This past February, I brought my friends to the Sundance Resort on a perfect, bluebird morning. It is one of my favorite places to visit. The drive is spectacular and the scenery is ever changing, from the Jordanelle and Deer Creek Reservoirs, to the snowy peak of Mount Timpanogos. This painting is inspired by the view of Provo Canyon, just before you make the turn off Route 189 to head up to the resort.
Oil Painting Techniques
I was drawn to the contrast of the smooth, flowing rock face on the right vs. the jagged, layered mountains in the center. It was feeling a little too traditional for me so I added the drips to the evergreen trees on the left. The result reminds me a bit of some of the areas in Utah that have been ravaged by beetles, which is yet another problem caused by global warming. Ever the environmentalist, I urge you to conserve and reuse our resources and nurture our planet.
I love to paint from an aerial perspective. Being a good distance above the Earth makes me feel peaceful and serene. I have a friend who is a pilot and he sent me a few photos of his travels and I thought some of them would be fun to paint. This is a flyover of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Forks Of Salmon, such a descriptive name of place. I was particularly drawn to the striations in the mountains, how they undulate and form such a mass. They were fun to describe in paint. Snow dusts the top of the ridge-lines like frosting on a cake, they seem to go on forever.
Golden Glow 1, oil on gold toned aluminum, 27 x 27, $2500
Golden Glow 2, oil on gold toned aluminum, 27″ x 27″ $2500
I make a lot of my paintings on 3mm double sided aluminum panels. I am not really sure what the core substance is that they put between the panels but they are very sturdy and do not pop or bend, well unless you drop one on a corner or something. Stuff happens. Generally though the are great to paint on and they come in a myriad of metal tones and finishes. I usually paint on the silver toned panel with the brushed finish. They are the same panels that sign makers use.
I have been wanting to paint on gold toned aluminum for awhile now and finally got around to ordering some. Purple is the compliment to yellow/gold so I did my best to work the colors to their limit. There is a good deal of scraping on this one as well, I really wanted to catch the beams of light as they filter through the clouds.
I like to make paintings in a series for a number of reasons. My studio is in my home and not gigantic so making larger paintings can be challenging. The metal panels come in 4′ x 8′ at their largest size. I have only done one painting with a panel in its entirety, Celestial Rhapsody, and it was really fun but a challenge to paint. I had to use a ladder to get to the top and it was too big to put on my easel so painting the bottom was a challenge as well. It is hard to sit or kneel on the floor and paint. Diptychs are also good as they can be sold together or separately and they have a nice presence in the gallery. There is a lot of competition out there for smaller painting and they tend to get lost among the larger works.
I really like layering complimentary color glazes over each other. In the painting above, I initially had hatch marks in the sky, similar to “Sidewinder” but wasn’t happy with it. I took a big squeegee and exposed more of the reflection of the metal panel, pulling the color out of the sky and letting it overlap the surrounding areas. You can see the hatch-mark remnants at the top of the sky. I really like having some type of threshold to create space. Going under the overpass in this panting is a bit less traditional as it is above rather than below the main focus of the piece.
The evergreen trees in Carmel, California are very unusual and a variety that I have not often seen. Their branches reach outward in a very graceful arc which reminds me a bit of a graceful ballet dancer, gesturing in the ocean breeze. Of course the sunsets need no explanation. It is sheer bliss to sit amongst the trees and rocks, listening to the waves crashing on the beach while the sun takes its last salute to the day. I pulled the paint away from the panel to create the shimmering ocean waves gently lapping at the shore. It was so peaceful and calm, it nurtures my soul.
The inspirational photo for this painting was given to me by a friend from LA. There is always something about the sunset that makes me pause, relax, and appreciate another good day on the planet. When it is particularly colorful, I cannot resist trying to capture that magic as it changes, moment by moment, so I can revisit it and take pause, anytime during the day.
