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Work Samples

Their Conditions of Worth

32x12" acrylic on canvas, "Their Conditions of Worth," children born into fundamentalist religions taught their worth is conditional upon obedience.
32"x12" acrylic on canvas, varnished, "Conditions of Worth." In many fundamentalist religions, children are indoctrinated and taught their worth is conditional upon obedience. This often begins with baptism and/or other rituals of commitment and compliance.

Ordinance

18x26" acrylic on canvas, "Ordinance,
18x26" acrylic on canvas, "Ordinance," is a parallel statement about the vanishing boundaries between my experiences growing up female in a closed fundamentalist religion, the years of my life I spent trying to escape, and similar religious patriarchal forces rearing their ugly head in politics. Ignorance is privilege with real and severe impact.

Teaching Artist

18x26" acrylic on canvas, "Teaching Artist,"
18x26" acrylic on canvas, "Teaching Artist," this amazing human is a Black American and very Creative! Creative People are everywhere!

Quieten

28"x16" acrylic on canvas, "Quieten," is a self portrait walking through a fantasy garden
28"x16" acrylic on canvas, "Quieten," is a self portrait walking through a fantasy garden, representing the quietness I feel in my soul as I finally experience the peace of authenticity and meaningfulness in my life that I have created, without having it dictated to me by others.

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About Cindy

Carroll County

Cindy Cisneros's picture
I knew early on in life that I wasn't going to fit in. Then again, most of us artists figured that out along the way,  didn't we? Creative natures go against the grain.  My creativity demanded that I live authentically and I have lived paving my own way, writing my own rules, and challenging norms. This is the story of my life. I learned quickly that as a free spirit, I was my own best support system- and this drew me into the field and study of psychology.    The... more

(UN)Indoctrinated

I was raised in a Mormon family, which is a strict fundamentalist religion. I managed to leave the religion as a young person, but it was a difficult journey with ongoing impacts on my life. This project is to express, support and reach out to others feeling incongruence with how they are raised, and a lack or support trying to find answers.  Gaslighting, indoctrination, guilt, shame, patriarchy and more used to control are prevalent, abusive, and not ok.  You can overcome.  There are those of us out there who are and have been on this journey. <3

  • "My Choice"

    30x24" acrylic on canvas, "My Choice," is choosing chaos and the unknown rather than closed-mindedness and control.
    30x 24" varnished acrylic on canvas. Leaving a fundamentalist religion is the very real choice of unknown and danger ahead of you, and everything you know behind. Bravely facing and walking into that storm is a decision every person raised in a closed society like this, who walks away, faces.
  • "My Fight"

    32x28" acrylic on canvas, "My Fight," to free myself from fundamentalist religion.
    32"x28" acrylic on canvas, "My Fight," is a literal and figurative representation of the fight I and many others like me sustain for years to free themselves from the indoctrination, gaslighting, shaming, fear mongering and impressed upon them by fundamentalist religion.
  • Their Conditions of Worth

    32x12" acrylic on canvas, "Their Conditions of Worth," children born into fundamentalist religions taught their worth is conditional upon obedience.
    32"x12" acrylic on canvas, varnished, "Conditions of Worth." In many fundamentalist religions, children are indoctrinated and taught their worth is conditional upon obedience. This often begins with baptism and/or other rituals of commitment and compliance.
  • Their Patriarchy

    38x24" acrylic painting on canvas, figurative, impressionistic representation of patriarchal fundamentalist religion on women raised within it.
    38"x24" varnished acrylic on canvas, "Their Patriarchy" represents the expectations of patriarchal fundamental religion on women, as she tries to live her own dreams. Painted expressing my own experiences growing up in and leaving Mormonism.
  • Quieten

    28"x16" acrylic on canvas, "Quieten," is a self portrait walking through a fantasy garden
    28"x16" acrylic on canvas, "Quieten," is a self portrait walking through a fantasy garden, representing the quietness I feel in my soul as I finally experience the peace of authenticity and meaningfulness in my life that I have created, without having it dictated to me by others.
  • Hold up the Walls

    16"x28" acrylic on canvas, "Hold up the Walls," represents a turning point
    16"x28" acrylic on canvas, "Hold up the Walls," represents a turning point in my painting and my trauma-healing. After my religious childhood, I was determined to raise my boys with choices, acceptance, treasuring every moment. As I healed and grew, I realized as a mother and I human, I can control nothing, nothing is perfect ,and every moment is precious and fleeting.
  • Ordinance

    18x26" acrylic on canvas, "Ordinance,
    18x26" acrylic on canvas, "Ordinance," is a parallel statement about the vanishing boundaries between my experiences growing up female in a closed fundamentalist religion, the years of my life I spent trying to escape, and similar religious patriarchal forces rearing their ugly head in politics. Ignorance is privilege with real and severe impact.

Creative People Portrait Project

I am a Creativity Counselor and Creativity Coach, and constantly striving to share my message of the importance of recognizing and caring for your Creative Personality with the public. One of my initiatives as an artist is the Creative People Portrait Project, where I seek Creative People volunteers to serve as my muse, as I paint their portrait. My goal is to highlight the diversity of background, experiences, skillsets and more that Creative People come from and contribute to the world.  I hope more people ask questions of themselves, others and society in support of Creativity and the Arts and Wellness from the representation of this series.  I hope to accompany it with free resources- live or asynchronous- about wellness for Creative People. 

