28 December, 2012

She has survived 2 decades and 5 moves

 One Tough Old Bird!

This ceramic hand-built hen was made in 1992 according to what I inscribed on her bottom at the time she was still wet clay.  She is made by making two hollow half spheres, meticulously adhering them with 'slip,' and pressure, and then adding features and details. She was bisque fired, then painted and abraded, with acrylic paints and wet-dry grinding film.

Hand built, (and wheel thrown), ceramics, are generally very durable, not like the poured and cast pieces typically available in stores.  Plus, they are one of a kind. Even if I made these by the dozen, they would all be individuals.

My husband and I have moved cross country, and in town, at least 5 times since she was made, (I think more!).  Virtually all of our glassware has perished, much our furniture, too, and some of my old paintings, at the hands of movers and sometimes by our own doing.

But the Mad Hen is still here.  Knock on wood, I hope she will continue to be with us for a long time.

She is about 8 inches tall and wide, and weighs about 2 lbs, (guessing).  I will measure and weigh her if anyone requests it, otherwise...meh!  I do not really want to sell her, because it's very difficult for me right now, location-wise, to make more ceramics.  But perhaps if I DO sell her, I will try harder to make more ceramics or sculptures, and that'd be a good thing.

So, she IS for sale, $250 plus shipping/handling, which I would guesstimate to be about an additional $75 (minimum).

She'll be on my Price List on Red Bubble, where you can read details of my original works for sale, and see many images of my work for sale as prints, cards, and even a few as iphone and ipad cases, tee shirts, and calendars.

My Red Bubble Journals where my price lists reside

24 December, 2012

A great Artist's Statement

 Click the title, below, to read my journal post on Red Bubble, about the really effective artist's statement written by Robrt Pela, for artist Paul Wilson. A lot gets said about these statements, whether we as artists need them, and what should be in them.  They should be tailored for the specific need, (in this case a show).  Other uses for this kind of writing are your About Pages, etc.  A longer Biography can include the credentials and the stuff about when you started painting, etc. But the "statement" needs to be short and to the point, and about the art.  It's not an explanation for art that can't stand on its own.  It's what's at the heart of your art, so that viewers who don't know you, can more fully enjoy your work.  I think Paul's show is a good example, also, because his art is unconventional, and some people might wrongly assume it's going to be about violence, but it's not.  Quite the opposite.  Without a statement at the door of the show, I wonder if some viewers might see, "Lee Harvey Oswald" and be turned off, not realizing what they missed?

A great Artist's Statement:

17 December, 2012

Finger Painting on an iPad


This was done with my fingers on an iPad, something I've just recently begun using, when I was given my husband's old iPad.  He had a simple drawing program on it that was fun and fairly primitive. I goofed around with it the other night.  Naturally, without even thinking about it, my hand and brain went straight to "chicken."

When done, I emailed it to myself, put it thru a Photoshop Elements filter to amp it up a bit, and resized it.  I enjoyed using the colors and seeing what effects I could get. The above iPad piece is currently not uploaded to my Print on Demand type page, on Red Bubble, but it can be, if I get any requests for it to be offered as small reprints or cards.  My Red Bubble Home Page

I have lots of paintings and drawings, on canvas and paper not digtal, and, many are on sale right now, until the end of 2012. That's just a couple weeks away, roughly!  After that, any unsold work goes back to regular prices.  Some of the sale prices are slashed by half, so if you were looking for some original art to buy, I have it in all price ranges and sizes, from a few dollars for drawings of 6 x 6 in or so, to well under $100 for drawings up to 11 x 13, to miniature paintings for only about $75, up to large paintings for $1200.  I have a few pieces that are not on sale, those are regular prices, but most of my work is reduced price right now, to clear space and prepare to have a real studio space in 2013.  The sale is not a regular event.

Paintings Price List

See link within Paintings list, for prices on drawings, collages, and other works on paper.

07 December, 2012

"Should Artists Be Paid?" by © Janis Zroback | Redbubble

"Should Artists Be Paid?" by © Janis Zroback | Redbubble:

Added two new paintings to Red Bubble today

Both are available individually as prints and cards, or in thus Duo.  Each painting is 10 x 10 inches x 1.5 in. deep, and the originals will also be for sale. I'll be adding them to my list of original paintings for sale. Both were done very quickly, a few minutes at a time over a period of 3 days.  I had seven paintings in progress on the patio and went back and forth between them all.  To do these, I picked up whatever tube of paint appealed instantly to my senses and applied it with palette knives.  Before long the creatures began to emerge, and I added some details as features suggested themselves. I love this way of painting, where it's almost like watching myself paint.  Sometimes some intriguing meanings emerge, but other times it seems to be about just enjoying the colors and quirky characters, and sometimes, the senselessness of it!

Find them here: http://www.redbubble.com/people/cschnack/works/9707460-pink-monsters-duo

Check out original paintings on my price list: http://www.redbubble.com/people/cschnack/journal/9291163-paintings-inventory-and-sale-price-list

There is still time to get prints from Red Bubble, or originals from me, in time for the holidays, I believe.  I have been finding that under normal circumstances, I can get original art in buyers' hands within a week or less, without resorting to expensive rush shipping. When I've ordered cards, prints, or tee shirts from Red Bubble, they take one to two weeks to arrive.

ArtByCindy (at) Live.com or "bmail" me from Red Bubble if you have an account there!

28 November, 2012

Avoid Art Scams!


Artists are the target of various scams, some resembling Nigerian Money Laundering scams, others tailored specifically to artists. 

Scammers seem to know there's an abundance of artists out there who are trying to be seen in a sea of images, so some scammers focus on the promise of exposure, traffic, and sales.  At best, you may waste some money, at worst you could be cleaned out.  Be especially wary of buyers who offer to pay more than your asking price if you refund the difference. This not only sounds screwy, it is, and you could end up giving away your work and quite a bit of your money, too.

A lot of "scams" aren't really scams at all in the "legal" sense; they are just bad deals.  Some sound like a good idea, and if done right, they probably would be...but they are frequently not done right.

Some time ago I started a Journal on my Red Bubble site, about Scams.  It has evolved, like my Copyrights Journal, to include quite a bit of information, much of it contributed by other RB members, so be sure to read the comments, too.

Click the link to read the Journal:


My own opinions on the ones that are not illegal, just bad deals?  

Vanity galleries, where you pay to rent space...the gallery gets paid up front and has no motivation to promote or sell the work.  Often lacks vetting of artwork so your work may be amongst crap. Serious buyers rarely go there because they know this.  

Another one is people asking for art for free, in exchange for "exposure."  Read Janis Zroback's Red Bubble Journal on that topic:


Enjoy the reading, I hope it helps you avoid being taken to the cleaners!

27 November, 2012

Combining Drawing and Painting techniques

Done with a combination of colored pencils and acrylic washes on colourfix paper, which is a fine sanded surface for drawing.

 The line between "painting" and "drawsing" blurs sometimes!  Perhaps you like the fine point precision of a colored pencil, but the flowing coverage of a glaze or wash.  Or, maybe you just aren't satisfied with a drawing and want to experiment with it.


Most any heavy, good quality drawing paper, will work.  I've even used ligher weight drawing papers with success as long as I don't get too abusive with the wet stuff.  Lighter weight papers can buckle, but if it's not bad, it can be pressed out under a book. Once any paint is dry, sandwich a buckled paper between non stick paper like baking parchment, to prevent sticking, before pressing under weight.

Colourfix and similar "sanded" pastel drawing papers can be used with pencils too.  They do tend to eat up your pencils quickly. With or without layering clear mediums between "painting" and "drawing" media, the tooth is durable and you can both paint and draw back and forth on this paper.  The paper itself is heavy and takes a lot of abuse.  There are primers that replicate the same surface texture, that you can base coat other surfaces with, too.  I layer colored pencils and acrylic paints often, and the finished pieces, if not painted thickly, have a nice even sandstone-like texture.

Because drawing can involve putting pressure on the surface, I like the rigid surfaces rather than stretched canvas, when I'm combining drawing techniques with painting.  Besides paper, I use canvas panels, (usually linen as I find them smoother and of good quality), or the wood type panels.  Avoid bargain canvas panels, as they are prone to warping, but if you're just going to practice, cheap ones are fine for temporary experimental work.  You can even practice on cardboard, particularly the kind cereal boxes etc, are made of as it's fairly dense and consistent.


Fluid acrylic matte medium is a product that helps to layer pencils, pens, and acrylic glazes to build up images. Acrylic mediums are a great adhesive in collage work. The matte finish is similar to paper in look and feel. Golden makes both a fluid type and a heavier type, (as well as gels).  I also use Liquitex and Tri Art. (Tri Art is available from Dick Blick in the USA.)  Not saying other brands are bad, these are just what I can get and I like them.

Matte medium has a slight tooth to it that very much resembles smooth or vellum bristol board, or Strathmore 400 series drawing paper, to work on. 

I am not sure what India ink would be like on this surface but it works well with ballpoint pens, one of my favorite tools.  Below is a collage with colored pencils, ballpoint pen, acrylic washes, and my own drawings cut out of paper and adhered with matte medium. There are coats of the medium on this, and they help retain the look of paper throughout the work no matter what media I used.

I like to use materials that are not water soluble when re-wetted, most of the time, because when I brush a layer of matte medium over work, I don't want it to smear. 


Other mediums that can be drawn on are fine pumice gel, and certain gels or primers that mimic the surface of watercolor paper or sanded pastel paper.  Most of these are opaque or at least semi opaque, and dry to an off-white or very light gray color.  I have used various crackle products to get that effect on my work, and some of the crackle pastes are similar in texture to the pumice gels, with a little tooth.  (Not to be confused with crackle medium which is usually clear. Always read the label and be willing to experiment w/the product.)


Clear gesso is usually slightly gritty and makes a good drawing surface for colored pencils.  It is not quite as clear as matte medium and tiny flecks of grit are noticeable, but can be brushed off.  Work done underneath clear gesso will still show through, but there will be a bit of haze. Several of the well known acrylic paint makers make a clear gesso now. The most readily available brand I see in stores locally is Liquitex.  You can paint over or under clear gesso, and tint it slightly.  (Too much paint will make it loose the toothy quality.)  I have layered colored pencils and acrylic paint, using clear gesso, in "Duke, Portrait of a Cockatiel," below. (5 x 7 inches on canvas panel.)


Colored pencils come in both regular and water soluble.

When working with the wax or oil based pencils that are water resistant, you can build up colors and blends by adding light layers.  If you get a very heavy burnished-down coat of the waxy pencils, it is harder to add more material over it, but a coat of matte medium can help restore a little tooth.  Let the matte medium dry well before continuing to work.  Too much wax can cause adhesion problems and make for a more fragile surface but still not unworkable. In fact, you can use scratching techniques, etc, to remove material and let a waxier under coat show through. Wax and oil based pencils can create an interesting "resist" effect when thin washes of paint are applied over them.  I use many brands of colored pencils, and some art stores now have their own brands which are nice.  I tend to buy the good kind as they are much more richly pigmented and soft. But harder ones, and even cheap kids' versions, have their uses for fine detail, burnishing, etc.

There are even colorless blenders and burnishers in several brands now.

Inktense is a water soluble version I like a lot. The colors are intense, make great washes when worked with a wet brush on paper.  On paper, they become fairly water resistant once dry and absorbed into the paper, so you can often do quite a bit of work over them without them redissolving like some water soluble materials.  You will need to experiment, and sometimes, you will need to take a risk!  Below is an Inktense sketch, finished off with a wet brush.


My favorite kind of acrylic paint for this is the liquid or fluid acrylics sold in small squeeze bottles with a flip cap.  Golden and Tri Art are my most used brands, and again, that's due a lot to availability in stores or online sources.  I've used the really thin airbrush paints, too, but prefer the slightly more syrupy consistency of "fluid acrylics." The more transparent colors make great washes and glazes.  Airbrush colors seem less water resistant when dry, more like true watercolor. That can be a problem, or a desirable effect, depending on what you want!  Or, you may be into acrylic inks.  Either way, you want something that won't be hard to mix with water or medium to make your glazes and washes. Tube paint is usually too thick, but there are exceptions.  Matisse Flow is very soft but comes in a tube.


I like to keep a damp rag, or paper towel, (one of the fairly sturdy kind that won't shred), very handy. This helps me to quickly wipe away things I don't like before they dry, or to blend, alter, or add texture, to glazes before they dry. A small damp sponge is nice, too.


I love to work in thin colored glazes and scumbling, so I can build up layers of color to deepen shadows and tone areas.  This is a very workable technique that can be wiped off immediately before it dries if you don't like it

Most of my work calls for transparent colors that won't obscure the line work, cross hatching, or shading, that I've done with pencils or a ballpoint pen.  But I also use Titanium white to make opaque colors when I need it. Some colors come in both a transparent and opaque version, e.g. Golden's iron oxide and transparent iron oxide.

When I do collage, I tie all the components together with pens, colored pencils, and washes, after they are adhered down and dry. Some of my collage elements are on very fragile paper and if I draw on them wet, they shred.

Even faint marks incised in paper can show up really well after glazing.  Texture, scratches, incised marks, can all be used to enhance the texture of a piece.

A small amount of rubbing alcohol on a rag or paper towel can remove paint or glazes to interesting effect, as well as to correct mistakes that dried. But use carefully...the fumes as well as it's solvent nature can be too much.  Though advice to use 90% rubbing alcohol to dissolve paint is the norm, I use 70%. I don't know why but it seems to work better for me, perhaps because our air is so dry the 90% dries too fast to work.  I never use it around our pets.  Small creatures can succumb to fumes we barely notice.  Likewise if you use solvents to work colored pencils...use with caution.

Years working in theater arts and commercial faux finishing made techniques like aging, glazing, spattering, and working fast, second nature.  My best advice is to get some inexpensive surfaces to work on, even cardboard  or wood scraps, and experiment til the cows come home!  Try different materials together, layer things, mix things, and see what happens.

Don't worry about the final result, just enjoy the effects, remember what you liked and what happened.  Nearly every effect can be turned into a purposeful one later, when you want that look, once you have practiced and enlarged your bag of tricks.


If your work has no water soluble materials on it that would smear, by the time you're done, you will probably want to put a coat of acrylic on it. Because our air here in Arizona is very dry and usually warm, I water down Liquitex gloss medium and varnish quite a bit more than they recommend, so that it floats out when applied rather than leaving brush marks.  I have not had a problem watering it down.  When I want a matte finish, I use matte.  If there is a need to put many coats of finish on a piece, I use gloss, up until the last coat. The last coat can be whatever gloss level you want. But, too many coats of matte can be hazy looking.

Gloss clear coating will often deepen colors a bit, usually in a very nice way. 

If the piece is on paper it will likely be framed under glass. In that case, I work in thin layers and use matte medium, and treat it like a drawing, when I frame it. That means using glass and a mat, (or a mounting backer board and spacers), so the artwork never touches the glass.  Acrylics dry fast but they continue to CURE for weeks, and are always plastic. So don't be in a rush to seal acrylic work on paper under glass. Acrylics can stick to glass even when completely dry.


"Cradled" panels are wood products with a framed out edge. Ampersand makes a wide variety of them and there are other brands, too. They come in different types of surfaces and different depths of the 'cradling.'  Paper,and for that matter canvas, can be adhered to the panels with gel medium.  Small pieces are easy to manage. The larger the piece, the more labor intensive it seems to be, requiring some babysitting to get it to dry without wrinkles or air bubbles.  Practice on some small pieces and test scraps first.

The process is to adhere the paper or a drawing to the board with acrylic medium, weigh it down enough that the medium sets up without wrinkles or air bubbles under it, then let it dry.  A print maker's brayer (roller) or rolling pin that is level, not curved, helps.  Non-stick paper is helpful, to lay it face down on.  I like to use baking parchment.  A demonstrator at an art store used the gray palette paper. I don't recommend waxed paper. You'd think that'd work but it didn't, it stuck.  The demonstrator weighed hers from the back with bags of rice. I use books and weigh from front or back, depending on which I think will work best on that piece.  I usually finish mine with either gloss or matte acrylic medium. She used Dorland's Wax Medium.  I have used the wax on a few things, but don't think it'd be the best choice for everything.  Just my opinion!  Experiment on small scraps and find a method you like.

