Thursday, September 15, 2011

Where There's Smoke

"Where There's Smoke" Pastel on Paper (12x12)
My little fingers have been itching for a little grit and grime that is the joy of working with pastels.  

It's been months since my last since January.  This was in part because both of my easels were occupied with paintings and I felt like I had begun to repeat myself.  Sometimes a little break is a good thing. 

A little time, a little cleared space and a blank sheet of paper.  There you have it.  ©2011 Cindy K. Shaw All Rights Reserved

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In My Lair

"DragonFire" Watercolor and Ink on Paper (9x6)
A sucky day full of sucky memories
So I hide in my lair...head down...hand on brush
Avoiding direct pain...your pain...our pain.
Pain of bewilderment...collective loss...grief
The school yard bully unleashed.
A decade of fear and hate has...unraveled us all.
I fucking hate this day.
©2011 Cindy K. Shaw All Rights Reserved

Sunday, August 07, 2011


"Requiem" Oil on Canvas (42x72)
Here it is.  This painting and I have been working together since the end of May. Really much longer, since early February when I had the dream that has become the subject. A dream I remembered, which I rarely do.  A dream that had me twisted about. A dream that needed to be studied and painted so I could release it.  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Nervous Energy

Cabinet Door 6 - "Breathe"
Acrylic and Spray Paint on Wood  (16x27)
Yesterday was an antsy pantsy kind of day.  Far too much nervous energy to be trusted on the large painting that is down to the nitty gritty fine details.  The angst energy evident in yesterday's post loomed from the very first waking moment and I was in a "must make art" state all day.

These are the days that I most like being in my metal workshop where I can bang away at some steel, be loud, aggressive and get absolutely sweaty stinky filthy in the process. Alas, I've been without a metal workshop since unloading my house last year so this is what I did. I had to do something. I had to. 

It all started with spray paint...a medium that I still pretty much suck at, but love. This is also done in acrylics which I generally hate using, but they are fast and allowed me to push and fight without a consideration to any patience whatsoever. I have a very limited array of colors of low quality paint and really crappy brushes. Who cares? Right? I'm the artist. Not the paint.  Not the brushes.

I "finished" things up today. Even still, it is a rough, thrown together painting frenzy and I fully intend to leave it that way. ©2011 Cindy K. Shaw All Rights Reserved

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Art is Ugly

"Angry Bitch" Mixed Media on Board (12x12)
Not all art is good. Not all art is pretty. Sometimes it just is. You can let it live or you can toss it out.  Who knows what the fate of this piece will be.  I surely don't. 

If you're interested, click read more to see the text:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nail Biter

Nail Biter - Watercolor & Pen on Paper (5x7)
I’ve been dancing on a threadbare tightrope...Center ring of a cliffhanger circus.  The abyss that lies beneath is hungry and I smell of a tasty meal.  

Sleeping in a bed of quicksand is dangerous business. Be still…you sink fastest when you squirm.  

I’ve chewed my nails bloody, gnawed back to the bone.  The handwringing worry a slight breeze will tumble my house cards. 

Homelessness looms.

Something’s gotta break soon.  Maybe...something is me. 

Maybe not…at least…not yet.

A final hour rescue…a job…even if only temporary…I’ll take it. 

My art needs a roof, my head needs a pillow, and my lungs a full breathe of air.  

Plop...Plop...Fizz...Fizz.  Oh what a relief it is. 

A job…even if only temporary…I’ll take it. 

©2011 Cindy K. Shaw All Rights Reserved

Friday, July 08, 2011

Sore Neck

"R" Stage 13 Oil on Canvas (72x42)
The large piece has made it past the halfway point and I'm pleased with the progress. My neck is sore from the 5+ hours yesterday very close to the canvas...head tilted back as I was in bifocal range most of the time. The pains of a middle aged artist. :)

The work from here is about details, depth, and refinement. Sounds like tedium, but it is really about bringing the core expression to the forefront. There are technical rules and procedure on how to do this, but I constantly violate rules of perspective. Allowing the violation was quite the growth experience for me as an artist. It required accepting and embracing this very spontaneous action as a quality of my own style. So now I will acknowledge the rule, nod my head and continue on my own path.

As my external world is rapidly crumbling, time at my easel is the only place of sanity for me.  Working on this piece is my freedom, my only time of true reality.  At this pace, I expect I will be FINISHED by the end of the month. I can't wait to share the final piece.  Oh the irony.   ©2011 Cindy K. Shaw All Rights Reserved

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Shut the Fuck Up

Spiral Eye - Block Print and Watercolor on Paper (4x5)

Tricky Tricky…keeping it real without really being real. Sterile delivery when the truth just beneath is too ugly for a public meal. 

We have…

An unspoken agreement to...not to...speak.  

Silence is golden. So suck it up because there are no painkillers for this demise. A display of success covers the wall and sings loudly of relentless failure. I am too big for my britches and there is no turning back from here. 

Why did the chicken cross the road?  To get to the other fucking side. What happens in between is, well…none of your fucking business. Reality is a mess without a maid and only a broken broom held in a broken hand. We love the before and after, but the nasty middle is saved for…something else…the triumphant memoir…the movie of the week…the dirty little secret never told. You don’t really want to hear it, now do you? No one likes a scared angry bitch.

