“Arizona Road Trip,” mixed media available at Artery, July 7th

“Arizona Road Trip,” 8 x 10 in. on panel, mixed media, © 2017 Cindy Schnackel

Arizona Road Trip will be shown at the Artery, opening reception Friday July 7, 6-9 pm.

A couple of months ago, the women’s painting group I share space with at the The Artery decided to do a July group show based on the theme of “heat.” For awhile there, I thought I might have to pass on this one, as the only existing piece I had was too big for the space. But one day, going thru my collage drawer of sketchbooks and cut out words, it all came together! That’s the best way for me, to let a piece present itself in the process of looking at materials or subconsciously sketching or painting. If I force myself, the resulting work usually gets painted over or destroyed before it’s finished, as I lose interest or dislike it, unless it takes on a life of its own and feels “right” again. I was glad that something came to me in time to be in this show, because it’s a fun group of women to participate with. I will be showing in the group’s space again in November.

The piece is a collage of a 70’s era vintage map, my doodles, and acrylic paint and ink. I chose a plain, fairly dark, oak frame for it, that has a slight Western feel that works well with this piece. My family moved to AZ in the 70’s so I was really thinking about that as I worked. The move was welcomed, but I never had idyllic thoughts about the state or living here. It just felt like home, warts and all, and humorous pokes at it usually amuse me. Of course, later on as an adult, any time I got to go on a road trip with friends or my husband Brian, junk food was a must, so I knew a can of cheese balls had to be in this. I haven’t been on a real road trip since going vegan 5 yrs ago, so the next time will have to be a vegan version, but otherwise not much has changed. I still look at the cactus, wildlife, and people, and imagine my own scenery and events.

The piece will be for sale, ($200). I have two more in progress on the theme of road trips or the West, also on vintage maps and the same size, but not necessarily about “heat!” One hot piece this time of year is enough. We have had temps over 115 for days, it officially was 119 one day this week. But that’s good weather to sit inside and sift through my collage stuff.

Gallery info:

The Artery (Studio 6)

625 E. Indian School Rd.

Phoenix AZ

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

Benefit shows for Laura Dragon; Upcoming Events, Ongoing work

“Hoot!” Acrylic on panel, 12×12 in, done with permission of photographers Archie and Connie Tucker for the ‘Derivatives’ show at the Herberger AZ Center. SOLD

“Hoot” is one of a few paintings I contributed to two benefit art shows to help local gallery owner Laura Dragon who was diagnosed with state 4 cancer this year. The art community quickly rallied to help Laura, as she is an art icon here who has helped many local artists elevate their careers. To show at her venue, {9} The Gallery, has been an honor and an achievement for so many of us. Laura has also gone to Art Bazel in Miami and taken some local artists work with her to great success.

The first event was at the Icehouse in May this year, and the 2nd was in June at {9}. I contributed four paintings and know for sure 3 sold, not sure yet if the 4th has. I was a bit out of commission this month due to my back going out so didn’t get to stay long at any of the art shows, but I did see the first 3 pictured here sold.

“Her Bird,” Acrylic on canvas panel, 10×8 in, SOLD

“His Birds,” Acrylic on canvas panel, 10×8 in., SOLD

“Just Add Worms” is the one I’m not sure yet if it sold.

“Just Add Worms,” Acrylic on canvas panel, 10×10 in., at {9} The Gallery until mid June, have not yet confirmed if it sold or not during the reception.

COMING UP

“Pullet” Acrylic on panel, 9×12 in, unframed so far, $200

“Cockerel,” Acrylic on panel, 9 x 12 in., unframed so far, $200

Two new pieces portray young chickens, at that stage between chick and adult, what we’d think of as teenagers or maybe even tweens. This is a really sweet stage of their growth as they start to get tiny little combs and have all their grown up feathers and are trying to cluck and crow.

The work table is spread with piles of doodles and drawings, words cut out from newspapers, as well as some vintage maps, magazines, and other found treasures. These will be assembled into collages and mixed media pieces over the summer. I have a few paintings that haven’t been shown yet, some not finished yet, and some thrift store finds that will get makeovers as soon as the idea of what to do to them strikes.

