Block title


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.  Stylistically, she employs a technique that looks like collage, but is an entirely painted surface, the result being a sort of visual paradox as well as  a... more


As the title suggests, these paintings depict celebrations, but celebrations with a tinge of violence, underlying sadness, or existential angst. They combine mixed media on canvas to create explosions of contrasting forms evocative of digital-age bombardment. The use of fragmented images resembling collage intermingle with undulating, amorphous, organic forms, simultaneously depicting the forces of creation and destruction. Paradoxically, these elements of destruction, in the form of scraps and swaths, 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 celebration and undercurrents of negativity. Fascinated by the interplay of opposites, I believe that when one shows contradictory elements back to back, one suggests the entire territory that lies in between. It is this nebulous "in-between" territory that grows in thought and allows for multifarious interpretations as the parameters of cohesiveness expand.

  • Bridal Bash

    Oil, spray paint, metallic leaf, glitter on canvas, 36 X 48. The subject of this painting was an actual wedding I attended in the summer of 2017. The white dress in the foreground is the back of the bride's gown, and the rest of the painting shows a blend of festivity, breakage, and fragmentation.
  • Celebration

    Oil, archival ink, metallic leaf, acryllic, on canvas, 36 X 36. This painting pays hommage to opening nights at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore and the creative spirit in general. The suspended rainbow shards and paper show the fleeting nature of creative inspiration.
  • Gala

    Oil, metallic leaf, textured spray paint on canvas. This is a diptych with each panel measuring 24 X 36. In this piece the solidity of the organic shapes and textured paint contrasts with the ephemeral nature of the bubbles.
  • Fete

    Oil, metallic leaf, glitter, spray paint,pearl pen, on canvas. This is a diptych, with each panel being 24 X 36. Flying metallic shards and popping corks contrast with the solidity of amorphous forms, textured spray paint, and heavy fabric.
  • Glow

    Oil, metallic leaf, pearl pen, glitter, on canvas, 36 X 36. Rather than being explosive, this painting is more subdued, suggesting both radiance and sadness.
  • Twenty-One Lipstick Salute

    Oil, metallic leaf, glitter on canvas, 36 X 48. This painting was inspired by the 2016 terrorist attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. It uses the palette of a rainbow and its subsequent associations with diversity to illustrate the human will to triumph in the face of adversity. The rainbow motif functions as a beacon of light that shines through in a world that is immersed in tumult, riddled with prejudice and hate, and devoid of color vision. Twenty-one lipstick shades stand tall against a structured black and white background.
  • Effervescent

    Oil, metallic leaf, glitter, spray paint, 36 X 36. A glass of water in the desert is a moment of celebration, but there is always the impending drought.
  • Rainbow Unleashed

    Oil, metallic leaf, on canvas, 24 X 24. The rainbow functions as a symbol of diversity and its celebration. The black voids restrain that energy. The celebratory feeling associated with rainbows is fleeting as darkness prevails, but limitless in their ability to touch the human spirit.
  • Soiree

    Oil, metallic leaf, spray paint, glitter, on canvas, 36 X 48. This painting was inspired by James Joyce's short story, "The Dead," which uses a soiree as a means of escaping existential angst. The painting juxtaposes inside and outside atmospheres. While the general mood is one of celebration, it is only a temporary reprieve from sadness.
  • Explosion in the Rainbow Factory

    Oil, metallic leaf, spray paint on canvas, 48 X 48. This painting was also inspired by the 2016 terrorist attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. On the one hand, it represents the power of the creative spirit to expand boundaries and reach beyond a structured, black and white world. On the other hand, it quite literally represents a violent explosion that shatters this creative spirit.

Scratching the Surface

The title "Scratching the Surface" has both a literal and figurative meaning. Literally, these paintings involve scratching through the actual physical canvas to reveal a previous layer of paint. They are, in fact, all recycled paintings that have been painted over in as much as 10 different layers. One such layer involves the application of rubber cement and the subsequent application of spray paint. Then the rubber cement is scraped off and the old and new paintings emerge simultaneously. As with all previous work, I am interested in the interplay of opposites, but here there is a new paradox, and that is the juxtaposition of earlier work and recent work. This literal application of the phrase "scratching the surface"implies that the surface is barely touched and there is no serious damage to what lies beneath. Figuratively, however, "scratching the surface" is an idiom meaning to not go too deeply into something and that there is a potential for a lot more to be exposed, so the phrase simultanaeously suggests superficiality and depth. In these paintings, as before, I continue to work with varied media, processes and content. These paintings, however, differ from other works in that they involve much more physicality in the painting process and more varied use of media.

  • Feathers

    Oil, metallic leaf, alcohal ink, textured spray paint, enamel spray paint, pearl pen, ink pad, metallic lustre, enamel paint, on canvas, 48 X 48 . A lot of different techniques are used in this painting: stenciling, ink pad, spray painting, finger painting, brush painting, and dripping paint. Feathers and musical stanzas are repeating motifs.
  • Beach ball

    Oil, textured spray paint, enamel spray paint, pearl pen, metallic leaf, on canvas, 24 X 24 . The textured brown surfaces represent sand, while the blue painted surfaces represent water. The scene is meant to recreate the carefree, vibrant feeling of a beach party.
  • Earth

    Oil, textured spray paint, enamel spray paint, metallic leaf, pearl pen, on canvas, 36 X 36 . This painting was inspired by a visit to the Volcanic National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii.
  • Day

    Oil, metallic leaf, textured spray paint, pearl pen, glitter, nail polish, canvas over board, 24 X 24 . Like many of the paintings in this series, the title derives from actual scraps of information found on the canvas. the word "day" literally refers to a fragment from a daily agenda. Figuratively, the painting reflects a day engaged in the creative process, or a day overwhelmed by the bombardment of diverse stimuli.
  • celebrati

