Second round of Nasty Women art show!


The Danger of Ladies’ Cooties, approx 7 x 9 in., mixed media on wooden oval, Cindy Schnackel 2017, $50 at show. SOLD!

The first Nasty Women art show practically sold out on opening night! (My “Bad Girl” piece was among those that sold.) They raised over $11,000 for Planned Parentood. Since the event was planned for three evenings, they put out another Call to Artists, and I just BARELY got this done in time to submit it.  It’s in the car now, still a little wet, and will be delivered later today. The show is open, and has dance performances, too, Friday evening, Jan. 21 and again on Saturday the 22nd.

See my post on the first opening of this show:

Grand Arthaus

1501 A Grand Ave

Phoenix, AZ

(where Roosevelt, Grand, and 15th Ave all come together)

The event’s page has info about the Nasty Women shows going on elsewhere in the country, too. If you’re in the Phoenix area and can deliver a piece today, there are still a few hours to submit for this second round:

Bloggers, new law re: 3rd party posts

I’m experimenting with the Comment Settings, so if you find Comments disabled, that’s why! I have enjoyed comments, and don’t want to turn them off entirely, but felt I needed to at least find the setting. [Edited Jan 2, 2017, to add that I went to my settings to turn them back on, at least for now, but they are still not appearing as an option.]

The reason is that a change in the law is not real clear yet if bloggers have to register a DMCA agent with the USCO like web hosts have to. It’s not a huge fee, that’s part of the law change to make the fee a lot less, but it’s annoying. I had my settings clamped down tight as it was, so the likelihood of a third party person including infringing content in a comment was slim to none. Just the same I thought I’d uncheck the Comment box for awhile til I find out for SURE that having Comments enabled isn’t going to create bureaucratic stuff for me.

WordPress’s host already has a DMCA agent and most bloggers blog on platforms hosted by some company, they do not self host. So this all seems kind of odd and not yet sorted out. I need to find a better article than the ones flying around Linked In copyright groups.

As an artist I’ve sent countless takedowns to site hosts when people have used my art without permission. I feel it’ll add confusion and make for disappointing results if people start sending takedowns to individual bloggers, because most won’t have any clue about this. I only knew because I follow copyright issues.

Here’s an article on it that I just read on Linked In.


What to call it? [UPDATED! Solved!]


The link to Tamara’s site is:

[Update! The company, Fatal Farm, gave me permission to use the phrase for my show! So nice of them, thank you Fatal Farm!  ]

My show about animals has no title! I found there are other entities using the term I was mulling, and though it probably wouldn’t create any confusion with those entities and it doesn’t appear to have been registered as anyone’s trademark (yet), I don’t want to use the phrase anymore. If you have any suggestions let me know in the comments! Think pets and farm animals, vegan, factory farming, how we view animals, how they view us…these are themes in the show; now I just need a great title for it ASAP.

The painting below on the table is for it, one of the gentler ones, just fun. The one on the easel is for a different show that doesn’t need a title!


Two big paintings with a lot of detail, getting closer and closer to done!


Storm to the North.

Progress shot today, and pretty, dramatic sky. The light suddenly faded and I wondered if it was later than I thought. No, it was a small but intense rain storm headed our way. It got almost dark as night! Some parts of the valley did get over 2 inches of rain in a very short time. It’s still not where we are, not sure we’ll get as much out of it except darkness.

Just today, a friend on Facebook shared this article, about ‘copying,’ and it’s a good read. The infringement problem has just exploded in recent years and is bleeding some artists dry.

Painting and Gardening in 100+ degree weather

Work in Progress, for a show at Olney Gallery in September. 


Large panel painting in progress

I finally committed to the idea I had for this large panel, but by the time I did, it was well over 100 every day. This past weekend it was around 114! Normally I don’t paint outside unless it’s under 90 because the paint just dries too fast and I wilt in extreme heat anyway. But, this needed to be done by late August and there’s almost no chance it’ll be good outdoor painting weather again before Oct.

So, when it “cooled off” to 106 today, I was out there spattering, glazing, dripping and slinging paint. I had a water spray bottle in one hand, which helped keep the paint wet long enough to get the runny effects. The paint dries instantly in this heat. The panel itself heated up so it was a little like painting on a frying pan. Artists who use oils and spray paints seem to take advantage of that. For acrylics it can be a real drawback but one just has to work with it, or wait for better days!


