Available works; Shows; Plein Air trip

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“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)

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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

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“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.

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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

 

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

 

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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.

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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.

“HOOT!”

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Acrylic painting on birch panel, 12 x 12 in.

Connie Tucker asked me to paint from another of her lovely photos, since the Hummingbird I did earlier in Nov sold the first day of the show it was in! This time we agreed on an owl. I loved the blue and gave it a little more room. Working on the shapes and feathers now, and will finish up with some ‘character’ in the beak and eye, saving that for last! I hope to have this done in time for the Herberger at AZ Center to show it on First Friday, Dec 2, but am not pushing myself, as I want to be sure I’m really done and happy with it, before I show it.

The Herberger has two galleries across the street from each other. The one that the owl will be in is the one in the Arizona Center mall, on E. Van Buren between 3rd and 4th Streets. (The other gallery is in the Theater Center on 3rd and E. Van Buren.)

I’m also working on a commission that I can’t show because it’s a secret til after the holidays. 🙂

Here’s someone who has been helping keep me busy this month!

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© Cindy Schnackel 2016

The two paintings are a comfortable pace, especially with a newly adopted cockatiel in the house! He was formerly owned by a woman who sadly passed away, and he spent a bit of time at a bird rescue before my husband and I discovered him. We love him dearly, and he is super affectionate. His former human obviously loved and cared for him really well. He was hatched with only one full wing, so he’s a pedestrian like one of our other adopted tiels. We are all set up for that here.

I have five bird pieces, each 6 x 6 in. and under $100, in {9} The Gallery for a show that opens this Friday evening. The only bad thing about having work in shows is that it means I don’t get out to see OTHER people’s shows as much. There has been a lot to see, so many good shows, every month!

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Tiny Works/Tiny Dances, opens Fri Dec 2, 2016, 1229 Grand Ave, Phoenix, AZ, at {9} The Gallery

Tiny Works is hung, it appears, from photos the gallery is sharing on Facebook. SO many little artworks! I’m really looking forward to the show, even if I wasn’t in it! If you can’t go on opening night, please call the gallery, (929) 260-4999, they have other hours, and by appointment. http://9thegallery.com/calendar

 

Greed & Envy; Hummingbird; Tiny Works show in Dec.

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A timeless theme!

Greed & Envy was done 5 years ago, with some pieces about timeless human situations. Recently, something reminded me about these closely related emotions.

Greed is usually thought of as an insatiable desire to acquire more and more, and viewed as a problem when it harms others. Who cares if a person ‘greedily’ hoards bottle caps!? But if they engage in crime, it matters, and then it’s everyone’s business. We have laws curtailing unbridled and harmful forms of greed, like theft, fraud, or violence, uncivilized activities which work against the public good.

Envy can be like Greed, because the envious also want something, whether or not they need it. Envy grows darker when it’s about someone they think has it better, lusting after another’s spouse, or making the mistake of thinking people who worked honestly for something only got it arbitrarily through the vagaries of “luck.” It’s at its darkest when it crosses the line into harming others. Greed is often right there when that happens.

Envy can be Greed unfulfilled. Can Envy ever be sated? Can Greed? Is the difference that Greed has found a way to get what it wants, while Envy may not have (yet)?

If the envious aren’t informed and don’t know WHY they have this problem, they can become a shadow form of Greed, acting just as senselessly, and even dangerously. Both probably feel justified.

It’s not hopelessly broken. Not everyone who has stuff was greedy. Not everyone who doesn’t have stuff is envious. One can admire someone without envying them, and learn how to get what’s needed/wanted without making it at the expense of a victim.

Greed and Envy continue to battle it out like twins who do not get along. Civilization hasn’t yet entirely tamed them.

Well, that was deep (or not). Here’s some ‘funner’ stuff:

Update on a happy hummingbird painting I did by invitation of photographer Connie Tucker at the Herberger: it SOLD! I took the train downtown for the show opening and it was already gone, had been there only a day. Yay! Connie invited me to do another from her photos, for the Derivatives exhibit, and I’ve been looking thru her pictures and found many I’d be honored to paint from. Hopefully I’ll have time to do another by early Dec. (In older posts you can read about it, and one I did with her husband Archie, too.)

Tiny Works, a show of all miniatures, affordably priced, opens Friday, Dec 2nd, at {9} The Gallery, 1229 Grand Ave, Phoenix, AZ.

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Available at {9} The Gallery, Phoenix, Dec 2016

I have five small mixed media bird pieces in this. Everything in the show of 100 or so artists is small and priced affordably! Buyers can take their purchase with them right away. The walls are going to be loaded with little artworks! Get there early! If last year was any indication, things go fast. But artists may replace some sold items, not sure. Anyway it appears it’s going to be up most of the month. The gallery owner, Laura Dragon, is participating in a fancy art thing in Miami! That’s quite an honor for a gallery to get a spot there. http://9thegallery.com/

Some of the small pieces I had in 9’s gift shop sold recently, too, a miniature, and Pigeon in a Hoodie, (which was from my solo show there in Sept, ‘Fatal Farm).