Grandeur, oil on a brushed aluminum panel, 39″ x 51″, Sold
Grandeur Peak is one of the many mountain peaks that falls in between Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah. I like to paint all mountains and find them so inspiring, peaceful and spiritual. That is one of the reasons I spend so much of my time in Park City. When I am lucky enough to go on a delivery/install of my work I really enjoy seeing the homes in which my paintings will live. This particular home is in Park City and is pretty darned spectacular! Very modern and beautifully appointed, I could not be happier to be in such place of honor in the main living room!
I really enjoy interior design, I even considered becoming an interior designer for a quick minute but began my early career in fashion design instead. Fast forward to about ten years ago when I decided to put all that art training and work experience to good use, open my business and paint!
It is particularly pleasing to work with people who have a delightful color sense. This home owner is a master at floral design and I adored all of the exquisite arrangements of living flowers in her home. The arrangement on the mantel perfectly compliments the highlights in the painting! When I lived in the East Bay area, San Francisco, I inherited an incredible garden from the previous homes owner. I added a tiered fruit and vegetable garden in the time that we lived there and miss it still. Plums warm from the sun, right off the tree, raspberries of many varieties, the legendary California blackberry, just to name a few. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.
Fog on the Mountain, oil on white aluminum, 23″ x 23″
I am lucky enough to rise each morning and see the breathtaking view of the Wasatch Mountain Range from my window. I have become a bit of a bluebird skier and when it is foggy, I must admit to waiting for it to clear before I head out to the slopes. This is small section of the range, the highest peak on the right is 9,990.
Shadow Woman – Patriot, oil on aluminum, 27″ x 27″, $2250
I was at a meeting this morning and my friend wished her friend a Happy “Gal”-entines Day! I thought that was brilliant. Taking a perceived negative of not being in a relationship and turning it on its head. This is inspired by Richard Hambleton’s Shadowman. I am starting to work on a series of strong, invincible women. 2020 is the hundredth anniversary of women getting the right to vote in Utah! Whooo hoo!
I am thrilled to announce that I am now represented by Art Upclose on Artsy.net! This will boost my international exposure and allow sales to be easily executed on line! Please click on the link to see my page on the site! Please remember to share my art with all your friends by clicking on one of the share buttons at the bottom of the post! Thanks!
Spirits Sandy Hook Memorial, acrylic on steel, 39″ x 51″, $6000 for the framed original painting.
This is the 7th anniversary of the tragedy in Sandy Hook. There are some scary statistics out there about all the gun violence in America these days. Please take a moment today to think about what each of us can do to help turn the tide on this epidemic in the new decade. Prints of this image are available at Saatchiart.com. Profits from this image as well as the original painting will be donated to the Sandy Hook Promise.
Miami Art Show at the Eduardo Lira Art Gallery2075 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33127
Inside the Eduardo Lira Art Gallery for the Miami 2.0 Artbox Show 2019!
Outside entrance to the Eduardo Lira Art Gallery for the Miami 2.0 Artbox Show 2019!
The Miami Shows are open! If you are lucky enough to be in Miami this week, you can check out this group show at the beautiful, Eduardo Lira Art Gallery, 2075 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami! (I believe that is in the Wynwood Arts District). Tuesday, December 3rd through Sunday, December 8th, 11am to 8pm every day!
I wanted to create a powerful woman figure as a voice for all the things I think are important and sometimes, in peril. This is the first of a series, “Shadow Woman”. I love my country and am so grateful to all the men and women in service that keep us safe. Happy Veteran’s Day and thank you!
Richard Hambleton’s Street Art, “Shadowman”, is painted on walls, buildings, doors and pretty much anything you can imagine throughout the world. He started painting his incredible, life size figures in the East Village of NYC in the late 1970’s and worked off and on until he passed in 2017. His dancing, figures exude energy and one can imagine the break dancers on the corner with their beat boxes, performing on the street; splatters and spray accentuating their movements. Conveying a darker, more ominous mood, his figures lurk in alleys and dimly lit doorways, sometimes, even falling from the top of a building. There is a great show of his work currently at The Chase Contemporary Gallery in NYC, (521 W.23rd St.), where I saw these pieces, October 31st – December 7th, 2019.
