CAC Artist Interview:
Never limited to the confines of just one medium, Cindy Parris is constantly experimenting with new artistic media and techniques. While her first venture into the arts began with a successful stained glass business, which she owned and operated for 10 years, it was not long before she grew restless. Cindy shifted gears, working for the art department of the DMV and eventually moved to California where she discovered her love for painting.
Cindy is now know for her unique clay relief paintings – a combination of oil painting with carved clay reliefs attached to sturdy board. “I started playing with clay one day and that’s how I ended up with the reliefs for my paintings. The reliefs can take hours and hours, you have to carve them, sand them, and they’re really heavy.” Each mixed-media piece is then coated with a retouch varnish, which creates a stable finished product. “Often ideas just pop into my head. I’m very drawn to blues and find inspiration everywhere.” One thing remains certain, the more layers, the better.
Lions, tigers, bears… oh my. While no subject matter is off limits, most recently Cindy has enjoyed painting animals and landscapes. “I have lots of dogs, I’m so fascinated with every animal. I am also planning on returning to landscapes, which is what I started with in California.” While the clay reliefs were her focus for the past few years, she has recently branched out to more abstract work with cold wax and oil. “It’s been very fun and messy, we’ll see where it leads. It’s in the experimentation process right now, and I’m still perfecting the process.”
Above all, Cindy says the most important aspect is to be creatively fearless and go for it. “I get bored of just doing one thing, so I am always trying new subject matter.” So keep pushing the limits, you never know what new creative idea could emerge.
Cindy Parris lives in Chester Virginia. She is an oil painter who also enjoys working with mixed media and resin. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University, she worked in the graphic design field for a number of years.
In 1995, Cindy and her husband moved to southern California where she had the opportunity to study oil painting with several well known California artists. "We were able to paint on the beautiful cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was a wonderful experience. I loved capturing the scene with richly colored oils. I was hooked." Upon returning to Chester, Cindy continued to develop her artistic skills. She started creating mixed-media pieces by layering paint (oil or acrylic), clay, paper, and found objects. Each stratum is coated with raw resin. The resin compound is moved across the piece then fired with a torch. The finished layered works provide a dynamic feeling of depth and movement.
"The intent of my work is to inspire the imagination, to create images that momentarily take us away from the turmoil and disruption of our daily lives."