Every so often, an attempt to mount something fails.  It might be that the handmade paper was different than last time, or you forgot to check on it before it got too dry...either way, risk is inevitable in art.  If you are not comfortable committing a finished piece to this process, then frame it.  But you can also mount paper to the boards before you draw and paint. The risk then, is that if you don't like the art, you have a lot of material and time invested in just the surface, let alone the art.  You could mount or paint over it in most cases, though, just as most of us do on canvas, when there may be two or three paintings there.

I like the mounting method for some pieces, but not all.  Some things really call for a frame or are too fragile to risk, like thin paper or inks that might dissolve. The real benefit for me in mounting pieces has been that it's still rather unique, it is a nice look for some pieces, it's durable, and it's cheaper than a good frame.  Below is "Chick," a miniature piece on papyrus, that was very easy to mount to a panel I'd base coated black.  I then applied some crackle medium to the edges.  Some large pieces using the same technique were harder to do, (fair warning), but I like the look.  This particular piece is 5 x 5 inch, and 1.5 inches deep. It sits on a shelf as nicely as it hangs on a wall.

16 November, 2012

UPDATED inventory and price list

Please see my RED BUBBLE JOURNALS for updates on the following information!

Calendar Sale

Drawings and works on paper


I've removed sold items from the inventory and price lists, and added some new things, recently.  Also, the calendar sale is only good thru Nov 17. There is a coupon code in the Journal about it.

Thanks!  Have a great weekend!

"Woodpecker Madonna" by Cindy Schnackel | Redbubble

"Woodpecker Madonna" by Cindy Schnackel | Redbubble:

Also drew other little creatures on paper plates recently, (Thanksgiving Platter").  Not sure if I'll offer them for sale or at what price, but they'll definitely be in the "Affordable Art" line! These can be seen on my Red Bubble site where they are available as prints/cards. http://www.redbubble.com/people/cschnack

14 November, 2012

Recent Doodles

Besides paintings, I doodle a lot and one of my favorite ways to do it is the online drawing tool, Scribbler Too . You can see my paintings as well as some recent drawings and doodles on my Art Site but here are tonight's Scribber Too pieces.


All work, © Cindy Schnackel, all rights reserved. Thanks.

12 November, 2012

Thanksgiving Platter

Drawn on a brownish eco-friendly paper plate, with ballpoint and fountain pen inks.  A totally subconscious drawing, where I just take a pen and start drawing shapes and shading them. Invariably, the shape becomes a creature.  Toward the end of the drawing I had the fleeting thought of something to put on the end of his arm, and decided to have it piercing the turkey on a tray.  At some point I must have thought drawing him nude would distract from the turkey platter, (as if it mattered!), so quickly sketched in the kind of undies or swim suit that Australians call "Budgie Smugglers."  I liked the ridiculous garment even better than if he had been nude, and who's really to say it's a "he?"

This and another probably Thanksgiving inspired piece, as well as many other paintings and drawings, are available as prints and cards on my Red Bubble site.  I will be adding new pieces to the inventory and price lists there, too, for anyone interested in contacting me about purchasing original artworks.


27 October, 2012

Monster doodle

Today's doodle, black and white colored pencils on brown kraft paper, 12 x 9 inches.  Didn't seem to be any need for eyes on this one so I omitted them!

22 October, 2012

Finished the Nest painting

Made a few minor changes this morning, after thinking about it over the weekend.  This is one of the few pieces I do much planning on, and those pieces tend to get filled with details!  It began as a doodle, in an online drawing tool called Scribbler Too, several months ago.

I actually started the painting around that time, but put it aside when it became too hot to work out on the patio, (and I don't have room indoors to work on things this size right now).  The painting blossomed with no specific species of flowers, just shapes and colors I liked.  The oversized bird seems content with his environment, and oversized birds are one of my staples, not sure why I like making them big, I just do.

14 October, 2012

What's left of the Creatures Sketchbook; Originals for sale

Twenty-five 6 x 6 inch sketches, mostly in monochrome, (graphite, and single colors of dark colored pencils), are on sale until the end of 2012, more than half off regular price!  Many more small works like these, and larger ones, too, many in color, some collages, some paintings on paper...

06 October, 2012

Or, do you prefer your coffee "iced?"

Acrylic palette knife painting on canvas
48 x 36 inches
Reg. price $2400
Sale price $1200
Shipping extra

Of course, he does not have to be drinking coffee...you may feel free to imagine him drinking whatever you prefer! You can see more of my work, much of it on sale right now, by clicking here to go to my list on my Red Bubble site.

 I've been pleased to see more of my works go to new homes this week!  Chicken Ranch, and Alien Board 2, were sold this weekend.  I update the price list regularly to remove sold items and add new ones.  This coming week, I anticipate adding a couple of new items to the list.

EDIT: Added Hen Party, another giant chicken painting, to my price list. The Hens are $2500, and you can find out more HERE

02 October, 2012

Switch to Decaf?

48 x 36 inches
Acrylic on canvas
Regular price $2400
Sale price $1200

 Painting birds and chickens is a passion for me.  I especially like getting outdoors where I can work big and messy,  in a loose style, often with palette knives. When I was younger, I kept pet chickens, and have seldom been without a pet bird of some kind.  I love their personalities and colors, and their intelligence. Yes, chickens are actually kind of smart, something many people find out when they keep them as pets.  They make great artists' subjects, too.