Stay tuned as I am working on some figures of my own, Hambleton inspired. The spontaneity, the simplicity of only two colors, the energy, the incredible, life size compositions, all amaze me. I am starting on a smaller scale and will see how it goes. The impact of the life sized pieces is intriguing and I love to work big, (or at least that would be big for me). If you haven’t been to my website lately, click the link and prowl around! cynthiamcloughlin.com
I thought it would be fun to show a work in progress from beginning to end. These are in order of completion, (top to bottom and left to right). I wanted to do something really color saturated. I was cleaning up my studio and found my super fun, fat stick, oil crayons. The chartreuse is amazing so I started with that in the sky and roadside, then popped in the pink and purple for the mid-tone and darker shadows. I used orange for the mountainside areas I wanted to be warmer and come forward and the compliment to that, teal/blue, on the road. It felt a little too saturated and I wanted some of the silver to come through so some scraping and squeegee are shown in the next frame. Back to my chartreuse oil crayon to play off the magenta/pink and highlight the barrier and accentuate the curve between the highways. After the paint dried, I went in with some glazes, red over the teal/blue/chartreuse road and mountain to solidify the mass. Scraping out the vehicles, filling in the tail lights and some additional scraping to let the silver glint as highlights on the mountains and this one is done!
Sidewinder, oil on brushed aluminum, 39″ x 39″, $5300
Underpass, Into the Light, oil on brushed aluminum. 39″ x 39″, $5300
I have been experimenting with my Road Series. I have a client who was in need of art for a very large wall and given the direction of using a bright color palette for a road painting composition. I came up with “Sidewinder,” (on the left). It screamed for a companion piece so I decided to flip the colors and instead of lots of texture, I used very little. I got a bit frustrated with the sky, so started moving the paint around with a squeegee. The new medium I am using dries super fast and I was able to pull the orange of the sky right over the blue mountains , which had dried overnight. I love the halo effect, it is like a veil of color, one shows through the other. After that dried I went back in with a purple glaze to give it a little more depth. My favorite part of “Into the Light” is the dark purple overpass that frames the sky and pushes it back even further in the picture plane. The viewer comes out from under the overpass and into the light. A metaphor for our desire for happiness!
It goes without saying that prowling galleries and exhibitions at museums is a big part of educating myself and staying up to date on the art world, which I doubt anyone can really do, even in this day of social media.
A few years ago I saw an amazing retrospective of Gerhart Richter”s work, who I believe is now in his 80’s. The body of work was amazing, some figurative, some abstract, paintings & sculpture. I once read someplace that he burned everything he made before he was 40. If that is true, the body of work put forth in the Paris exhibition is even more mind blowing. This piece was inspired by some of his abstract work where he pulled the colors across the canvas. My piece is a bit more figurative than it’s inspiration. Instead of a board, I used a squeegee and brushes to pull out the light, finishing it off after it was dry by scraping away the paint to let the metal show through and reflect the light.
I started this piece in the beginning of summer. I get a little homesick for a summer on the lake, living out here in the high dessert. I treasure my memories of being on the lake, watching the moon come up and reflect on the water, camps nestled in the dense forest of trees.
Seaweed, 16″ x 12″, oil paint on a brushed aluminum panel, $975
Jellyfish Sky, 16″ x 12″, oil paint on a brushed aluminum panel, $975
Silver Beach, 12″ x 16″, oil paint on a brushed aluminum panel, $975
I am testing out the art market in Monaco this weekend! The Artifact Gallery, based in the East Village in Manhattan, is taking these paintings to the Monaco Yacht Show in Monte Carlo and setting up the show today! I am very excited to be included in this exclusive show! My paintings will be displayed in a flat files format, unframed, which I haven’t done before now. Wish me luck!
Things went very well last summer and I thought I would share some of the installation photos with you of my work in their new homes! I am so grateful to have such a wonderful team behind me that believes in me and continues to promote my work! Many thanks to Suzanne and her staff at Oohs and Aahs and to Megan and her staff at the Summit Gallery, both in wonderful Park City, Utah!