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Work Samples

Stairway

Stairway, Oil, textured spray paint, metallic leaf, on canvas, 36x36

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About Cindy

Harford County

Cindy Mehr's picture
Cindy's art--maximal and eclectic--reflects her experiences as a world traveler and her time spent living in such places as Spain, France, Japan, Morocco, Colombia, and Burkina Faso.  This exposure to other countries and cultures has led her to embrace diversity and universal connectivity--two prevalent themes in her art.  

A Breath of Fresh Air

These paintings, a continuation of the "contagion" series, were  born out of social media zeitgeist and the coronavirus pandemic.  The past few years have been plagued by feelings of suffocation, as evidenced by the omnipresent mantra "I can't breathe," spurred by the tragic murder of George Floyd.  Meanwhile, people on and off ventilators  gasped for air as Covid tightened its grip on the vulnerable and subjected all of us to  continual media bombardment and an overwhelming abundance of information that's impossible to  digest--millions of bits of data that demand our attention as we grapple with the physical reality of airborne viruses, and the unseen, sometimes technology-driven forces that shape our daily existences.  As the pandemic ebbs, we still search frantically for truth amidst this digital fallout and crave a pause in the chaos, a reprieve from the constant onslaught of fear, uncertainty, and disease, both physical and mental.  Now, as we emerge from this dark period, there's a glimmer of hope in the limitless, unpolluted skies that we can retreat to in moments of angst.  These most recent works depict the process I went through as I transitioned from feelings of congestion to feelings of decongestion and visually saw the spaces in my paintings start to open up,creating a breath of fresh air.
As always, I am interested in the interplay of oppositess and the expression of diverse environments. I like visual enigmas and paradox. The surfaces of my paintings look like collage, but they are entirely painted. I like to allow for spontaneity in the choice of subject matter because by doing so, I am led to unexpected conclusions. Finally, I like presenting fragments of information that allow for the viewers to connect the dots, expand their vision, and reflect on how the parts relate to the whole.

  • ICloud

    oil, gold leaf, textured spray paint, on canvas, 48x48
  • Patch of Blue

    oil, gold leaf, textured spray paint, 20x24
  • Space

    oil, gold leaf, textured spray paint, on canvas, 20x24
  • Escape

    oil, gold leaf, textured spray paint, on canvas, 20x24
  • Cyberspace

    Oil, textured spray paint, metallic leaf, on canvas, 48x48
  • At the Beach

    At the Beach, oil, textured spray paint, metallic leaf, enamel paint, pearl pen, on canvas, 24x24
  • Stairway

    Stairway, oil, textured spray paint, metallic leaf, on canvas, 36x36

Contagion

I'm continuing to explore the interplay of opposites such as the use of amorphous, abstract, organic imagery versus the use of delineated, realistic, inorganic imagery.  In this series I also work with diverse media (oil, textured spray paint, metallic leaf, pearl pen, enamel paint, marker, colored pencil, and graphite, and diverse techniques such as brush painting, spray painting, stenciling, and drip painting.   Although the surface looks like collage, this is simply an illusion, as the surface is entirely painted and nothing  is pasted on it. The central idea in this series, of course, is contagion, an idea which occurred, not surprisingly, amidst he insidious spread of the coronavirus.  Initially, I focused on the virus and its attendant associations (eg. clorox, masks, vaccinations), but soon I extended my thinking to encompass other sorts of invasive forces such as the spread of bacteria, parasites,  insect borne diseases, and  the negativity we encounter in the media on a daily basis. I chose to use a very maximal palette in order to emphasize  the all-inclusive nature of contagion, a vile force that  takes  on a life of its own and does not discriminate; it touches everything.  I did not want to limit the scope of its reach.  It is another element in the panoply of daily life  but disrupts routine existence as it  lurks in the background ready to pounce.