Commissions: I have one or two in the pipeline and another will probably be underway by next week. These are all pet portraits of birds of people I’ve met through mutual connections and/or in the local art world. They will keep me busy if they all come through!

Small, Affordable, in Time for for Holiday Gifts

These little square bird pieces are mixed media, kind of a combination of drawing and painting, and sealed well so they do not need to be under glass. They are wired on the back to hang, on 3/4 in deep panels, (you could frame them if you wanted to).

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More to come!

These are made by applying a thin layer of tinted fine pumice paste in two colors. I used sandpaper when they were good and dry, to knock down any peaks that were too high and for the effect/look of the sanded pumice surface. Then, I drew on them with colored pencils and added some acrylic washes, watercolor style. They’re sealed with clear acrylic and the edges are painted a dark charcoal gray.

They’ll be at {9} The Gallery, 1229 Grand Ave, Phoenix, AZ, thru most of December, (opening night Fri Dec 2), for the Tiny Works-Tiny Dances group show.

Show openings went well!

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Hanging night at Olney, almost done putting up the artworks.

Abstract to Absurd, with Carlos Raush’s abstract paintings and my birds and monsters, opened Friday, Sept 2nd, and runs through Wed Sept 28th. Olney has some daytime hours, weekdays 9-4, a good idea to call in advance to be sure they will be open.

http://trinitycathedral.com/?page_id=325

It was a great opening, with a steady crowd, and people really seemed to enjoy the color and whimsy of the show, overall. Carlos and I were kept occupied in conversation, and Manny who manages the gallery was also kept busy. It was wonderful to have people say my work made them smile or laugh! The work in this show was mostly just fun and absurd, so it’s good to know you hit the mark. People also asked what inspired me to do this kind of work, and of course a love of animals, particularly birds, was part of that answer. I explained that I usually work pretty spontaneously and without a conscious message, and they seemed to like that they really could interpret it themselves. I made a couple of sales and there was interest in buying some of the small series as a group, so hopefully that will happen.

 

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Fatal Farm show at {9} The Gallery. Before opening night, all hung.

I didn’t get hardly any shots during the show, I was too busy, and tend not to think of my phone there in my purse, to take pics! But I did take pano shots of both shows while being hung. People who tend to take lots of event shots did so and I saw many on Facebook and shared a few to my public page:

https://www.facebook.com/CindySchnackel/

Fatal Farm opened Friday Sept 16, and also runs through Sept 28. {9} The Gallery can open by appointment and has some hours on Friday afternoon Sept 23, and Saturday afternoon Sep 24. I will be there on Saturday off and on, taking someone to both shows that day.

The opening was really fun! A good crowd, and people really talked to me about the subject, (animals, and most notably not eating them). Many people had stories about special animals they have or have known. People often bring dogs at the art walks and at least two were rescue dogs. Though this was the most ‘message-y” art I’ve shown so far, there was still room for personal interpretation, plus a few miniatures that weren’t particularly related to the theme, so people were having fun spotting things that especially spoke to them. I made sales here also, I think 11 so far but don’t quote me on that yet.

If you missed it so far, I hope you can make it when they’re open again Fri Sep 23, 2-7 pm, and Sat Sep 24, opens at noon. There is a paid concert event that night, so not sure when they’ll close the gallery to set up for that. Better to come earlier than wait too long! Also by appointment. (In case anyone wonders, the downtown Phoenix galleries typically do not have a lot of daytime hours; they open on art walk nights, and some have limited daytime or weekend hours, and this is often subject to change. It is always best to check with the gallery and ask when they will be open.)

http://9thegallery.com/

Taking work to Olney we ended up doing two car loads. I knew it was possible to do it in one but there just wasn’t time to “play Rubik’s Cube.” We were cutting it close on time, as my husband had to work that day. I thought a lot about it between then and the next delivery, (to {9} for Fatal Farm), as I didn’t want to have to make extra trips for that show, too. When we were loading Fatal Farm, I was afraid that the sculptures would be the tipping point where we could not do it in one car load. But, I came up with a way of layering medium sized pieces and boxed small pieces first, then packing blankets and large sheets of cardboard, then large paintings on top of the rigid cardboard support. It all went in on one load for {9} Gallery. Got there with no damage. Going home, not sure we can do BOTH shows in one load, but now I know that especially with the sales, we can at least do it in one per show!

There is still time to see both shows. Both galleries will open for special viewing, if you can’t make the listed hours and if you call in advance.

Thank you to everyone who attended, and to the buyers, I hope you really enjoyed the events and if you bought, I hope it gives you lots of joy!