Decaf has a bit of metallics in it, particularly in the moon. Quite a few of my paintings are on sale as much as half-off right now, including some of the large palette knife chicken paintings!  Shipping's extra, and details/terms are on the list below, along with more chicken, bird, and creature paintings. Be aware that shipping art of this size is can be sticker shock, (if you ship or buy art, you already knew that). 

Blue Moon on sale

Blue Moon
6x6 in., acrylic painting
Regular price, $150
Sale price, $75 (shipping extra)

Blue Moon is just one of many paintings I have marked down as much as 50% off until the end of 2012, to make space at home!  Blue Moon is 6 x 6 inches on a Masonite type artist's panel.  At present, it's unframed.  This is a painting that will ship inexpensively because the panel is just 1/8th inch thick. 

Terms and details, and more paintings for sale, (and in most cases, ON sale), click link below:

Paintings Price List

 Thank you!

Zero, a graphite drawing

Zero is 8 x 6 inches on paper, graphite.  Most likely going into my Affordable Art line as soon as I frame or mount it nicely.  (Until then, it can be purchased unframed.)  A lot of my work is on sale as much as half off regular prices until the end of 2012.  This particular piece, listed here with other works on paper that are for sale is only $25 right now.  Shipping on unframed, small drawings is quite inexpensive.  Click the link to see purchase details/terms, and numerous other works on paper for sale right now.

If paintings are what you prefer, click here for that list!

Thank you!

26 September, 2012

Click title above to see the list with images and prices for my works on paper.  Regular and Sale prices listed, and in effect until the end of 2012.  There are some screaming deals here, particularly if you purchase a whole series such as all the coaster doodles, or all the Cat Beaver drawings.

Shipping's extra on all my work. Unframed drawings are usually very inexpensive to ship.

Mixed media on colourfix paper, (unframed, unmounted)
13 × 9 inches
Reg. $100
Sale $50

This was quite a job going through drawers and shelves of drawings and sketches, some tiny but intricate, some larger.  A lot of the really tiny ones will end up framed or mounted, (nicely but inexpensively, and perhaps on recycled material to be a bit "greener"), for my "Affordable art line," that I intend to sell when I have the chance to include them in shows. The tiny works will likely sell at around $25, some less.  Anything framed or mounted is ready to hang.

There is a link in the above, to my Paintings list, too.  They range from miniatures up to (currently) 48 x 36 inches.  Many of my smaller paintings are framed, and paintings of all sizes are sometimes on deep surfaces (1.5 to 2 in. thick), that are finished on the edges, and do not require a frame.  A few of my unframed paintings are also available.  All that's in the notes, on the lists.

Enjoy, and I hope you decide to purchase some original artwork. If you are more in the market for a reprint, many of my pieces are available on my Red Bubble site.


24 September, 2012

Bluebird, revisited, original soon to be for sale

 Click "BLUEBIRD" title under image, to see it on my Red Bubble site and purchase as cards and prints.

I love depicting birds with large heads or eyes, or even as giant birds.

Last week, I reworked a rather surreal colored pencil drawing of a bird, that I'd done a couple of years ago for "Drawing Day," on RedBubble.com.  At the time, I was happy to leave it as a pure drawing media piece, for the event. But in going through drawings and deciding which to keep, sell, cut up for collage, pitch out, etc, I really liked the Bluebird drawing but wanted to do more to it. So I did a little more work with transparent acrylic washes, a favorite technique of mine to combine with colored pencils.

The drawing is about 13 x 9 inches, on heavy Colourfix drawing paper.  This will most likely be mounted to a cradled wood panel* and sealed, eliminating the need for a frame and glass. The mounting method seems very durable and keeps pieces light weight, too.

* Cradled wood panels have wood sides which I finish.  I normally use 1.5 in deep cradled panels for work I intend to go frameless.

© Cindy Schnackel, all rights reserved. Naturally, the copyright notice on the image is digital, not part of the painting.

20 September, 2012

Why I don't allow Pinning

Numerous artists and photographers object to their work being pinned on Pinterest, and they have legitimate concerns. Like many now, I do not allow pinning.  (Yes, I know that no one can completely prevent it.) Any pins of my work are there against my wishes.

I send DMCA takedowns to websites that infringe. It's not limited to Pinterest, but that accounts for a disproportionately large percentage of infringements.  Pins without credit are far too common.  It can't drive traffic back to me if there is no credit or link.

Pinterest not only loses links and credit, but far too frequently, uses other people's artwork to link to other businesses. In other words they use it to spam, advertise, etc, all infringing uses that are illegal and that confuse the issue of who owns the image, and that translates to possible financial harm to artists.

Our work is not free.  While on the topic of "free," to dispel a widespread myth, if you find things on search engines like Google, they are NOT in the "public domain."*  Never were.

My social media sharing policy at its very least requires credit and a link back.  Other concerns are the size of the image used, and HOW is it being used. "Sharing" is not using others work to advertise, illustrate, promote, endorse, as an avatar, or to sell, etc.
If you are a pinner, please urge the site to fix the copyright and attribution concerns that artists and photographers have been expressing concerns about for over a year now.  We would all love to let Pinterest fly under the radar or even welcome it, like some other social media, but sadly, the site has just presented too many reasons to be concerned.