  • Culinary Artist, 1

    24x12" acrylic on canvas, "Culinary Artist, 1,"
    24x12" acrylic on canvas, "Culinary Artist, 1," this amazing human now an adult, and a culinary artist. Creative People are everywhere!
  • Network Engineer

    28x18", Acrylic on Canvas, "Network Engineer,"
    28x18", Acrylic on Canvas, "Network Engineer," This Amazing Human is Latin American, adult Male, and he is Creative. Creative People are Everywhere!
  • Counselor

    28x16" Acrylic on Canvas, "Counselor,"
    28x16" Acrylic on Canvas, "Counselor," This adult, Caucasian female is Creative. Creative People are Everywhere!
  • Social Worker

    18x26" acrylic on canvas, "Social Worker,"
    18x26" acrylic on canvas, "Social Worker," This adult female Caucasian amazing human is Creative! Creative People are everywhere!
  • Culinary Artist, 2

    18x26" Acrylic on Canvas, "Culinary Artist, 2,
    18x26" Acrylic on Canvas, "Culinary Artist, 2," This amazing human is an adult, Haitian-American female and she is Creative. Creative People are everywhere!
  • Career Advisor

    12x12" Acrylic on canvas, "Career Advisor,"
    12x12" Acrylic on canvas, "Career Advisor," this amazing human is a multiracial-American female and Creative! Creative People are everywhere!
  • Teaching Artist

    18x26" acrylic on canvas, "Teaching Artist,"
    18x26" acrylic on canvas, "Teaching Artist," this amazing human is a Black American and very Creative! Creative People are everywhere!
  • Artist

    Creative Artist from the Creative People Portrait Project
    This amazing human is an Artist. Creative People are everywhere. Not all Creative People know they have Creative Personalities, or that they are Creative at all. The diversity amongst Creative People is important,. and helping Creative People recognize and support their Creative Traits is critically important to our Communities.

Trauma Nightmares

As a therapist, I know now that the recurring nightmares I have had throughout my life are manifestations of ongoing exposure to severe threats that I cannot escape. This is also known as one of the definitions of trauma- and a classic symptom of trauma are regularly occuring nightmares.  Creative People regularly vividly dream as part of their Creative Personalities, and as a therapist, I have worked with Creative People to underastand the emotional content of their dreams, especially when dreams become thematic, as signals to them of their overall wellbeing and emotional needs. This is one way to use nightmares to help onesself heal. As part of my creative journey, painting my recurring nightmares has helped me understand their origins in religious trauma, and triggers in my life today. Many of these themes are common anxiety dreams for others!

  • Dark Room

    40x12" acrylic on canvas, "Dark Room," is a recurring nightmare I have had since childhood
    40x12" acrylic on canvas, "Dark Room," is a recurring nightmare I have had since childhood. It was difficult to paint, as I had no reference, other than my own mind, which is very clouded by terror. In the nightmare, there is a dark house in which I live, with a tall staircase. At the top of the staircase, all the way to the top of the dark house, up into the rafters, there is a dark room. I know nothing about the room except of its powerful darkness, heaviness, emptiness, sadness, violence and malevolence, which, whenever I get to the top of the stairs, I feel to my core.
  • Don't Pick the Flowers

    48"x32" acrylic on canvas, "Don't Pick the Flowers," is one of the earliest nightmares I recall from my childhood
    48"x32" acrylic on canvas, "Don't Pick the Flowers," is one of the earliest nightmares I recall from my childhood, and as an adult, so evident of conditional worth and indoctrination. In the nightmare, it was lightly raining, and I was in my backyard, picking wildflowers, when deep thunder struck, and a disembodied voice from the heavens thundered, "Don't pick the flowers!" Terrified, I ran back into the house seeking help, only to find myself completely abandoned, not a soul to be found. As a nearly 40 year old woman, this image still gives me chills.
  • Drive-mare

    40x28" acrylic on canvas "Drive-mare," is a representation combining my recurring driving nightmares
    40x28" acrylic on canvas "Drive-mare," is a representation combining my recurring driving nightmares. These are frequent, and all about a loss of control. This powerless painful feeling is one of my deepest fear, one of the most horrible parts of living in a fundamentalist religion. This painting combines the loss of control of driving to the road flooding by a large body of water, suddenly changing to the inside of a dark cave, escalating steeply up a large mountain, and dangerously towering overpasses.
  • IMG_0050.jpeg

    40x12" acrylic on canvas, "Impossible," is another recurring nightmare
    40x12" acrylic on canvas, "Impossible," is another recurring nightmare I have as a result of my religious trauma, along a theme. While the settings change, the nuts and bolts are the same: I am endlessly packing, trying to leave to go somewhere, but no matter how much I pack, more items appear to be pack, never allowing me to leave, keeping me forever trapped and out of time. This is a powerful feeling I had while I was trying to get out of Mormonism, and a fear that still haunts me.
  • Hopelessness

    Hopelessness from Cindy Cisneros Nightmare Series
    A recurring nightmare I have is both of my children in mortal danger, usually involving water or fire, and my impossible choice to only be able to save one of them. This is reflective of my innermost fear of hopelessness.