jackson

Sat. Mar 18 and Sun. Mar 19, Phoenix, AZ

I will be mostly at the Icehouse Saturday and Sunday afternoons during Art Detour. The gallery is closed for a private event Friday so I’ll be doing my sight-seeing Friday night as much as possible. I’m planning on taking some of my ‘thrift store makeovers.’ I had a show of just that, a few years ago at the R Pela Gallery, reviewed by the Arts Beacon here: http://www.theartsbeacon.com/everything-after .

I’ve continued to alter thrift store reprints from time to time. The materials and process allow me to sell them pretty affordably. Not sure if I’ll also take some pieces from other shows or any brand new work other than the ‘Carrot’ thrift store makeover above which I did recently. I have a large political themed painting in progress but have decided it’s more important to finish it on non-deadline terms, so it may or may not appear at the Icehouse this month!

There will be many artists at Icehouse for the event, so be sure you make the trip to see it. It’s a lovely, huge space, and not that far from the Roosevelt Row artwalk path!

ARTERY

Bird 6, 6×6 in on cradled wood panel, mostly acrylic

Sketchy People at Work, about 7 x 9 in on wood, mostly acrylic.

The Artery (Studio 6), 623 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ

Open Sat Mar 18 and Sun Mar 19 for Art Detour weekend; (not open third Friday).

The “Selfie Show” opened first Friday but will also be open during Art Detour. Besides the women’s painting group I’m part of, the artists who actually have their studios in this building will have their art up. There is a lot to see here.

{9} THE GALLERY

The unsold ones and a few newer ones are at {9} The Gallery in the gift shop area. Most are around 4×4 in, some bigger, starting around $55.

{9} The Gallery, 1229 Grand Ave, Phoenix, AZ

In the Lounge/gift shop area of the gallery you will find several of my miniatures for sale. Ask if you don’t see them, they get moved around depending on the shows but usually are on a shelf. Most are around 4×4 inches, some a little larger, and priced now at $55 in most cases.

I hope to see you if you’re in the area!

Art of the Selfie at the Artery (aka Studio 6) in Phoenix

sketchypeople_cschnackel

Sketchy People at Work, Cindy Schnackel, mostly acrylic on wood, about 7 x 9 in., $100

The women’s painting group I’m part of is sharing one of the spaces at the artist co-op, the Artery, for the year. The theme of March’s group display is the Selfie, broadly defined, not necessarily actual self portraits. It’s said that nearly everything an artist does is a self portrait to some extent. Not sure I agree with that all that much, but when I do bird-people hybrids that may be true in my case! This is mostly acrylic paint (on wood). It also has some of my doodles, cut out of sketchbooks, and adhered. The words are cut from newspapers.

bird6_cschnackel

Bird 6, acrylic and mixed media on panel, 6×6 in., Cindy Schnackel, $90

There was room for us to have more than one piece and the other didn’t have to be a selfie themed piece, so I am including this little bird piece, an extra from a series I did for the Tiny Works show last Dec and the other five in the series sold.

This group show will be up thru March, and will be open Sat. and Sun of Art Detour weekend, (Mar 18 and 19). It is not open for Third Friday artwalk.

Hope to see you there!

The Artery, aka Studio 6

623 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix, AZ

https://www.facebook.com/ArtStudio6/

Available works; Shows; Plein Air trip

birdseatbirds_cschnackel

“Birds Eating Birds” (Still available from my Fatal Farm solo show in fall 2016.) Acrylic on panel, 11×14 in., $250 © Cindy Schnackel 2016

You can see paintings and sculptures still available, as well as details like size, medium, and price, on my  Current Inventory page. (Note: Fatal Farm show pieces are linked on that page as there were so many!) If you’re in the area, and want to see pieces in person, and the tiny drawings etc, that often don’t get posted online, contact me about a Studio Visit! (artbycindy at Live dot com)

azizadonestudio_cschnackel

Commissioned portrait, acrylic, 16 x 20 in. © Cindy Schnackel 2016

I also do Commissions, occasionally. If I don’t think I’m the right artist for your request I’ll just tell you up front; that way neither of us has to be disappointed! So far, bird portraits are what I’ve been doing as commissions and it has been working out well! I’m open to other subjects.