(*That myth seems to stem from a highly inaccurate interpretation of a court case where Google's function itself was determined to be 'fair use.' The court did not extend any public domain or fair use privileges to people using google.)

Thanks for not pinning!

15 September, 2012

Two mixed media pieces today

"Drained" is 12 x 6 inches, mixed media on paper. I was cutting up beets to grill, and wanted to see what the juice would be like as a color on paper.  Though most of the beet stains are under many layers of pen, pencils, and acrylic washes now, the shapes of the stains on the paper inspired the creatures.

I finished another even smaller piece tonight that, so far, I'm calling "Come Along."  I have not yet uploaded it to Red Bubble.  I do a lot of drawings that are never uploaded, it would just get to be too many to manage!  It's the many little drawings like this that will end up in my Affordable Art collection.

No particular meaning was in mind when these started, but in "Drained," the idea of the creatures on the bottom of an ocean or bathtub when another creature pulled the plug began to emerge about half way through it.  It's been interesting reading comments on it about possible meanings.  I really enjoy hearing interpretations, and there is no one "right" meaning you must "get."

Adding a balloon changes everything.  

In "Come Along," I just started sketching the yellow creature's head tonight, with a ballpoint pen, and it took on a life of its own within a few minutes.  Between making dinner, watching our birds, talking to my husband, watching a little TV, I would work on it a little bit.  The background is a colorless blender, (basically an uncolored colored pencil, it's mostly wax), with a transparent acrylic wash over it.  Most of the creatures is ballpoint pen but they also have a little transparent wash on them.

Sometimes I just like to add a senseless balloon and see what happens.  Below are two more drawings with (senselessly added) balloons, suddenly giving it a whole new dimension, and many new possible meanings, as well as some plain old absurdity. Both of these are from last year.

"Black Balloon," 6 x 6 inches, white colored pencil on black paper.

"Sinister,"  9 x 11 inches, colored pencils on brown paper, with black acrylic paint background.

(All work © Cindy Schnackel, all rights reserved.  See my Red Bubble profile page for more information. Thanks!)

10 September, 2012

Show update

The show at Willo North went well Friday night!  I sold a painting, and also bought a print of another artist's work.  There was a good crowd, and I met some interesting people, and got to hear a little about some of the other artists' work before it opened.

More good news, the temps are finally falling, gradually sliding down into the low 100s, 90s, during the day. We've had some rain.  Nights are in the 80s, maybe soon in the 70s, which means it won't be long before there will be days I can paint outside again and work on big stuff!

30 August, 2012

Paintings; inventory and price list, and a SALE

This week I inventoried my available original paintings, and posted a list with details, sizes, and prices, on my Red Bubble site.  The majority on the list are on sale, as much as half off!  See the list (click link above) for more info.  Flycatcher, shown above, is one of those on sale.

28 August, 2012

BAD GIRL, a collage about double standards and womens' rights?

Collage on paper, adhered to 6 x 8 x 1 in panel. See description, (and order just the collage as prints or cards, without backing border), on my Red Bubble page by clicking title above. The original, mounted as above, will be for sale. Though I'm not done with my price list yet, I anticipate the original will be in my more affordable line of mostly miniature work, and also at sale price through 2012, so around $50, give or take a few dollars, (shipping, if any, is extra).

Though this started as subconscious doodles as most of my work does, when I was arranging the figures and picking out cut out words for the caption, I believe I was influenced by a politician's whacko remarks on TV, about rape.


I've been working on a complete and current inventory list, with some of my work being offered at sale prices though the rest of the year.  I expect to be done with the list by mid Sept. and will post it here and on most of my other sites, too.  I want to include images in the list so it's taking some time to do it well, and thoroughly, and is involving a fair amount of rooting through forgotten drawers and shelves for the many drawings that still need framing or mounting.  Some will be sold unframed.

22 August, 2012

Show updates

Some of my work will be in a show at Willo North Friday Sept 7th, for the First Fridays evening artwalk in Phoenix.  The invite image above shows one of mine, Dark Chick, which has been purchased by the curator. Two other pieces will be available, and for the first time in my life, at sale prices.  I'm trying to clear out some space to make way for the new!

Elsewhere, (or "meanwhile..."), one of my larger chicken paintings is in the show CHOMP in Phoenix until Sept. 6th and this show will be the last chance to purchase the original painting.  (Regular price, not sale.) I'm pulling a few of my big chicken pieces from sale after this show to have them professionally scanned, with plans to sell large giclees.  Hen Party is the painting, and the price is $2400, available for purchase through the gallery...

Images, addresses, prices, details, and more available in the link above!


11 August, 2012


Did this in a few minutes today after getting home from errands, including picking up a few art supplies. Wanted to test the characteristics of a couple of new white drawing pencils that I got.  As is typical, I just started with a shape, whatever shape subconsciously wanted to come out of my hand at that moment.  Then, gave it some life, and put it on a balance beam of sorts, probably because I have enjoyed watching gymnastics during the Olympics, though it wasn't planned.  I like that it can have many meanings, but that it doesn't have to. 

The original drawing as cropped here is about 8 x 8 inches.

© Cindy Schnackel, no pinning to Pinterest, please.

09 August, 2012

Some new things

Made a tee shirt design from one of my chicken paintings, something I've been meaning to do for months.

And, did a quick mixed media piece while watching the Olympics.

On my BLUE CANVAS SITE you can play around with the size and orientation of artwork and get it on iphone skins, ipad covers, etc.  The above artwork seems to work well on a phone there.  RED BUBBLE also offers cases; the link takes to the few tees and cases I've created there.  Creating them on Red Bubble requires using a template, while Blue Canvas does not.  I am familiar with the products on Red Bubble, but have never seen any from Blue Canvas.  I've only offered work on Blue Canvas for a relatively short time. Would appreciate any feedback about their quality and service.  Below is a Blue Canvas product image of the above artwork as an iphone skin.

08 August, 2012

Some avocados are just bad

Inspired by a recent bad one.  Monochromatic work drawn with both water soluble and dry colored pencils on paper.  6 x 12 in.

© Cindy Schnackel; please no pinning to Pinterest. Thanks!

07 August, 2012

What makes my Affordable pieces Affordable?

Some of you may have missed older discussions about this topic, and I do cull old posts from time to time, so I'll recap:

At my solo show in April, a young boy who really liked my work, asked if I had anything for $15, all he had in his pocket.  I felt bad for him but had nothing I could cut that much!

It got me to thinking, I have all these little drawings laying around, why not look for really inexpensive frames or panels to present them nicely and offer them in an affordable art line?

But it all still had to look good.  Many second-hand frames do not make the cut.  A few do, and I snap them up. Same for frame sales, or sales on those nice cradled wood panels for mounting and sealing work on paper so it can be glass-free and still very durable.

Framing is one of the costs that keeps even small drawings out of the range of that little boy's budget.  Many of my small drawings are unusual sizes, and I don't currently have the space to cut mats or make frames, etc.

So, a recent good find on nice metal frames with glass and mats made it possible to frame some small work and also a couple of reprints of my work.  The pieces are priced at $25.  I will have some really small ones for even less. All reprints are clearly noted as prints, so you won't be confused about whether it's original or a print.

A few of my small drawings are on my Red Bubble site  but many more are never uploaded, just scanned for my own records.  For people who love doodles and sketches, these are great inexpensive ways to own a little of the spontaneous thought process of an artist's work.

All work © Cindy Schnackel, all rights reserved.  No pinning to Pinterest, please!

03 August, 2012

Upcoming Show(s), and The Affordable Art collection

Besides HEN PARTY being at the University Club (a show done through the Herberger Theater Center), until September 6th, I have one and maybe two more potential showing opportunities coming up in Phoenix, in Sept and Oct.  I'll post more about those when I have details, but one is at WILLO NORTH for September's First Friday Art Walk. Click links above for details/hours.

University Club
39 East Monte Vista
Phoenix, AZ

Willo North
2811 N. 7th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ

I have posted a picture from the University Club show on my Face Book art page (posted Aug 3, 2012).  You can see it from the Herberger Face Book page too.

I continue to work on putting small drawings into frames for my Affordable Art collection.  Depending on size, some of these may be as little as $10, and they'll go up to around $50 I think.  Finding good deals on frames and mats is crucial, and/or mounting them on panels.  I've found a few good deals on sets of frames, etc, and will be making them available when possible, where I show my larger work that is generally priced at $200 per square foot, (more if framed).

If you haven't been there recently, please visit my Online Portfolio on Redbubble.com


(All work © Cindy Schnackel, all rights reserved.  Please don't pin my work to Pinterest.)

29 July, 2012

Scorpion stings are NOT like bee stings

We have scorpions here in AZ.  They didn't used to commonly be seen in houses.  I lived here 25 yrs and never saw one. Then we were away for my husband's job for about 12 yrs. After we returned, we found scorpions a lot, and it seems many people do now.  My husband got stung and it was more or less 'like a bee sting,' though it is not the same venom, which is why he didn't have an allergic reaction, (he is allergic to bees). 

BUT, I got stung last week and it's not like a bee sting for everyone. The smaller you are, the more effect it has.  Though poison control said to go to the ER if my vision got blurry, they said the following are normal.  And when my vision did get blurry, the ER said that's normal, too.

Intense pain at the site of the bite, comes in waves so you can't ignore it.
Numbness, tingling, burning, in the hands, arms, feet and legs, and even your back.
Burning lips.
A sensation of a lump in the throat.
Blurry vision.

If a person is allergic, the ER told me, they'd have hives and/or difficulty breathing.  I also read online that nausea and dizziness can happen, not sure if they meant 'normally' or as an allergic reaction.  I did get a bit dizzy but not sure if it was from the blurry vision.

All this lasted for more than a day.  Sleep was impossible.  I walked like I was drunk, and could not type or see well, much less draw or paint. My hands are still like clubs today but not as bad as before. I can type obviously, but you cant' tell how many typos i'm making and correcting most.

so if you get stung, be forewarned, i'ts not just like a beesting for everyone.  And better to go to the ER and be safe than sorry, IMO.  BTW when you go to the ER they ask you if your pain level is on a scale of 1-10, 10 being unbearable.  I never had a 10, so don't know. But some lady came in after us and sounded like a 10.  Hope she was okay.

26 July, 2012

A new drawing

Click the title to see it on my Red Bubble page.  "Soak" is a ballpoint pen drawing, with a little acrylic wash and even a little colored pencil.  It's 5 x 7 in, probably destined to be in my "affordable art" collection, next time I have the opportunity to take a bunch of small, inexpensive framed works to a show of my paintings.  I drew this at the ice rink, where my husband was playing recreational hockey.  
Well, the pen part anyway.  I did the acrylic wash when I got home. 
Finally did find a yellow ink ballpoint pen, in a set, at Fry's Electronics. But it is still not ideal. So, for real yellow, I still have to resort to other media like paint or colored pencils.  I also don't like the gunky white-ink pens, so if I draw on colored paper, I use paint or colored pencils, for the parts I actually want white.  This was drawn on nearly white Stonehenge paper, (one of the pale neutral tints, with a catchy name that I forgot).

25 July, 2012

Making Comments here

A friend of mine who's also on Google's blogger/blogspot, is unable to post on my blog here, even though I have it set to "anybody."  His posts don't show up in Awaiting Moderation, nor Spam.  I never get an email notification of his comments. It turns out he is not even getting the Captcha thing to fill in.  If anyone else is having problems commenting, and you don't get a Captcha thing to fill in, the comment won't work. I don't know what, if anything, that I can do about it.  If anyone knows how to fix the commenting problem, please let me know. Comment if you can, LOL!

24 July, 2012

But what does it mean?

Collage in progress, July 2012.

I've always been fascinated by how a few lines can convey a lot of meaning.  The shape of an eye, the position of a hand, (or wing).  This weekend, while rearranging my drawings prior to making a new collage, I was really entertained by how moving them half an inch this way or that could totally change the apparent meaning.  In one position, the standing figure appears to be comforting the sitting hen.  But most other positions make him appear to be lecturing. The tiny two-headed creature becomes different things depending on its position, too.  It may be a pet, a conscience, who knows?  Regardless where I end up gluing them down, viewers are always welcome to find their own meanings, and I'm intrigued by hearing what they see in my work.

All images, characters, and other work, © Cindy Schnackel, all rights reserved. Please don't pin my stuff to Pinterest, because I'll send a takedown notice and then we'll both be irritated.

18 July, 2012

Chicken mini's

Did a series of small cartoony chicken portraits tonight, in bright colors.  Originals are all 5 x 7 in, acrylic on linen canvas panels.  Not sure if I'll sell them individually, or combine them like tiles into a larger piece. Depends on how many I make in a relatively short time I guess!

These will be available on my Red Bubble site once I scan them all...some of them were still too wet to lay on the scanner tonight.

12 July, 2012

Detail of food stain drawing

Click the title to go to my Red Bubble page and see this, and the whole drawing that it is from.  The drawing is made of food stains, colored pencils, and ink, on paper.  These budgie-human hybrids are kind of creeping me out, but in a nice way.

07 July, 2012

Glorious weather for just one day

On the 4th of July the temps dropped from well over 100, to the 70s, and it rained.  We spent most of the day just sitting under our covered patio watching the rain and wild birds, and had our pets out there with us, too.  We grilled, made home made ice cream, and cut open a water melon.  All in all a beautiful day, could not have been on a better day of the week since so many people are off work then.

Back in the 1970s when my family moved here, I remember many summer evenings it stormed and the temps dropped dramatically. As the city grew, the "heat dome" seemed to keep away more and more of the cooling storms.  Soon, we were lucky to see it go below 100 even at night, when normally the desert cools off a lot once the sun goes down.

We're back up to over 100 during the day again, and it's expected to be around or even over 110 next week. Storms are more frequently in the forecast this time of year, but they often stop short of the city, particularly the west side which stays drier. We are lucky to be far enough East that we do get some of the monsoon.  When my aunt visited a couple years ago from out of state she even noticed how the landscape was browner on the west side.  This is definitely not the time of year we're happy to be here, (well except for the 4th of July when we had freak nice weather!).

But I recall a few times in the 1990s when it was 118, 120, even 122 degrees!  So any summer we don't go over 115 is considered good I guess. 

25 June, 2012

Nestling, digitally tweaked painting on Duralar

 Painted another bird today!  You can see it in full on my Red Bubble page:

Click here to see Nestling

Below is a close up showing detail and textures.

21 June, 2012

Plugging Along, an occasional digitally drawn piece

Drawn very quickly with my mouse, in Photoshop Elements.  Available on Red Bubble as cards, posters, and prints, and on my Blue Canvas site as various products including cases for phones and ipads, etc.  I have not yet fully examined all of Blue Canvases features, and have not had a lot of my work there at any given time, but they do offer a few things that are different.

This piece was inspired by a photo taken by Paul Ramnora, titled "Old ceramic basin full of hot water bottle taps"  It was done with his permission.  It is quite different from his photo, which just goes to show you how the most mundane objects can evoke interest and ideas.  I liked the shape of the hot water taps (plugs?) and saw an eye in the hole.  The drawing only took me a few minutes, but was one of those things I just had to get down before the fleeting thought passed. Thanks so much to Paul for letting me use his photo as inspiration!

Kitchen Studios

How many artists work in their kitchen or living room, somewhere not really set up to be a studio, 
and just sort of live around it?  

I have pretty much done this all my life. When I was a kid I had an old card table in my bedroom for doing "homework," (LOL), but mostly drew pictures there.  Later, my bed was my work table, and I had a combination dropcloth-bedspread. 

Over the years as we've moved around as a married couple, I leaned canvases against whatever would hold them up, in whatever few square feet of space I could occupy.  During one transition thru Minnesota, I leaned canvases up against cardboard moving boxes, and even painted a still life that included a packing box as the base for the otherwise cliche bowl of fruit.

Usually, our dining room is the first casualty of studio-takeover, because we have not sat down to a formal meal at a table in years.  In this case, a tiny breakfast table has become my studio, but it works for painting miniatures.

But I do try to keep the kitchen free to prepare food, most of the time.  

Some of this week's work:

Art images can be seen on my RED BUBBLE SITE