  • Fallout

    Fallout, oil, pearl pen, metallic leaf, textured spray paint, on canvas, 36x48
  • Clorox

    oil, metallic leaf, textured spray paint, archival ink, on canvas, 24x30
  • Helping Hand

    oil, textured spray paint, metallic leaf, marker, colored pencil, archival ink, on paper, 17x20
  • N-95

    oil, metallic leaf, pearl pen, colored pencil, marker, archival ink, on paper, 16x20
  • Zoom

    oil, marker, graphite, metallic leaf, pearl pen, pen, on paper, 16x20

Awash

My intent in creating these paintings is to depict the diverse, often over-stimulated world in which we live and show both the positive and negative aspects of that world.  I perceive daily life as both a collage of random elements that envelop us in a sort of digital fallout but also as a celebration of possibilities. By using a variety of colors, textures, shapes, and styles, I hope to stretch the parameters of cohesiveness and create a sort of universal jigsaw, which creates harmony and chaos simultaneously.   I chose as a title for this series, the word “awash,” which means “flooding,” “saturation,” “overflowing,” but the word “awash” also draws parallels with a washing machine, an appliance that blends together disparate elements in a rhythmic, cyclical, uniformity. The blending I use is three-fold. First there is a blending of content that includes literal and ambiguous images. Secondly there is a blending of diverse media such as spray paint, metallic leaf, oil paint liquid plastic, and glitter. Thirdly, there is a blending of diverse artistic processes such as brush painting, spray painting stenciling, dripping, and scraping through previous layers of paint. However, unlike the metaphor of a melting pot, which also serves as a symbol for diversity, a washing machine blends together contrastive forms while at the same time maintaining their separate identity. 
  • Churning

    oil, textured spray paint, metallic leaf, pearl pen, glitter, on canvas, 36x36
  • Bubbles

    oil, metallic leaf, textured spray paint, on canvas, 36 X 36
  • Colors and Whites

    oil, metallic leaf, pearl pen, textured spray paint, on canvas, 24 X 24
  • Cyclical

    oil, metallic leaf, pearl pen, textured spray paint, on canvas, 24 X 24
  • Fabrics

    oil, silver leaf, gold leaf, pearl pen, textured spray paint, on canvas, 36x36
  • Rinse Cycle

    oil, gold leaf, silver leaf, textured spray paint, on canvas, 36x36
  • Tumble Dry

    oil, textured spray paint, metallic leaf, pearl pen, on canvas, 24x24
  • Carousel

    oil, textured spray paint, metallic leaf, pearl pen, on canvas, 24x24
  • Blender

    oil, textured spray paint, metallic leaf, pearl pen, archival ink, on canvas, 16x20
  • Drainage

    oil, textured spray paint, metallic leaf, marker, archival ink, on canvas, 16x20

Micro-Mundos

As the name "micro-mundos" suggests, these are small paintings, all of which are 12"x12". These microcosms are also reflections of the world at large. They  are studies for larger works and are the result of a problem-solving activity I set for myself. The problem involved establishing a set of standards and variables in a sort of painting experiment.   The standard elements are size, colors (the palette makes use of radiant green, radiant purple, permanent rose, and colors that adhere to the same value). The media is the same throughout: oil paint, metallic leaf, and textured spray paint. The paintings make use of repeating motifs such as water, lace, squares, articles of clothing and text. The main element that changes in each painting is composition.  I was interested in seeing  what sorts of narratives unfolded as the viewer  filled in the spaces between the various images to create meaning and how composition affected this process.  I also wanted to liberate myself from more traditional notions of composition and inject tonal qualities such as whimsy, drama, and mystery.

  • Green Light

    oil, silver leaf, textured spray paint, pearl pen, on canvas, 12x12
  • Hashtag

    oil, gold leaf, textured spray paint, archival ink, on canvas, 12x12
  • Think

    oil, gold leaf, silver leaf, textured spray paint, on canvas, 12x12
  • eyefull

    oil, silver leaf, gold leaf, glitter, textured spray paint, on canvas, 12x12
  • Lipstick Salute

    oil, metallic leaf, textured spray paint, on canvas, 12x12
  • Fruit Punch

    oil, gold leaf, textured spray paint, on canvas, 12x12
  • Mixing Bowl

    oil, textured spray paint, metallic leaf, on canvas, 12x12
  • Hammering out the Details

