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!

The making of Cooties


COOTIES, mixed media, 10 x 8 inches.

This started as a sketch on colored art paper while watching TV with my husband and our birds. I liked the way it came out, so later in the studio, I mounted it to a rigid wood type painting panel, added cut out letters from magazines, etc, and enhanced it with more colored pencils and thin washes of acrylic paint.  After I was happy with it, I sealed it with a few coats of clear acrylic. This makes it possible to frame it without glass, even though it’s on paper.  Below is a shot of it in progress.


Cooties in progress.

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!

Showing Friday Aug 7!

This Friday, I’ll be taking a number of small paintings to a one night show at {9} The Gallery. This is a group show, including Kyllan Maney, Brenda Edwards, Aileen Frick, Geoffrey Gersten Eric Babcock and more.

It’s a studio sale, and I’m taking pieces that are from as far back as 2010, and as recent as this year, most of which have never been out of the house, but tucked away somewhere taking up space! All are ready to hang, many are in frames and if they’re not they have deep edges. Most are paintings, but there will be a few drawings, too. Sizes range from around 6 x 6 inches to 10 x 10 inches for paintings, up to about 20 x 20-ish for the ‘house’ frame one. One or two drawings are smaller than 6 x 6. Prices will range from $25 for the smallest drawing, up to $150 for the largest, the house frame piece. Some of the pieces have been discounted just for this event.

Opens 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7, 2015

1229 Grand Ave., Phoenix, AZ

See gallery’s Public Facebook Page: for more info.

See my inventory & price list:

As you can see from my price list, some of the pieces will be reduced a little for this one-night sale. The discounted price applies to purchases made in person at the gallery during the event.

If you’re in Phoenix for this First Friday, hope to see you over on Grand Avenue! Thanks!

SHE-DECK art show in June! [Edited June 21st]


Off Road, acrylic on old skateboard deck, 32 x 6 inches, $300

“Off Road” will be available at the opening of the show, She Deck, June 19. Contact the gallery for purchase. [Edited: this sold on opening night, thank you, buyer!]

The show will be held at the Frontal Lobe gallery space, 1301 Grand Ave., Ste. B, Phoenix AZ. I’ll post updates if there are any!

{9}The Gallery:

Getting back into the studio


The Oxpecker, Acrylic on panel, 6 x 6 inches, Cindy Schnackel

Yesterday, I finished two small paintings on Ampersand masonite panels. One, “Chicken and Egg,” and “The Oxpecker,” both of which I added to my inventory list here, and my redbubble page. They’re available as products on redbubble, and as originals from me. Unframed so far.

These are the first paintings I’ve done since the loss of Sassy and Jade. I had not painted since the last thing I finished for my March show.

Also yesterday, after we both got a good adjustment from the chiropractor for our various back problems, we went to ceramics class for the first time in nearly a month. Made two creatures. Another creature I’d made a few weeks ago had miraculously made it thru bisque firing, so I did a double dip glaze on it, and will be curious to see how it comes out by next week. I was surprised it came thru bisque because that last night we went to class, my back was out, and Sassy was still alive and needing a great deal of attention and care. My mind was definitely not in ceramics that night as I just jammed on the body parts to the creature and hoped for the best. I fully had expected it would fall apart but it didn’t.

Although I love working with ceramic clay and glazes, I think some of the things I want to do in 3D really call for a lighter weight air dry clay, and painted finishes. So, I’m going to get back into that again, too.

Congrats, Paul Wilson!


Paul at the Phoenix Art Museum 2012 with part of his Lee exhibit

Great article in the Phoenix New Times today about my friend, artist Paul Wilson!

Paul’s presence in college classes in the 80s, and scenic art jobs thru the 80s and 90s, made a lot of those things so much more fun. In some cases there were jobs from hell and then, he made them bearable! There were days my face hurt from laughing.

There are few times in life I’ve met anyone who shared my weird sense of humor or just ‘clicked’ with.   In those years of college and art industry day jobs it was often Paul I was giggling with over some absurd thing.  He was one of the rare people with whom I could really open the door and let the creatures out.


Me, “Tim B,” and Paul, somewhere up by Oak Creek Canyon, AZ, in the mid 80s.

The above photo is of Paul and I, (and a guy named Tim, whom we’ve long lost touch with so I pixelated his face because of permissions and all that), on an impromptu camping trip in probably our last year of college, so around 1985 or 86.  We just decided to go on a road trip, totally unprepared and ended up eating truck stop junk snacks and sleeping on the ground in some completely dark patch of desert, where we were basically lost until the sun came up and we could see roads again. I can’t believe we weren’t stung by scorpions! In those days I’d never seen one so didn’t think about such things.  Another case of laughing til our faces hurt, we had fun doing what would be considered extremely uncomfortable under any other circumstances.  I remember that shirt, it was once black and said “Real Good Art” or some such thing.

I believe it was the year we graduated that we had a two person show at a leather shop/gallery in Tempe that’s no longer there. It was on Mill Ave not far from the Valley Art Theater, where BTW Paul once showed a collection of his amazing films and parodies.  We titled our show “Buy it!” to kind of make fun at consumerism, which the New Times article mentions as a factor he has spoofed before.  I don’t remember what paintings either of us had in it in much entirety but I think Paul was into Parker Stevenson then, maybe he showed the amazing colored pencil drawing of Parker watching a horror show on TV and eating popcorn out of a large stainless steel bowl. The execution was flawless, right down to the reflections on the bowl and individual hairs on Parker, if I recall. We also served junk food, Twinkies probably. And, I am not sure, but don’t think we sold a thing. I know I didn’t. Glad to say that situation has improved by now.

When my husband Brian and I moved away from Phoenix in the late 90’s Paul and I kept in touch, mailing each other senseless and often tasteless cartoons and stories. When we returned to Phoenix in 2009 I was not at all surprised to see Paul going strong with his unique brand of art. It was good to see him having solo shows and an an exhibit in the Phoenix Art Museum.  His events were always packed for good reason. And he always had so many things going on I could never keep up! I really enjoyed the artist’s statement at his Lee Harvey Oswald themed show at Willo North a couple of years ago, that explained how the fantasy was ‘what if’ Oswald had been a teen heart throb instead of an alleged assassin.  Who else could turn that into a positive? More recently he had a solo show at R. Pela themed partially on Oswald but also toasters. I became a collector and now own a couple of small pieces of Paul’s, a “Lee” image on toast, and a photo of Paul dressed as Rod Serling of the Night Gallery TV show.  Of course, somewhere in unpacked boxes from many moves, are the cartoons and such, too.

Like the author of the article, I’m amazed at the range of characters Paul can play, and how well he plays them. I’m a big fan of the “Kimbles,” especially “Carol-ann.”

Despite having known Paul for decades now, he’s so productive I have probably only seen a fraction of his work. He continues to surprise, amuse, and amaze me.

I’m glad to see him getting this coverage!Congrat’s Paul!

Tour de Farce, the faux, fake and fabulous art of Paul Wilson, by Kathleen Vanesian, Phoenix New Times, Thursday, 7 Aug. 2014: