02 December, 2013

MOVING! Having a Sale! Are you in the Phoenix area?

Birds in Wigs
Cindy Schnackel
Acrylic on Canvas

We're moving in December; I'll finally have a room for an art studio!

If you're in the Phoenix, Arizona area, and can pick up the art and pay cash, I have some fantastic values for you, just in time for Christmas shopping!  From Dec. 2nd to 15th, (2013), I'm taking 25% off my regular prices for buyers who can do this. 

I'm giving it until the 15th to leave it unpacked/unmoved, for buyers who can save me the hassle. Sorry I can't extend the offer to out of area buyers, but packing and shipping is, well, pretty much the same as packing and moving. 

See details of my moving sale here: http://www.redbubble.com/people/cschnack/journal

I have art in a wide range of sizes and prices. If you want unframed art there is lots to choose from, too, small to medium on up to large paintings, and even tiny drawings, which in a small stock frame you can buy at craft stores would make nice affordable gifts. Also many miniature and small paintings for very reasonable prices even regularly.  Most of the miniature pieces are around 5 x 7 inches, give or take. The largest work is 4 x 5 Feet, and there's just about everything in between! Small unframed drawings are a few dollars, up to about $3000 (sale price) for the largest.

I am EVEN selling my Giant Coffee Drinking Chicken, (4 x 5 feet), and for local cash buyers who can haul it themselves, it is only $3000 for this short time! This is an "impact" piece in our dining room right now. It has given us a lot of pleasure, and I would probably not even be offering to sell it if we weren't moving. I don't often hang onto pieces but my husband really loves this. He agrees though, we need to sell it if we can now.

Hen Party, and the other large coffee drinking chickens are 3 x 4 feet each, and are also on sale, same terms as above.

The smaller "Cracked Chicken" series posted just previously are also on sale. 

As we get more things unplugged and packed it'll be harder to reach me via social media or my site. Then, best way to reach me is by email, which is in the link above giving details of the sale.  If you see a pic of something that seems to have been left out, not priced, etc, just ask.


(All work © Cindy Schnackel)

01 November, 2013

Cheery Chickens

Some quick, fun pieces, now that it's cool enough to work bigger and messier outdoors again on my big plastic work table. These were done on nice deep cradled Ampersand panels that were laying around for over a year with paintings on them that I abandoned, (one of those things that happens to artists, when you just decide not to go any further with a concept or painting). But they were kind of textural so I needed to stick to something that was also textural, to paint over them. The crackle effects on these were just right for the purpose.

What's underneath is a secret, but of course you can have them expensively x-rayed I suppose, if you buy them.  For only $275 for the pair, or $150 each, you are welcome to x-ray them, or not, at your own peril. ;)

Ready to hang, no frame needed, the 2+ in. deep edges are also crackle finished in predominantly black.

Here's a close up detail of the 'steam.'

UPDATE, added cracked chicken number 3 to the group, it's a bit smaller, 11 x 14, on a one and a half inch deep cradled panel with finished edges. I'm selling this smaller one for just $100! Would make a great Christmas present if you know someone who appreciates original art and loves chickens (or coffee)!

18 October, 2013

A Rare Noood, and some good articles about knockoffs

Drew this while riding the bus recently.  Ballpoint pen sketch in tiny sketchbook.  And yes, I deliberately misspelled the title, because well, you know, the search engines index certain words, then you get spam based on it.  Correctly spelled, it'd be too much of a spam magnet. Besides, this creature seems more like a Noood.

I can't let a word about the weather escape. It's been gorgeous! I cleaned and rearranged the patio, which is my 'studio' when it's nice out, and getting it ready for painting out there.

Ugly stuff last today. (You aren't going to call my Noood "ugly" are you?)  Below are some blog posts about artists and crafters, (and one video owner), fighting infringement. I've noticed more posts lately about big companies having factories, usually in China, cheaply mass manufacturing an artist's handmade crafts, which are then sold in major chain stores all over, including the US.







And, since for many artists, the online infringements really pick up speed when images are 'shared' to social media and photo sharing sites, you may find this blog interesting:


All of my material is copyright © Cindy Schnackel, all rights reserved. No pinning to Pinterest, please!

04 October, 2013

Bad DMCA Takedowns Backfire

Yes, this photo is completely irrelevant! I took it yesterday with my phone, at the bus stop, while scribbling notes for this planned blog on the back of scrap paper.

Now, onto today's topic...

Microsoft recently fired its DMCA takedown service, apparently for sending too many false takedowns. http://torrentfreak.com/microsoft-ditches-anti-piracy-partner-after-embarrassing-dmca-takedowns-130927/

Many companies employ paid services to do this. Numerous individual artists I know have chosen to pass on the task of finding and removing infringements of their work to a pay service, too. Sometimes later, complaints emerge, that the company disappeared, isn't handling the work, is sending bogus takedowns, etc.  In my personal opinion, pay services are probably a false sense of security for individual artists. Though I recognize companies may need to hire them, clearly even those that cater to large companies don't always do a good job.  Perhaps it's another example of outsourcing gone bad?

Unless you learn how to do reverse image searches and send DMCA takedowns, you will never know how to evaluate the quality of a pay service's work. If you're going to have to learn it and check up, why not just DO it yourself in the first place?  (At least until or unless a service exists that does it right, and for a reasonable fee.)

Misdirected or erroneous takedowns make ALL copyright owners look bad. It lumps everyone into the same group, "copyright trolls," and damages our chances of keeping a valuable tool to combat actual infringements on our own work.

Bogus takedowns may be the result of making mistakes because of automated software that gets it wrong, people who are getting paid per takedown so speed is more important than accuracy, or just honest mistakes because they're not the owner and don't really know the work well enough.

These services seem to sweep through the net like tuna nets, missing some tuna and killing some dolphins in the process.  Anyone who has their work taken off their site erroneously is understandably livid. I read another photographer's complaint about this just yesterday, prompting me to blog about this growing problem.

How bogus takedowns hurt artists: http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2013/10/02/repost-dmca-abuse-hurts-cintent-creators/

The DMCA takedown is a valuable tool for copyright owners, and we need to keep it. It's free, usually very effective, and we can do it ourselves. That some people or companies misuse it has given weight to infringers' arguments that this law should be done away with. That'd be disastrous for copyright owners who can't afford to sue over every infringement. Doing away with the DMCA would also expose website hosts to liability. The purpose of the DMCA is actually to protect site hosts; it just happens to be a great tool for copyright owners as well.

Another way takedowns are abused is to silence free speech. E.g., when a company finds online complaints they may use the DMCA takedown process to try and shut down a complaint site. This is abuse of the law, and this type of misuse is covered on sites like ChillingEffects.org.

To learn more about how to find and remove infringements of your work online, see my journal on Redbubble. I put this info together originally so that it'd be in one handy place for my own use. Others asked me to share it, then others helped me add to it. It has grown quite large and ponderous now, but I've marked all the basic stuff with a banner, so you can leave the details for later if it's Too Much Information now.

Art Theft, Copyright Infringement, find it, act on it: http://www.redbubble.com/people/cschnack/journal/7750976-art-theft-copyright-infringement-find-it-act-on-it

(For those who don't know, DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act. A Takedown is a formal notice to a site host that is displaying infringements. The site host is obligated to remove the infringement upon receiving a valid takedown notice. Only the copyright owner or their authorized agent can usually send a takedown.  There is a counter-notice process built into it, and site hosts are supposed to restore infringements if the takedown was erroneous.  Statements made in a takedown or counter notice must be true under penalty of perjury.)

18 July, 2013

Important article on damages of infringement

I don't usually post nearly the exact same thing on both my blogs, but this is an important article I wish everyone would read and take to heart.

"How Image Sharing Sites are Undermining Photography," by photographer Tara Bradford, July 18, 2013

My thoughts on this article and this issue:

This could as easily be about infringement of images of paintings, sculpture, etc, or for that matter, poetry and writing.  Visual artists do reverse image searches to ferret out infringements but so far plagiarism checkers for writers that I've seen are not as good and some writers simply google portions of their writing.  I've also seen some evidence that plagiarized text on a PDF may not turn up on some plag checkers. I could be wrong on that as I am not a writer or poet so I rarely do those kinds of text searches.  Anyway...

This article was posted on a Facebook group this morning, and many artists I know, (myself included), are well acquainted with the author's struggles to protect her copyrights.  

Infringement really does cause damage. It's not flattering and it's not really free promotion. (If its unattributed the 'free promotion' excuse is especially stupid.)

People may not understand that an image IS a product. It can be used as illustration, advertising, to generate ad income, support causes, make greeting cards and other products like pillow covers, key chains, mousepads, reprints, knock off versions of the art from Chinese sweat shops, and more.  All without the artist or photographer being asked or paid.  

It is no wonder that many are marking their images with a giant name and copyright notice now, even though that does mar the image. But it also mars it for many unauthorized uses that cost artists money and time.
One of the biggest myths I'd like to see die, along with the misuse of the word 'sharing,' is the false belief that everything online is in the public domain.  It isn't.  

These people may be confusing 'public place' with 'public domain,' but either way, it exhibits ignorance and a sense of entitlement that makes image owners clamp down.  

The public domain applies to almost nothing online, despite increasing appearances of even search engines to make it easier to infringe than ever.

If you are someone who needs to use public domain images, beware of sites that offer images they claim are in the public domain. They may have been uploaded by infringers so anyone using them is subject to being accused of infringement, too. Problems with False Creative Commons Licenses: http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2013/06/11/the-problem-with-false-creative-commons-licenses/

Thank you for reading!

09 July, 2013

Connotations; The Pink Tower 1 and 2

It's interesting what connotations appear to be in art, even if it's a doodle, abstract painting, or in this case, sticking Lego® bricks together randomly and deciding to call it The Pink Tower.  Adding wheels, which is fun with these bricks no matter what you make, seems to add more possible meanings. It just looks cool, too, to put wheels on things!

But when my husband stuck the Lego® "Judge" mini figure atop it, suddenly it started to take on all sorts of potential political meaning.

No meanings were intended or planned. It's interesting that art can be that way sometimes.

(Built with Lego® building bricks; LEGO®is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site. http://aboutus.lego.com/en-us/legal-notice/fair-play/  Sculpture not for sale; I dismember my brick sculptures so we can make more.)

25 June, 2013

More Birdwatching pics

Lovebird and a couple of native finches, (house finches I believe), on the thistle seed sack and sunflower feeders, June 2013, backyard. They come in the morning and again in the evening, taking a siesta from the heat during mid day, usually.
 Lovebird and finch again! And below, just lovebirds.  They seem to come in shifts. Sometimes it's all finches, sometimes mostly goldfinches. Still trying to get a really good pic of the goldfinches where it's obvious that's what it is.  When the lovebirds come, they usually chase off some or all of the finches, sadly, but the finches are not easy pushovers, and they do come back and hold their own. The lovebirds are almost certainly the culprits who chewed holes in one of the thistle sacks, but I'm saving up recycled materials to make a bird feeder that will be harder for them to destroy, and disposable (recyclable) when they do destroy it.
We also saw a PYRRHULOXIA a gray and red crested bird related to cardinals.  The bird's crest was amazingly tall and held in a forward position. They really don't look a whole lot like the pictures in bird guides, and it seems the red areas can vary.  I don't think I'd ever seen one before!  I saw it again the next morning, and it appears they know the feeders well now so they probably visit often, we just don't always catch their visit.

Doves also balance on top of all three feeders including the round wire mesh basket hanging from a tree. They seem to be able to manage getting some food out, but mostly the pigeons and doves hang out just below the feeders and scoop up what gets dropped.

About Phoenix's feral lovebird population

More about feral lovebirds in Arizona

The weather report says we'll be near 120 by the weekend. And yes, we have a birdbath too, I fill it at least once a day!

12 June, 2013

Beware of so-called copyright-free source material

Read an article that is important to anyone relying on stock image type sources for their art or illustrations. Blogged about it over here already: http://cindyschnackel.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/beware-of-licensing-organizations-offering-free-images/

The article I blogged about was in Plagiarism Today recently, and it really hit home, because though I don't use clip art, etc, an infringer offered some of my work up to one of those type org's, and I don't yet know what extra hassle or damage that's going to cost me.  I was able to get my image removed from his site with a DMCA takedown, but that may not fix any damage already done.  Anyone using my work without my permission is using it illegally; someone giving it away to Creative Commons does not change that.

The sad thing is, the guy who thought he could just give my artwork away was an ART TEACHER, of all people, someone who should respect and value art, including the copyrights of others.  You may suddenly think, "Oh, isn't that educational and ok?" No, it's not.  There are limits to what is legal under copyright law's fair use exceptions, even educational uses, and he overstepped it. I almost looked the other way on his infringement until I saw that he was offering everything on his site to Creative Commons! That was in no way allowable by law.

To make matters worse, the site host, Wikispaces, played games with me, implying it was beyond their powers to remove the infringement. This is just ludicrous, as a site host in the US is obligated to remove infringements upon getting a valid DMCA takedown, it's not optional. (And it was a valid takedown, they never disputed that.)  Instead, they jerked me around. Then gave my email to the teacher. I suspect they directed him to "apologize," because I got one of those disingenuous "I'm sorry but's" that goes on to accuse and insult.  He accused me of "strong arming education." Since he emailed me, I replied, with links to the US Copyright Office's FAQ page, and a Copyright Myths site, that I hoped would educate him.  I doubt he read it, but you never know. I never heard back.  Either he or the site did remove my image, and I can only hope I found it before anyone assumed wrongly that it was free thru Creative Commons.

It was this and so many related problems with infringement that made me stop selling reprints online.

The last straw for me was probably when Google and Bing both rolled out their new huge image model, that makes copying and infringing very easy, and going to the real site not so much necessary anymore. Bing even added a Pinit button, bypassing the no-pin code I use.  I began to find infringements credited to Google, (if credited at all)!  So did many other artists.  Probably not coincidentally, many artists noticed at this same time that they had a drop in traffic and sales.  Ironic, if the very search engines we worked to be found on, were taking traffic away from us, huh?  (I have not looked to see how many other search engines are doing the same, but last I did notice, Yahoo still displayed thumbnails that easily linked to the real site.  If that has changed then shame on them too, or any search engine doing this.)

Had it not been the many infringements that sap me of time and energy, the money losses, Pinterest hoarders who do not even credit you, or restaurants and coffee co's using my work as their ads...it would've been the proposed "orphan works" laws that will increase infringement problems for many visual artists online.

Because the site I display some of my art on is like most, it can't adequately protect images, I replaced all of my images there with really small, low resolution ones, that have my name and copyright notice prominently on them. Helpful regarding infringement, but no longer possible to make reprints that way. I know there is no 100% protection, but I had to do what I could, to stop the bleeding, as it was seriously cutting into my ability to do art as a profession.  I know so many artists now making the same decisions, because of rampant infringements that were often commercial and damaging, that they had no real choice but to spend time and even money on fighting it.

Everyone...what you see online or on search engines or even on so-called copyright free sources, is NOT in the public domain just because it is there.  Public Domain is something only the artist can make it available as, or if they have been dead long enough that their copyrights expired, and their heirs no longer claim it either.  Public Domain is not the same thing as public place!  If you rely on stock images, etc, do your research before using, much less selling, your work.  The site you got it from does not have your back! Their Terms cover them. Nothing covers you.  You could be liable for damages if sued for infringement even if you got it from a source that said it was free to use.  And obviously Google, etc, do not have the authority to give away anyone's work.

11 June, 2013

Finches at the feeder; Ink Sketches


Ok, I'm no photographer!  This is a snapshot of gold finches and house finches at our thistle seed feeder, taken this morning. It's taken through the patio window with the camera's telephoto lens, (such as it is), out to the max

We do have a species of goldfinch here in Phoenix. The females and juveniles are not as intensely colored as the males, and both sexes have quite a bit of dark on their backs. When the males are there, we often get a glimpse of their bright yellow underparts as they climb around the thistle sack. They are very tiny.  The larger ones are house finches, which have reddish heads (males) but the females and young are more drably colored. I can tell the two species apart more by size when no males are on the feeder.

My husband took several shots with his iPhone, before I got up, and captured the feral lovebirds as well. I look forward to his posting of them on Facebook, or perhaps his blog, later today. 

With the temps being 110-ish, the wild birds come to the feeders in the morning and evening, not so much during the middle of the day, even though the feeders are in some shade.  I think they all go take a siesta til the sun starts to go down again.


More of the Pentel pens and Aquash brush that just holds water.  I love sitting there drawing with these pens in the evening while my husband and I watch TV.  Lately I've been drawing more than painting, always an uneasy feeling as paintings sell better, but maybe it's as one artist referred to it, "a necessary fallow period." And though drawings seem not to sell as well as paintings, I love doing them.

Sort of an Octo-Tree thing, maybe female since she has girly eyelashes? As are this entire recent series, this is also 5 x 7 inches in a cream colored sketchbook.  I've probably used about half the sketchbook already.

 More from the same pens and sketchbook, another mammal sketch, but this time I added some light blue from another wide tipped brush pen, (different brand, not the Pentels). I may do more with this, or just do a painting based on these creatures, I dunno yet.

I've only scanned some of the drawings, and uploaded still fewer of them. There is almost never a plan for these drawings, they just come automatically.  I am still in the mammal-udder phase.  I like leaving out the babies and letting people imagine what they must look like.

04 June, 2013

Chicken Scratch; Wild birds

Digitally drawn tee shirt design
Cindy Schnackel


Chicken Scratch is drawn quickly in Photoshop, with a mouse, directly onto the tee shirt template Redbubble provides.  I enjoy drawing these simple cartoony characters and they work well on tee shirts.  The dots on the chicken's neck are actually unprinted areas. They'll show the shirt color and increase air flow through the design.  My husband and I have several tees from Redbubble now and really like them.  The shirt fits well, is cool, (very important here when it's 110+ in summer!), and the printing has always been true to the art that's on it, even when I used one of my paintings that had a lot of detail and shading. I prefer bold graphic designs on a shirt, and less ink, so sometimes I make my cartoonier pieces into shirts. 


If you're into wildlife and birds, check out Wildcare Oklahoma's Facebook page or their regular site, Wildcare Oklahoma  We lived in the OKC area for a few years and got to know this organization and the amazing woman who heads it up, Rondi Large. They do incredible things.  We discovered Wildcare when we found an orphaned baby finch after a bad storm. We've been fans of them since.  As you probably know, Oklahoma got ripped by numerous tornadoes and hail storms in May.  Wildcare also got some damage and sadly they reported some birds were killed. They've had lots of orphaned and injured wildlife brought to them.  If you're looking for an animal rescue to donate to, I really love this one, and it's nice to have gotten a chance to see it in action and know the money's going to the animals.

In our own backyard here in Phoenix, we finally got a couple of bird feeders again.  Just a thistle seed sock, and a small mesh ball for holding chunky stuff like peanuts and dried fruit.  Goldfinches found the 'sock' within the first day it was hung.  Within about 4 days, feral lovebirds and a native curved billed thrasher were getting the goodies out of the mesh ball.  We hope that it's cool enough in the morning to sit outside this weekend and try to get some snapshots of them feeding.  Below is a snapshot I took last year of the feral lovebird flock. They're quite common in Phoenix now, though not native. They are native to Africa.

The lovebirds don't seem to like going on the ground.  We throw out uneaten bird food from our cockatiels every morning, and it's quickly gobbled up by several species of dove and pigeon, and sometimes trashers. But little else lands on the ground. Could be the numerous stray cats in the area make them afraid to.  But they like hanging feeders really well!

Though it's unlikely you'll see realistic drawings or paintings of birds in my portfolio, no doubt the feeders will attract some birds that, in spirit anyway, end up in my work sooner or later.

03 June, 2013

Painting in R. Pela gallery in June; feeding finches

 Below is a link to my Redbubble journal about my show activity in June 2013, (and a few other things!).

Clown Eater
Cindy Schnackel
Acrylic on canvas
40 x 30 in.

I almost feel sorry for that clown. Today, I delivered the painting to R. Pela gallery, and the show opens Friday June 7 at 6 p.m.  Looked like there was a lot of interesting art coming in, and it was nice to see I'm not the only one who finds clowns creepy. Details in the link above.

I've been doing a lot of small drawings, playing with new ink pens, and gearing up to spend the long hot summer indoors painting small works until it's paint-friendly outdoors again. Right now it's about 110 degrees during the day. I finished the Clown Eater before it got so beastly, when it was "only" in the 80s or 90s.

On a different topic, I've been pleased to see gold finches coming to our thistle seed feeder. They discovered it in less than 24 hours and except for the hottest part of the day when most birds seem to seek shade, they can be seen clinging to it and pulling the tiny seeds out through the mesh. They are skittish, and I haven't gotten even a bad snapshot so far! Maybe eventually.

25 May, 2013

Ink in the Living Room

One of my many "mammal" drawings, ink and water on paper, about 5 x 7 in.
Thanks to some very 'neat' Pentel pens, I can now sit in the living room and do ink and wash drawings, without fear of spilling a bottle of ink.  Last weekend, I went to a demo at a local art supply store, for the pens, which come in all sorts of tips from itty bitty points to larger brush pens. The ink is all contained. You CAN make it drip by squeezing it, but it seems relatively easy to keep it from doing that unwanted. 

The water pen, (Aquash), is a brush tip you fill with water, and it is VERY cool and handy.  I love it. You could use it for all sorts of things.  I can get line widths with the brush tip pen that are extremely fine, up to very bold.  Some of the pens have ink that is very water soluble, some are more permanentt.  I've had a lot of fun this week drawing with these, and they really expand my art making territory for ink and wash drawings to anywhere.  I will even take these on the bus.

02 May, 2013

May Day

As I was making major changes to my Redbubble site and cleaning out old posts from my public Facebook page, it struck me that today is "May Day," that statement that means "emergency" of some sort.

Well, not an emergency for me or my site, but some drastic changes.  I will no longer be selling reprints on my Redbubble site.  I removed at least two-thirds of my portfolio and replaced remaining images with small, low resolution, prominently marked versions.

Why?  Mostly because of a serious infringement problem.

It would not be a big deal if I could just do an occasional reverse image search and send an occasional DMCA takedown. But it has steadily grown to the point where it's a part time job.  So something had to go, and that in this case was the nice clean images I uploaded to Redbubble to make reprints.

I used ALL of the site's available options for image protection. The watermark, right click disabling, and no-pin code. They are all easily bypassed! The money from the prints was simply not fair compensation for the risks it caused, and that cost me time, money and energy, and I didn't feel I could be as productive or happy when infringements loomed over me like a constant dark cloud. Simply ignoring the problem was not a solution, as the infringements were often of a commercial nature and robbed me of sales, as well as diluted the value of my work and caused confusion over ownership of it. Those are all damages to an artist who does this as a profession, and should even be of concern to those who do it as a hobby.  Like the video game maker who is pirated so much they can't make anymore games, artists, photographers, writers and musicians alike need to protect their work or they can't keep doing it.

I WILL still be making the giclee type fine art prints available for Hen Party and Giant Coffee Drinking Chicken!  Those are totally separate from Redbubble or any site, and do not rely on an unmarked image being uploaded to make them. The printer here in town has a copy of the huge file the prints are made from. I will have them made on an "on demand" basis. More info about them here: http://www.redbubble.com/people/cschnack/journal/9663660-large-fine-art-prints-big-chicken-paintings-giclees

22 April, 2013

New work; site editing

Detail of larger painting titled "Good China in the Bad Desert," by Cindy Schnackel. This detail is only a few inches high. the painting is 48 x 20.

I uploaded new work to my Red Bubble site today, including the whole painting that the above detail is taken from.  The painting is titled "Good China in the Bad Desert," is 48 inches wide x 20 inches high.  I have no idea, as usual, where the ideas come from, they just run from my mind down my arm, and out my hand onto the brush or whatever tools I'm using. That's why I am very happy to hear what viewers see in my work, because I don't usually have planned meanings. The meanings are there, of course, in symbolism, external influences I haven't quite processed yet, or sometimes maybe just the fun of goofiness.

Since I'm in the process of editing my sites, I've held back new work from uploading images of new paintings, while I clear out older work and pare down the amount of things I have online to tend to.  That editing process is going to be continuing for the next few weeks.  It has wreaked havoc with my online price lists of original work for sale!  Some images no longer link anywhere.  On Red Bubble, I 'hide' images rather than delete them, from my profile.  That way if I want to make them public again, I can. So it's easy to flip the switch and make it reappear, if you saw one you wanted, and it's invisible now.  Just ask. artbycindy (at) live.com.  Or if you're on Blogger, Wordpress, Red Bubble, or Facebook, contact me there.  (Links at end.)

Red Bubble made a few site changes recently, too, and that may explain why there were some recurring glitches in those inventory/price lists.  I've come to recognize the signs of Big Site Changes a-comin' so am not in any huge hurry to do a lot of editing until I find out what's happening there!  In other words, any excuse to procrastinate on completely overhauling my price lists.  But, if you have any questions, it helps to know that anything 12 x 12 inches and larger is roughly priced at $200 per square foot.  My smaller works have a different price structure, and most of my really small work runs from $75 to $200.

More new work has gone to a good new home, yay!  In that process, I have seen shipping prices increase, so sadly I have to pass that on to buyers now when I ship.

I plan on having work in the new R. Pela Gallery in Phoenix this summer.   It's located at 335 W. McDowell. Robrt opened his own gallery shortly after leaving Willo North.  Willo closed in January this year so I don't have any of my work there anymore. Willo has since reopened according to their site. Maybe after the next art walk I'll know more.

The itch to try something new is growing.  But it has to be something I can either do inside, or that can be done in extreme heat because it's getting too hot to paint outside much past noon.

I've got three miniatures on my indoor table, nearly complete. They are a related series, and all I'm telling you now is that they are chickens. (Big surprise huh?) Lots of tiny detail. After a detailed piece, I have to loosen back up with palette knives or drawing, so not sure what's coming next!

Good China in the Bad Desert  Red Bubble; prints, cards, etc of some of my work. Once there, just click Portfolio to see more artworks. My price lists for originals are in "Journals."

Cindy Schnackel on Facebook  This is my public page.

Cindy Schnackel on Wordpress

09 April, 2013

Draw A Bird Day?

Draw A Bird Day?: Check it out.  Maybe I'll get an entry in on time next year.  Not sure I made it this time, just found out about it and had about 5 min. to whip something out and submit it.  Birds are so cool. Really loved looking at what others submitted.

08 April, 2013

Baby Cactus

Turning into a prickly pear I think

This little guy volunteered in our yard, in a spot where cacti won't likely do well.  I dug it up and put it in a little pot.  Later, a second one appeared in the same spot.  It's a spot where birds sit a lot, probably after having eaten some of the countless prickly pear fruit in the area.  After awhile the top of this one started to flatten out more. I really like this shape. It'll be fun watching it develop. And it has that little friend to keep it company now, (it's not as far along, it's still a slightly flattened column).  Baby cacti are still formidable.  The tiny prickles can really sting and get under your skin.

21 March, 2013

Peck You! Recycled, Affordable Art

These pieces, which I'll be selling as a set, are mixed media on the halves of a sturdy gift box. The halves of the box are about 8 x 8 inches apiece but not exactly, as the box was not exactly square and one half is just a tiny bit larger, being the lid.  Materials in it include translucent rice paper, acrylic paint, metallic paints, and the word balloons I cut out of old nice stationary and hand lettered them, and collaged them on. 

Besides the originals being available, I digitally combined the two images and made it into a single-image poster for my Red Bubble site too. 

The originals, being recycled and quickly sketched in acrylic paints, will be part of my Affordable Art collection.  The set will be for sale for $50, a great value, as my regular paintings and drawings on more traditional artists surfaces are 4 to 5 times as much for the same size piece.  I enjoy recycling combined with making art, and it's nice to offer some pieces at lower prices, when possible, so I can share original works with more people. We all know that 'trash' lasts a lifetime in a landfill. Why not make it into something if we can.  Well cared for indoors, it should certainly last our lifetimes!

07 March, 2013

Today's Sketch; The 3 Annoyances

The 3 Annoyances
Cindy Schnackel

India ink, a bit of black and white drawing pencil, wax resist, ink washes in different strengths, and glued on word balloons.  8 x 10 inches on sketchbook paper.  I started this a few weeks ago and forgot about it, then finished it today.

Have been doing quite a bit of painting this year while the weather's still cool enough to work on bigger things outdoors on the patio.  I haven't photographed/scanned or uploaded everything yet, and still have a few I'm not done with. Or, am thinking about whether I'm really done or not.

Everything that's been uploaded so far is on my Red Bubble site  Most are available in a range of print sizes and cards.  The originals are also for sale, check my "Journals" there, for the inventory lists. Also, anything you see in my portfolio that does not say it's Sold, in the Description area, but is not on the list, just ask me about it.  I usually remember to add new things, but drawings and doodles, especially those under 8 x 10 inches, don't always get added, as there are so many of them!

All work copyright © Cindy Schnackel, all rights reserved.

04 March, 2013

"This won't hurt a bit ... "

 A journal entry with a political cartoon, from a fellow Redbubble.com member.  Interesting reasons I never knew about, (besides the more commonly known reasons), why horse meat is not good for you, and why it's a concern if it shows up in the food supply.  Not that I was planning on eating any horses anyway.

"This won't hurt a bit ... ":

15 February, 2013

2013 SO FAR; new work, sold paintings, and news

12 x 6 inches, acrylic painting on cradled panel


Flycatcher has arrived in its new home in Western Australia. I was happy to hear it arrived safely, and the buyer was very happy with it!  I like doing paintings on these cradled panels, as it negates the need for a frame. They arrive ready to hang. The buyer COULD frame them if they chose. Many of us buy prints or art and it sits around waiting to be framed, or the price of a good frame stops us.  I like my work to arrive ready to hang, whenever possible.  The exceptions are drawings on paper, which are much more impractical and expensive to ship with a frame and glass. Sometimes I even mount drawings on cradled panels. The edges are finished to go with the artwork, or sometimes if the wood is of nice grain, I simply finish the wood so the grain shows.  Flycatcher's edges were black with a crackle effect.

5 x 7 inches, acrylic painting on canvas panel, framed

I delivered Young Turkey to a gallery, along with three other pieces, and he/she sold before the pieces were even hung!  The buyer in this case was local. I have not eaten turkey since painting this last Thanksgiving.

These are a couple of sales from this year that I had small blog type images handy for.  I've continued to sell reprints on my Red Bubble page, too. Red Bubble Portfolio


5 x 7 inches on paper

Just one of the many doodles I've done since the first of the year.  The craft store, Michaels, had these 79 cent sketch books over in one of the craft aisles, made from recycled paper.  I picked up a couple to doodle in. One side of the paper is smooth, the other side rougher, and it's kind of speckley. The cover is very textural.  I'm sure I'll have fun playing with these.

8 x 10 inches, mixed media on paper

Not really a doodle, but like most things on paper it started that way!  I had jury duty in January, and knew I could be sitting for hours in the jury room waiting for my number to be called (or not).  I took a sketchbook and some ballpoint pens.  I had just drawn the teapot and cup when the Official Adult Court Lady came back and said we were all free to go home! All the trials had been settled I guess.  So I finished this at home, and it has a lot of different materials in it now.  A cropped version of just the teapot and cup is available as reprints on my Red Bubble site, too.


20 x 20 inches, on stretched canvas

Just one of a few paintings from the new year, so far. Totally spontaneous, there was no plan, I was just having fun with textures, and using the colors that were going into another work at the same time.  Having more than one painting going on, or an experimental piece, seems to be a good distraction from the temptation to touch things that aren't dry yet, add things that don't need to be added, or whatever irresistible bad things artists can do if they aren't keeping themselves busy enough.  It's also a lot of fun!

I am working on new paintings all the time. Right now I have a fairly large one close to done, very detailed. The detailed ones always take longer, and I often put them aside and get them out later, so I can view them with a fresh eye.  Changes, additions, etc, are always more clear to me, when I haven't been too close it for a few days.  Hint: there will be cacti in it.  Might have been inspired by this little guy, who volunteered in our yard, probably from a bird carried seed.  I dug him up and put him in this little pot, where he seems to be thriving:

cactus is about 6 inches tall now

I'm also working on using materials that are more "green," such as materials that are destined to be thrown away as scraps, or that are unconventional.  Archival quality is still a concern with these things so I put them thru some tests to see what happens.  The conclusion is that just about anything we make anymore will last a lifetime in a landfill, so it will probably at least last our lifetime if treated like the art it is, and taken good care of!

Because it's nice today, and supposed to be nice all weekend, I will be out on the patio painting, taking advantage of it before the spring and summer heat arrive, driving me back indoors.  I love to paint outdoors!  Sometimes I paint for an audience of pigeons.


I'm sad to announce that the gallery Willo North here in Phoenix has closed.  The gallery was on the "First Friday" (of the month) art walk route, and had gained a reputation for having real art, good shows, and wonderful presentation. I had shown and sold pieces there for the last 3 years, mostly my miniature paintings in the boutique.  Met many good people there, and many wonderful artists. Last year, I was invited to show in the curator's special exhibition of artists he had personally collected art from.  My husband and I often didn't get a chance to do much of the art walk route but we always went to Willo because they had such great shows. I hope to continue working with the people that made it a good place as they move on to other places in the art community.