    oil, marker, textured spray paint, metallic leaf, on canvas, 24x24
  • lockdown

    oil, metallic leaf, textured spray paint, on canvas, 24x24
  • Falling Domino

    oil, metallic leaf, textured spray paint, archival ink, on canvas, 12x12

Celebrations

 CELEBRATIONS
In this series I explore  different forms of celebration and the subsequent   emotions they elicit such as excitement, violence, radiance, gaiety, and fleetingness.  I combine a variety of media on canvas to create explosions of contrasting forms which, on the one hand, evoke digital age bombardment,  but on the other hand, celebrate the creative process itself.   I subscribe to a maximal approach to painting that I believe reflects the current age in which we are living, an age in which one is presented with information faster than one can digest it, the result bringing about  a simultaneous sensation of exhilaration and chaos. Although the paintings look like collage,  they are, in fact, entirely painted. I use fragmented images resembling collage and juxtapose these with undulating, amorphous, organic forms, simultaneously depicting  the forces of creation and destruction. Paradoxically, these elements of destruction, in the form of scraps from my personal environment as well as the world at large, link to larger parts from whence they came, so, the part becomes the whole. The juxtaposition of air-brushed  and textured surfaces also creates ambiguity, with the resulting tableau treading the thin line between violence and celebration.  I am Fascinated by the interplay of opposites and believe that when one shows contradictory elements back to back, one also suggests the territory  that lies in between. It is this nebulous  “in-between” territory that  interests me, for it is this part that engages the viewer in the creative process.                  

  • Rainbow Splash

    oil, metallic leaf, glitter, pearl pen, textured spray paint, on canvas, 48x48
  • Celebration

    oil, archival ink, metallic leaf, acryllic, on canvas, 36 X 36.
  • Effervescene

    oil, metallic leaf, glitter, spray paint, 36 X 36.
  • Party

    oil paint, metallic leaf, glitter, on canvas, 36 X 36
  • Rainbow Unleashed

    oil, metallic leaf, on canvas, 24 X 24.
  • Fete

    oil, textured spray paint, metallic leaf, pearl pen, on canvas. This is a two-panel painting with each panel measuring 24 X 36.
  • Wedding

    oil, textured spray paint, metallic leaf, pearl pen, on canvas. This is a two-panel painting, with each panel measuring 24 X 36.
  • Gala

    oil, textured spray paint, metallic leaf, pearl pen, glitter, on canvas. This is a two-panel painting, with each panel measuring 24 X 36.
  • Amusement Park

    oil, textured spray paint, metallic leaf, pearl pen, glitter, on canvas, 36x48
  • Housewarming

    oil gold leaf, textured spray paint, on canvas, 36x48

Fantasy-Scapes

Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines "fantasy" as a "free play of creative imagination; a fanciful design or invention."  These scapes are not realistic venues, but they are similar to clouds in the way that interpretation depends on individual perception.  The word "scape" also suggests "escape," yet it is never possible to escape reality entirely in that we are always anchored to our physical surroundings.  In all of these paintings there are elements of the fanciful and the literal, suggesting that no matter how hard one tries to make imaginative leaps, there is always a residue of the concrete--scraps, so to speak--that linger, that connect, that stimulate more journeys.  Like all journeys, there is always a starting point; for me, it could be something as literal as a road sign, or as abstract as an epiphany.  After I start on my journey, I try to relinquish control as much as possible to see where the idea leads.  I'd like the viewer to engage in a visual odyssey, go beyond the visceral, make intuitive connections, and tap into the sub-conscious mind.

Un-Escapes

An antithesis to "Fantasy-Scapes," the "Un-Escapes" series focuses more on destruction than creation and confronting rather than avoiding reality.  The creative catalyst for these paintings was the exploration of the apocalypse archetype and the inevitability of such manmade and natural disasters as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, crashes, explosions, and viral infections.  While all of these events are tinged with fear, the greatest underlying fear is the fear of death and the imprint this fear leaves on daily existence.  This life-versus-death dichotomy appears on the canvas as splashes of color against black voids; while the looming shadow of death conveys a feeling of dread, its omnipresent certainty is what enriches the human spirit and helps shape individual existence.  My intention is not to shroud a negative event in tragedy, but instead to show its complicity in the life cycle.  In that sense, the paintings perpetuate the cycle of destruction and creation.  They function as a sort of Hindu triumvirate, or a Phoenix rising again from its own immolation.