Last month, while my husband was at Heat Sync, a “maker space” for computer, electronic, and robotic stuff in Mesa, I spent the afternoon looking at the beautiful shows at the Mesa Arts Center, and then perused several antique stores close by. Though I usually prefer thrift store prices, I did find a vintage toy whose head is now part of a sculpture in progress. Happy to say Gorilla Glue worked very well to adhere the old vinyl to an empty plastic juice bottle that will be its new body. For some reason when I first started using Gorilla Glue it either didn’t suggest to mist the surfaces with water, or I missed it, but that really does help and the directions do say it now. I forgot that and had to poke a hole in the juice bottle and awkwardly spray some water in there, which did cause the glue to start to expand and do its thing. Had it not worked right I could easily have just reglued it, but it did work very well even with the water as an afterthought. Then, I had to poke another hole so it’d dry out, which it quickly did in our arid climate. Under so many pieces of art, there is a “Crap! I forgot to…”

In July, the women’s painting group I’m in, Ladies Who Paint, is having a group show on their wall space at the Artery, 7th Street and Indian School, Phoenix. The gallery also goes by Studio 6, referring to the artists whose studios are in the same building. The theme is “heat.” I don’t have any existing pieces on that theme that are small enough so I’ll be keeping that in mind as I assemble collages in June. Then in Nov, I and Nancy Romanovsky will be sharing our group’s Artery space, no particular theme yet, but they will probably be small pieces. Nancy does beautiful landscapes!

I have not forgotten the plan to do a sequel to last year’s solo show (“Fatal Farm”), but it’s not going to be this year. There’s a growing stack of ideas hastily written or sketched. Just not sure yet what direction it’ll take. I have a couple of artist friends whose work also takes a political or environmental theme, and am not ruling out doing it as part of a broader topic as a two or three person show. Angst over the current administration after last year’s election has impacted what I make. Sometimes I start a political piece and can’t stand to look at it anymore so it doesn’t get finished. I have a feeling that will affect my art for some time going forward. A few pieces have emerged just for fun such as the Pullet and Cockerel portraits though!

Things come up, especially group shows, and I’ll share details as they happen.

Have a great summer!

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.

Love Birds for February Show

I’ll have some of these at The Artery in February, “Love Birds, 1 through 4.”

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Love Birds, 1 through 4, mixed media on cradled panels, 6 x 6 in., $90 each

The Artery, aka Studio 6, is an artist co-op. It’s located at 625 E. Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ. Studio 6 The Artery Facebook Page

A group of 12 women painters jointly claimed a spot in the gallery for the year. We will be rotating our work; I won’t always have something there. Details TBA, but tentatively it looks like I’ll have work there with one other in the group this fall, probably Nov. Most if not all of us are participating in a Love themed show in Feb. If you go and don’t see the one you want, ask. Each artist will probably only have one up at a time, and I may not take them all, depending on space allotted for each artist.

The birds were created with fine pumice paste tinted with acrylics, as a base. I then used drawing media and acrylic washes, etc, to finish them off. They’re sealed with clear acrylic and wired to hang, no frame needed. You could frame them if you chose. The cradling on them is 3/4 in. deep so they do fit nice in frames.

Here’s a pic of them while they were in the early stages.

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Work in progress on four “Love Birds”

UPCOMING PLANS

Nothing’s finalized yet but I have been asked to have something in The Icehouse gallery in Phoenix during March’s Art Detour. This is an amazing large space currently managed by artists Jaimie Blue and Joe Holdren. The show will include multiple artists.

Also, I plan on making another Mutant Pinata this year, for the show of the same name, at Chartreuse gallery, on Grand Avenue in Phoenix. Last year my pinata sold which was a delight because I wasn’t sure where WE would put it! It was rather large. This year, some of them will be outdoors. I am thinking of how to make one that could be displayed outdoors so I’ll be doing what I can to make it weatherproof enough for outdoor art. We shall see. Good thing I saved empty containers over the last year for armatures! Here’s the post about last year’s creature-pinata: https://cindyschnackel.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/mutant-pinata-progress-fall-shows-group-shows/