Sneak Peeks at Sept shows’ work

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A sculpted giblet of some kind, drying before being put on a larger more detailed sculpture.

The gross little meat characters are parts of a larger sculpture for Fatal Farm, a show about my view of animals, that is slated to open Sept. 16, 2016, at {9} The Gallery in Phoenix.

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Looks like torture, but it’s a sculpted tiny hot dog which will be part of a larger sculpture.

All the giblets shown and this hot dot are made of an air dry clay called Paperclay. Sometimes I use paper mache powder, strips of cloth soaked in acrylic medium, and of course armatures if necessary, (like empty containers etc). There seems to be two products called “paperclay” or “paper clay.” The one pictured is the only one of the two I have used. I buy it at craft or art stores. It’s entirely air dry and supposedly non toxic. You can mix things into it like paint, acrylic medium, inclusions, etc. It feels a lot like ceramic clay with no grit, to work it.

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Paperclay, a product I always like to have on hand! The feet of a sculpture are drying here, waiting for more work. The base of the sculpture is vintage booklets and cookbooks about things like ‘sweetbreads’ and lard. Yum.

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Another giblet, being shaped so it can ride the big creature I made earlier this year. This sculpture has a lot of detail going on on the base, little sicko meat sculptures, mostly.

The section of a larger painting below hasn’t got a for-sure title yet but I’ve been calling it Chicken Pajama Party in my head, so far. This is a small detail area. The whole painting is 48 x 36 wide, and there’s a lot going on in it. For reference I drew heavily on my own memories as a teenager in the 60’s-70’s. Never really did a lot of slumber parties as a girl, but apparently those I did left a lasting impression. Now, chickens are reenacting it all. I pixelated the book so you can’t see yet what they’re looking at. If you babysat or went to slumber parties as a teen, and the parents weren’t home, you can probably guess at least the genre of the book if not the title. Chicken Slumber Party, or whatever I decide to call it by September, will be in the Fatal Farm show, too.

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Can you guess what book these chickens are absorbed in?

The detail shot below is from a piece for Olney Gallery, in Phoenix, which opens September 2.

One of the largest paintings I’ve done in a long time is 60 x 30 inches on a panel my husband built for me. We figured out pretty much the largest panel that would fit in the car and that’s what he made. Here’s a detail shot from it. Even with satin varnish I’m having a hard time getting non glare shots. Getting a decent shot of the whole thing is proving even more challenging. If I was still doing reprints I might spring for a professional scan like I have done with some big paintings in the past.

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Wheelbug detail of large forest painting.

The wheelbug holds special fascination for me. We lived in Oklahoma for a few years, and that first year I discovered many critters I wasn’t familiar with either from Arizona or other states we’ve lived in. One day in my garden I discovered this steampunk looking insect that was about 2 inches long. It had a distinctive half-wheel appendage on it’s back with what looked like teeth of a gear. It didn’t take long to find it online just using that description! (Arilus cristatus): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheel_bug

They’re related to assassin bugs, and they can deliver a painful sting. Before I knew they had venom, I gently played with it. I was lucky. After I read that they ate other bugs I presented it with one of the fat caterpillars that was eating our garden. Gross! But fascinating! Anyway, I’ve sketched them as a mindless doodle almost like I do chickens, ever since. It was time one showed up in a painting. There are mostly birds in the rest of this painting. This piece is also untitled so far. At first the title was Signs of Life. But the birds are kind of giants so I was thinking of working the word Giant in the title somehow.

Thank you to the folks at FatalFarm.com who generously allowed me to title my animal art show at 9 Gallery with the same phrase!

UPDATED, “Deep,” and “Sinister” will be at 9 The Gallery in June

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“Sinsiter” Mixed media on paper, approx 11 x 9 in. Cindy Schnackel © 2011

 

Two of my works will be in the show, Gods and Monsters, at {9} The Gallery, in June 2016 along with multiple other artists’ work.

“Sinister” will be matted and framed with glass or acrylic, for the show. The artwork alone is about 11 x 9-ish inches. I did it a few years ago but it has just lain in a stack of drawings since! I’ve been slowly going through drawings and getting them framed so they can be shown. Some of the really small drawings I am doing collages with, especially the ones on reclaimed wood scraps that I’ve blogged about earlier.

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“Deep,” Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 24 in. Cindy Schnackel, © 2016

[Update, edited to add that “Deep” sold!]

“Deep” is a new acrylic painting this spring, 12 x 24 inches, on deep edged canvas, so no frame needed, (but you could frame it if you wanted to).

Should be a fun show! Hope to see you there if you’re in the area.

Opens Friday, June 3rd, at 6 p.m.

{9} The Gallery is located at 1229 Grand Ave, Phoenix, AZ. Website: http://9thegallery.com/