Cooled off to 106 today, ran outside to paint before it passes.

I LOVE spattering and dripping. We did a lot of it painting theater sets and other large scale things. It was like being given permission to make a big mess, plus the effects are fun. Because it’s all so random and you have to work fast, it’s a great loosening-up exercise. Happy accidents happen, and give rise to more ideas.

This painting will almost certainly have birds in it, but you never know what life of its own it’ll take on. Tomorrow morning I’ll be out there again. We’ll see where it goes.

Flowers that survived the 114 degree weekend




Red sunflower, about 6 ft tall, the back is mostly yellow but the fronts are red!


Dwarf zinnia mix


Sweet potato flower

Technically, the sweet potato flower did not really survive the 114 degree weekend, because it seemed to have stopped flowering just before that. I moved it to the shade because the plant looked like it was struggling in even morning sun right now.

This is an actual sweet potato, not the ornamental kinds you buy for the foliage.

I had bought some sweet potatoes at the grocery store, forgot to cook them, and they started to sprout leaves right in the paper bag they came in. I continued to ignore them and they got to be a nice houseplant, LOL, but I was concerned they would die if I didn’t get them in soil soon. This was in winter here, maybe Jan or Feb. So I took it outside and put the bag and all into a pot and dumped potting soil into it and watered it good. It continued to grow into a lush plant, only getting a little damage from frost.

When it got hot this spring, it began to flower! Being related to morning glories, the flower resembles them. I can’t seem to capture the full beauty of the bloom, but they’re mostly white with a lavender and purple tone as it goes deeper inside. Luminous is how I’d describe them. They’re not quite as big of a flower as morning glories and they tend to hide under the foliage.

I’m told this is really rare for them to flower and that I should try to save any seed it makes. So far I can’t even locate a seed head. It may be that the heat, or lack of pollinators, prevented pollination and it may not even have seed as a result. If it does make seed, info I read said they’re rather rare and valuable to gardeners because that’s the only way to get genetic diversity in them. Most of them are propagated by roots because of how difficult it is to get seed. I wonder if the fact it was in such a crowded pot made it flower. Sometimes ‘stress’ makes a plant flower, and go to seed. High heat is one of the things that can do that with some plants you don’t generally want to go to seed, too, like lettuce. Some herbs and greens are “slow bolt” varieties that give you a little longer time to cut greens before they bolt and die. In all my reading up on the sweet potato I don’t recall if the vine is perennial. Seems like it would be; guess we’ll find out!




Today in the Studio


An unfinished sculpture for a fall show watches over the work table. Today I’m cutting out old drawings from my sketchbooks, and words from newspaper and magazine headlines as captions, to collage onto lumberyard scraps. These small pieces will also be available at fall shows. A completed one sits among them.

I keep a large drawer of collage materials, and go through phases of what look they have. Making several at a time they tend to be in series of similar themes. I like to use acrylic gel as an adhesive. The wood blocks are sealed with Golden Paint Co’s GAC 100, an acrylic made for the purpose of sealing wood and other materials, before I add anything. (GAC 100 is also a great all-purpose acrylic medium.) Sometimes the wood grain and knots, etc, will show, other times they’re painted over and then roughed up a bit so wood peeks thru here and there. I like crackle effects so those are frequently part of the overall finish. Once all the artwork is dry, I seal them again. These are a good use of scraps, both wood and sketchbook kinds, that might otherwise end up in the trash!


Only two left, numbers 4 and 8! $45 each at {9} The Gallery on Grand in Phoenix!

There are still two similar miniature pieces available at {9} The Gallery, 1229 Grand Ave, Phoenix, AZ, out of the 9 cube shaped pieces I had there. I’ll be showing at 9 again this year, details to come when they are known!

Mutant Piñata progress; Shows

Mutant Piñata!

The Mutant Piñata drop off is in just a couple of weeks! My husband, who is into technology, has a phrase for projects that get out of hand with ideas to make them more cool: “Creeping Elegance.” (He once had me draw a creature to depict Creeping Elegance, which his team at work had made into T Shirts!) I don’t want to be caught at the 11th hour, still not done, so, I’ve actually simplified my original plan, which was pretty hazy anyway. Nonetheless I might have to title my Piñata “Creeping Elegance.” We shall see.