SHOWING RIGHT NOW

studio2017lovebirds_cschnackel

“Love Birds,” 1 through 4, mixed media, each 6 x 6 in., $90 each, at The Artery thru Feb 2017. © Cindy Schnackel 2017

I have four small bird paintings in The Artery, 625 E. Indian School in February. There was a nice crowd at the opening for First Friday in Feb. This gallery is normally only open during art walk nights or by appointment, (602) 997-9339. Artery (aka Studio 6) Gallery Facebook page

See Previous Post for more info on how the Love Birds were made and other details.

minis_schnackel

Not a lot of these left, but those that are, are at {9} The Gallery, in Phoenix! Miniatures, mixed media, most priced at $45, some cube shaped and sit on a shelf, others hang. © Cindy Schnackel 2016

Also, I still have work in the gift shop area of {9} The Gallery, 1229 Grand Ave., Phoenix, AZ. If you don’t find them, ask. They are tiny, and things get moved around depending on the current show. Usually, they’re on a shelf; feel free to ask the gallery if they have others not on display. http://9thegallery.com/

Two things are penciled in for March, the Icehouse in Phoenix during Art Detour, and the same time frame, the Mutant Pinata show at Chartreuse, also in Phoenix. Details TBA when I know more.

 

PLEIN AIR TRIP, FEB 2017

 

img_7542

Cholla cactus, backlit, photographed as we were leaving the ranch, in late afternoon light.

Last week, I went on my first plein air painting trip! It was good just to get out of the city, even though the spot, Brown’s Ranch, is just a few miles NE of the Valley. I was surprised it seemed as dry and subdued looking as it did, because we’d had pretty good winter rains. Maybe it’s just enough higher than the Valley that things haven’t started to pop yet. I took quite a few reference photos that should come in handy for general desert backgrounds where a giant creature, or errant animated tea pot, happens to be tromping through.

img_7526

My awful first plein air “painting.” Must ignore overwhelming details next time!

The term “editing” came to mind when I tried to start painting. My eyes saw every blade of grass, every bit of gravel, thorn, leaf, and rock. I had a really hard time just seeing the basic shapes and making my hand obey, which is not something I normally have difficulty with when I’m in my own little world. It was truly an example of how a person has to be willing to fall on their face to get where they want to go.

img_7513

Panoramic shot of Brown’s Ranch, NE of Scottsdale, AZ.

img_7520

The rocks looked smooth from a distance but were quite rough up close. You wouldn’t want to slide down one of these rocks on your butt!

 

img_7537

Close up of saguaro cactus ribs and thorns.

I had previously worked out a very limited palette so I wouldn’t have to take many tubes of paint. In the end, I also did as many artists do, and added a warmer or cooler version of each ‘primary’ just in case. Plus white and black, but I never got around to using everything. I did kind of miss my favorite colors from home, so since paints didn’t really take up that much room I may add them at some point, (transparent red and yellow iron oxides, and green gold maybe), and perhaps leave home one or two colors I didn’t use much. My stay-wet palette was about like it is at home when I paint out on the patio. It bought me a few minutes of time, but not a miracle worker. I may switch to Golden’s “Open” version, (slower drying paint) just for the plein air kit, but right now I’ll use up what I have. I did take Open mediums and used them and it helped some. When I wanted something to dry instantly, setting it in the sun for a few minutes accomplished that.

fullsizerender-50

Acrylic paint brands really differed in Alizarin Crimson, but SOHO’s made a good red in this very limited color palette.

What took up room and added weight was water, for drinking and painting. I poured my dirty paint water into an empty bottle at the end of the day and took it back home to dispose of. I didn’t see anyplace there that looked like it’d be ok to dispose of it at the ranch, and would expect that to be the case just about anywhere.

Everything carried pretty well in a small rolling cart: rags, plastic bags for wet things, a small mister bottle of water, sun hat. I took two packs of SOHO cardboard painting panels in 8×10 in size. These worked really well, didn’t warp, and were cheap. A lightweight piece of cardboard, rolled into a cone and secured with rubber bands, kept my brush heads from getting mashed in the cart. The inexpensive travel easel I got worked just great. We were lucky that there was no wind. If it had been windy I’d have probably sat on the ground and held the painting panel in my lap.

Some of my mural/’primitive’ location painting tips came back to me so it looked like I was really organized but it was an illusion. I will do a few things differently next time. Also, I should have brought healthy snacks as my food for the entire day ended up being chips and stuff purchased while waiting for buses. Somehow, “food” entirely escaped my mind until I was well away from home.

All in all, it was a challenging and different experience, and that’s exactly what I was after. I also took up one non art related thing this year, archery. If I could take a selfie of myself shooting an arrow, I’d show you a picture of that, too.