  • Storm

    Oil on canvas, 36 X 36
  • Crash

    oil on canvas, 36 X 36
  • Apocalypse

    Oil on canvas, 24 X 24
  • Earthquake

    oil on canvas, 36 X 36
  • Twister

    oil and metallic leaf on canvas, 20 X 30
  • Wrecking Ball

    Oil on canvas, 24 X 24 (the death of printed newspapers)
  • Blitz

    Blitz, oil paint, textured spray paint, metallic leaf, spray enamel paint, on canvas, 30 X 36
  • Clogged Drain

    Photo-Scapes Clogged Drain, oil paint on archival ink print, 36 V 36
  • Barriers

    Breaking Barriers, oil, enamel paint, metallic leaf, pearl pen, textured spray paint, on canvas, 30x40
  • I Spy

    oil, textured spray paint, metallic leaf, on canvas, 24x30

Interior-Scapes

As the word "interior" suggests, these paintings deal with scenes within well-defined boundaries.  These boundaries could be a box, a hallway,  or a room.  I was inspired by my gadget drawer--something most of us have at home, a sort of catch all for odds and ends.  This drawer, unlike the cutlery drawer or the medicine cabinet, is characterized by its randomness and may contain typical household items such as matches and measuring tape or detritus such as gum wrappers and pieces of ribbon.  Ironically, this assortment of disparate objects blends together in a way that makes perfect sense.  Open the drawer, and it tells a story; it presents a personal, haphazard glimpse of its owner. Even in the frenzied assortment of random stuff, there's a sort of harmony.  Metaphorically, a gadget drawer is the reflection of the subconscious in that the dream world also abounds in diverse symbols and bits of information that link together to form seemingly logical connections.  Likewise, in waking life we are bombarded with scraps of information from the digital age in which we live.  Because this digital fallout is incomplete and held together by tenuous threads, the viewer must "connect the dots" and finish the narrative.  My goal in creating these pictures is to stretch the parameters of cohesiveness while at the same time maintaining pictorial harmony.  The scraps in my pictures come from whatever happens to be in my immediate environment at a given time.  I then use this information to craft an interior landscape and promote an open-ended dialog.

Animal Archetypes

These paintings express the Jungian concept of "the Self" through the introduction of animal components that represent man's instinctive nature and connection to the natural world.  These animal spirits are woven into external environments that form part of the collective unconscious. The juxtaposition here is between the external and internal conception of self and how an animal spirit resides within all of us and shapes our personality.

Remnants

Remnants. They are pieces of something else; they are incomplete; they are vehicles to larger ideas, like words are pieces of language and numbers are pieces of mathematical equations.  The scraps in these paintings function in much the same way as Lichtenstein's dots, Pollack's drips, or Davis's stripes in that they are quarks--small particles that combine to make a whole of something, but paradoxically,  evoke ideas of destruction, a ripping apart of something, a digital disintegration. Webster's Unabridged Dictionary  defines a remnant as "a trace, a last remaining indication of what has been," so the viewer must connect the dots to fill in the empty spaces and find closure.  These "dots" are pieces of a fragmented universe, functioning simultaneously as by-products of information smog as well as archetypal motifs.  In the process of connecting the dots, a scrap becomes the seed from which subsequent ideas are generated.  They facilitate multifarious perspectives, but because of their incompleteness, they allow for limitless dialog.  South African artist William Kentridge believes that "it is the job of the artist to smash the vase and then fashion something coherent out of the shards." These shards are arbitrary remnants of information that are "reprocessed on the canvas and reprocessed again by the viewer, thus perpetuating the cycle of creation and destruction.

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Cindy's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.