Below are some progress shots and descriptions of how I made her. (I’ve decided she’s a woman, but you can decide otherwise if you like.)


Making big eyes

The eyes are plastic domes from a thrift store picture frame. Some were dented so it wasn’t suitable to use as a frame, but they were perfect for this. They’re about the size of the plastic domes on top of various slushy or ice cream drinks only there is no hole for a straw. I started by scuffing up the inside with fine sandpaper. Then I painted the whites of the eyes with gesso. The light blue iris is gesso tinted with blue acrylic paint. The pupil is unpainted. Since the creature’s body is now black, the iris looks kinda black, but also like you can look inside the eye, because you can, sort of! I left some plastic around the edge to have something to hold it down with.


Inside the cone; structure, and tentacle base

The body is a cardboard cone. The cardboard was about 3 x 4 feet I think, thin and flexible, more like tag board. It was some sort of packing material in a grocery store that was trash, and I grabbed it. The cone is held in place with duct tape.

The small cardboard disc with sticks and wire was adhered with gel medium near the top inside of the cone. It gives it stability and is a way for the hanging wire loop to be attached.

The second disc is larger, and has holes because I plan on stringing fabric tentacles thru them, so they’ll hang down below the body and flutter.


Tentacles threaded thru the cardboard circle with holes

Threading strips of chiffon fabric thru the holes and making them stay by tying knots. This was costume fabric I bought long ago on sale, because it was cool. Since I don’t see myself dressing up as a fairy any time soon, I decided this was where it was destined to be used.

When I’m ready to put the tentacle disc in permanently, I’ll use some gel medium so the tentacles can’t easily be pulled out, and also to adhere the edges of the disc to the inside of the cone body. This disc could show so I painted it dark. I had some really dark purple that was almost black, and needing to get used, which worked great for this.




Eyes and tube mouth attached

The cone is wrapped in strips of cloth soaked in a combination of black gesso and gel medium. SUPER MESSY! I worked on this outdoors for that reason! Even being cut with clear gel, the gesso is really opaque and black. It was Dick Blick gesso, mostly, but some was also Liquitex. Gesso alone might have worked for this, but the gel medium is more sticky and I wanted to be sure things adhered well.

It has dried to a nice leather like material, pretty sturdy, and not heavy. Before I attached eyes and a tube mouth, I had let it hang and dry for a couple of days. I also painted the inside with more of the dark purple/black. The strips of cloth go over the excess plastic around the eye-domes, securing them in place. That way I don’t have to rely only on adhesives or gel medium really sticking well to plastic long term. I split the excess plastic around the domes with a mat knife so they’d conform to the body and not resist being wrapped and held down. Wrapping the cloth around them created nice wrinkly things like might be found around real eyes.

The mouth is a cardboard tube. I used a mat knife to cut some X’s in the body to make a hole that would fit the tube and hold it securely. I glued it in with gel medium and wrapped it with gesso/gel soaked cloth strips. The flared starburst lips are a piece of waste tag board from packaging, twisted into a cone, and cut, shaped, and painted.


Getting close to done…

Above is where it ended today, with the chiffon fabric ‘tentacles’ cut in tapered shapes, fluttering in the breeze. The disc holding the tentacles is temporarily held in by the other end of the wire from the hanging loop. I will gel it in when I’m ready. At this point I may have more messy stuff to do to the body, so I still want to be able to remove the tentacle disc.

I need to think on it a bit now, and see what else I want to do, or have time to do. We have great weather for working outside now, warm and dry. I hope to finish it this week, and since there shouldn’t be any more large areas that need hours to dry, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Creating it has given me ideas for a more of these, and more complex ones. Maybe next year!

My husband is also working on one, and I like it a lot. I know he wanted to do a lot of electronics in it and may not have time, but I think his is really good just as it is.

Info on the annual show sponsored by Beatrice Moore who has done so much for the arts on Grand Ave!


Two or more Upcoming Shows

I’ll be busy making enough work for essentially 2 solo shows this fall. One is not a solo show for sure, it’s a 2 person show, but the space is large so the amount of work is equal to a solo show. One show will be at Olney Gallery, 2nd Ave and Roosevelt in Phoenix, one at {9} The Gallery on Grand Ave in Phoenix. These will be happening in September and October, (barring schedule changes). Besides these, there is at least one and maybe several group shows I will try to do, as time permits. Will give details when things are more concrete.