    Oil, ink pad, enamel spray paint, textured spray paint, pearl pen, metallic leaf, archival ink, on canvas over board, 12 X 12 . The title "Celebrati" is intentional. This is not a typo. Again the idea of an incomplete idea as well as the extension to the larger concept of a "celebration" can be drawn.
  • Doiley

    Oil, enamel spray paint, textured spray paint, metallic leaf, on canvas over board, 20 X 20 . The delicate filagree of the doiley contrasts with the surrounding scraped, textured surface.
  • Sun

    Oil, enamel spray paint, textured spray paint, pearl pen, metallic leaf, on canvas over board, 24 X 24 . The word "sun" is a clipping from the Baltimore Sun. Other magazine and newspaper clippings from American and foreign publications reinforce the idea of daily media blitz.
  • Joy

    Oil, textured spray paint, latex spray paint, enamel spray paint, ink pad, metallic leaf, pearl pen, on canvas over board, 24 X 30 . "Joy" is the one legible word in the painting, but ironically, the overall feeling is one of chaos and confusion referencing indirectly the murky terrain of information smog.
  • Breaking Barriers

    Oil, textured spray paint, enamel spray paint, metallic leaf, glitter, pearl pen, on canvas, 31 X 36 . Fences and walls represent both openings and barriers and the desire to break free of them.
  • Sheet

    Oil, textured spray paint, enamel spray paint, chalkboard spray paint, metallic leaf, pearl pen, glitter, on canvas, 30 X 40 . A sheet blowing in the wind evokes feelings of liberation, but this sheet is entwined, laced with tendrils, held down.


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.

Wash, Rinse, Spin

In these paintings, words like "wash," "rinse," "spin," and "tumble dry," draw parallels with washing machines and dryers, both of which serve as metaphors for diversity in that like a melting pot, they blend together disparate elements in a harmonious mixture and in doing so, create a sort of homogeneity. I also like the cyclical aspect of these appliances; once the cycle is completed, there is a potential for it to begin again, and the circular movement is a strong visual characteristic of all of these paintings. As for the blending, it is three-fold. First, there is a blending of content that transcends elements which might normally be found in household appliances. Secondly, there is a blending of media and artistic processes such as brush painting, spray painting, and stenciling. Thirdly, there is a blending of styles; the everyday aspect of washers and dryers gives a nod to "pop art" sensibilities, and the amorphous, twisting shapes echo imagery found in such surrealistic art as that of Yves Tanguy and Hans Belmar. I like drawing on previous artistic movements and reshaping them. I view the act of making art as a simultaneous spiraling through art history and a steady progression forward into unknown terrain.

  • Rinse

    oil, metallic leaf, glitter on canvas, 36 X 36
  • Wash 1

    Oil, spray paint on canvas, 36 X 36
  • Wash 2

    Oil, metallic leaf, spray paint, glitter, on canvas, 36 X 36
  • Wash 3

    Oil, spray paint, metallic leaf on canvas, 36 X 48
  • Rinse Cycle

    Oil, archival ink, on canvas, 18 X 24 This painting is inspired by a dish-washing machine as opposed to a clothes washer.
  • Wash 4

    Oil, spray paint, on canvas, 36 X 48


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.


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.

  • Crash

    oil on canvas, 36 X 36
  • Meltdown

    24 X 36 Oil on Canvas
  • Fenced In

    36 X 36 Oil on Canvas
  • Apocalypse

    24 X 24 Oil on canvas
  • Torn Country

    24 X 24 Oil on Canvas
  • Earthquake

    oil on canvas, 36 X 36
  • twister_edited-1.jpg

    oil and metallic leaf on canvas, 20 X 30 The twister, rather than being an ephemeral, abstraction, becomes a concrete entity filled with twisting forms and cultural remnants from Greece, China, France, and Italy, the result being a blend of artifacts and detritus.
  • Kapow

    oil, spray paint, metallic ink, pearl pen, on canvas, 18 X 24
  • Wrecking Ball

    Oil on canvas, 24 X 24
  • Storm

    Oil on canvas, 36 X 36


These paintings involve four disciplines: sculpture, photography, drawing, and painting. I begin by making small sculptures out of silly putty and then take photographs of them. The photos are then edited in Photoshop and printed out on canvas. I then use gesso to block out certain parts of the photograph (usually about half of it) and fill in these spaces with drawings. The final step is to use a variety of media such as rubber stamp ink, oil paint, and gold leaf, to complete the painting. The final result is a visual enigma that blurs the boundaries between collage, photography, and painting and invites the viewer to ask the obvious question: which part of the painting is "real"? This is a question that has become more prevalent in the digital age when the line between fiction and reality is blurred as a result of media bombardment.

  • Real

    Oil on photo canvas, 11 X 14
  • Inside Out

    Oil on photo canvas, 24 X 36
  • Photogra

    Oil on photo canvas, 11 X 14
  • Clogged Drain

    Clogged Drain, oil on archival ink printed canvas, 36 X 36
  • Water Wheel

    Water Wheel, oil on archival ink printed canvas, 16 X 20
  • Palate

    Palate, oil on archival ink printed canvas, 20 X 30
  • Ejizo

    Ejizo, oil and archival ink on canvas, 11 X 14
  • Fruitocopia

    Fruitocopia, oil and archival ink on canvas, 18 X 24
  • Torn

    Oil on photo canvas, 11 X 14
  • Sunrise

    Oil, spray paint, metallic leaf, pearl pen, on photo canvas, 24 X 36

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.


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.

Connect with Cindy

Cindy's Curated Collection

View Cindy's favorite works from other Baker Artists