Claims of envy from a place of privilege rings sanctimonious bullshit of freedom.  Life under house arrest, a thousand hamsters on a thousand wheels cannot…do not…generate peace.  Please, Oh Please! Send rescue from the well meaning masses. Only a rare few will shovel the shit when the stench is neck high. Love measured by the grit under their fingernails. The rest…squirm in their squeaking chairs because too much has already been said. I am mid-scream with the volume turned way down. A motherly protection for sensitive ears. 

Not all art has meaning but the only breath I breathe streams from paintbrush to canvas, pencil to paper. A blissful denial from the failure of being and not being because I cannot fucking be. Some may be good. Some absolutely sucks. All of it is all of what matters and is better left unsaid…you kill the art by saying too much...and I have already said too much. 

©2011 Cindy K. Shaw All Rights Reserved

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pretty Picture?

Untitled - Oil on Wood (11x20)

A name without naming.  I don’t particularly like leaving a piece as “Untitled”, but I dislike arbitrary bullshit even more.  I’ve been working on this piece alongside the large canvas.  A redo of a redo.  If I don’t like you I will paint over you.  Remember? 

On occasion, I paint straight from the tube, holding the tube like a brush.  When it works, it is a high energy, very fast attack that rises from the surface.  When it doesn’t, there’s a lot of paint sitting unanswered.  The underlying shape was formed this way…before I painted over it…covering the scars left behind from previous failure.  I’m pretty okay with this version.  Though I am not prone to simply pretty pictures, that is what has emerged.  Just a pretty picture. 

Still, it is “Untitled” and will remain so until this pretty picture shouts out its name©2011 Cindy K. Shaw All Rights Reserved

Friday, June 10, 2011

Step by Step

I don't want to give anything away so this is just a few very close shots of my progress on the large canvas.  I've had three sessions with it thus far. I'm pleased with what is happening since the source/thought/image is something very specific. More on that later...  

Lots of detailing at very early stages, which is unusual for me. Sometimes the paintings dictate their own process.   ©2011 Cindy K. Shaw All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The CHAngE


The hardest thing about changing the direction you’re headed is that virtually no one wants you to.  Even those you don’t know want to solely define you on where you’ve been.  

I have an assigned box.  
You have an assigned box.  
Exchanging boxes is…
frowned upon.

I stand at the top of the hill. 
It’s a midlife crisis without the fancy car.  
My retreating youth lay behind and an unknown future lies ahead.  
I seriously wonder if I can get there from here. 

‘cause I want a new box. 

©2011 Cindy K. Shaw All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 30, 2011

One Little Shoe

One Little Shoe
I walked behind this dangling foot as I left Santa Monica Pier.  The little girl was hanging in complete surrender.  Exhausted from her day in the sun, arms and legs flopping about within the perfect security of her father’s embrace.  ©2011 Cindy K. Shaw All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blank Slate

I am often asked, “What is the inspiration, the driving force behind your work?” It’s an answer I find difficult to articulate. People want specifics. They don’t want, “That’s how I felt on Thursday.” Some can be downright pesky with their questions and don't respond well to a smart ass pretentious artist answer. The problem grows in that it’s not always the same from piece to piece. Sometimes there is something very specific.  Sometimes it’s just a state of mind.  Sometimes its a physical energy.  It’s never the same and it can change between start and finish. It’s hard for me to explain, but I’m accepting that people viewing my work want and need to know more. 
So here is one version…

72x42 Canvas

A very large canvas sits on my easel.  It’s white emptiness is glaring at me and I can’t turn away.  This is how it starts.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Thin Man

Thin Man
Oil on Canvas

I've been working on this alongside the Set of 9 from the last post.  My way of using a piece of scrap canvas, which will most certainly be a pain to properly mount and frame for sale. Regardless, this is an unusually playful piece for me and he and I've had fun getting to know one another.

I'm back to unemployment status again, which is great for my easel time.  Not so great for my paying rent and buying groceries effort.  There are some leads on the horizon. One is a stop gap, the other an absolute perfect, really really really want it kind of job.  On all accounts I have friends stepping up and doing all they can on my behalf.  So despite my quickly emptying bank account, I am heart full of gratitude.

I'm changing things around a bit on the blog and contemplating some changes in the posts.  As in adding some other elements....maybe.  We'll see.  The art will keep coming, but I want to keep the blog more active when I am working on pieces so there's not as much down time.  Stay tuned.
©2011 Cindy K. Shaw All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 13, 2011

Set of 9

This group of paintings is one is nine is ten.  They were painting as a single painting…One. 
Set of 9
 Each of the individual 6x6 quads also had to be worked as a single painting…Nine. 

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy 2011 - "Third Eye"

Ringing in the New Year with my paint brush in hand.  I've been working on something for the last month that has turned out to be a bit of an ordeal.  I had started a piece months ago and set it aside as I worked on other things.  When I returned to it, disaster befell the effort.  I've spent the last few weeks trying to rescue my mess.  I'm happy with my progress and hope to post it by the end of this month.  As the paint became too wet to continue working, I turned to the pastels late in the day yesterday.  Here's the first pastel piece of 2011.   
"Third Eye" Pastel on Paper (12x16)
I'm feeling a shift in what's happening with the pastels and am trying some new things. I do consider this the beginning of a transition for me, and I'm deciding if I actually like it or not.