Cheryl’s formal art education is in Visual Communications/Graphic Design. After working in advertising for a short time, she left commercial art and began to show and sell her highly detailed black & white renderings of garden scenes. The devastating loss of her husband and the demands of everyday life took Cheryl away from the art field for many years. On her retirement, she began to paint in earnest. Cheryl considers her work abstract surrealism with a geometric twist. Blending these three art styles brings a different characteristic to her work. Although she also paints in acrylic, Cheryl prefers to paint in alkyds, a fast-drying oil paint. Her work starts with a small sketch. During the painting process, changes occur constantly. It may take several weeks from the first sketch to the finished painting. Some elements of the first sketch appear in the painting, and some surprising new elements may be added that were not in the original sketch. Each piece works out to its end. Her work has won awards at the local and national level, and in 2020, Cheryl won the Painting Award at the 6th Annual International Art Rèsilience Exhibition (online) Musèe Peinture de Saint-Frajou, France. Cheryl currently resides in South Florida.
TELL US MORE ABOUT CHERYL
In 1969, the North Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce sponsored me in the Miss North Miami Pageant – a prelude to the Miss Florida contest. I did not win!
How Covid-19 has affected your life and has inspired your work?
Fortunately, my closest friends, family and I have not suffered physical illness. And I’m an introvert, so social distancing is no problem for me. I did paint a large piece called ‘A Gathering of Survivors 2020’. I painted it in mid-2020 when the Covid-19 death rate was very high. I wanted to acknowledge those individuals who had survived and made it out of the woods, so to speak. I showed abstract marble statuary broken but patched back together. They take places standing on pedestals like trophies because they had fought the virus and won. At the bottom of the painting, below a thick line, there is another witness statuary. The viewer is left to decide if these individuals shown at the bottom of the painting escaped the virus completely or did they succumb to it. The painting won the Painting Award in an international exhibition (online) hosted by a small museum in the south of France.
Tell us more about your work?
Angles and lines, repeating patterns, and some circles – for relief. This is how I describe it. Angles and lines represent boundaries. I like boundaries, they make me feel safe, as do repeating patterns. They’re comforting because they’re familiar and expected. It’s difficult for an introvert like me to cope with the chaos of the world. Painting is my way of processing confusion –or keeping order. I begin my work by drawing little sketched patterns on paper. I start to see things happen within the drawing and an idea for a painting begins to emerge. I transfer the drawing to the canvas. Alkyds, a fast-drying oil paint, is my medium of choice. As I paint, I find I can relax. I feel myself move into the painting. I work until I find what I’m looking for — balance, harmony in smooth color fields, edgy transitions between the angles and lines, repeating patterns, and then, some circles – for relief.
What are your plans post-pandemic?
Keep on working
What project/projects are you working on?
I like to work in a series, but lately, I’ve been doing more ‘one-offs’. About 5 years ago, I painted a series of 10 paintings based on the 10 digits in the number system. The project was a commentary on how modern society has infused a string of numbers (social security numbers, etc) into our very identities. That series was easy because there was a defined beginning and end, 0-9. I knew when I was done, and I could let it go. Doing a series with no defined beginning or end is more problematic. How many paintings does it take to make a series? Can three paintings qualify as a series? Is five or seven enough? Are 30 too many? I paint a series until I tire of the subject, or other demands, like a commission, divert my attention away.
How do you keep motivated?
It’s discipline. Every day I do something to further my artist journey. I try to paint for a few hours a day at least 5 days a week or more. Many hours are spent volunteering at local and state art guilds I belong to, designing social media posts, reels, and stories, searching the internet for exhibitions to enter, carting paintings around town to and from shows, updating webpages on which I appear, other than my website, and meeting with other artists for camaraderie and support. Staying focused is key
Who is your most admired artist, that may have influenced you?
I’m an Old School soul. Giorgio de Chirico, a forerunner to the Surrealists, had a period in his career when he influenced the surrealism movement. He later left the surrealists and returned to his former style. His manner of painting surreal art was rather melancholy, and I find it haunting, like an unresolved dream.
Where do you go to get inspired?
I go inside myself. A lot is going on in there. I fish around and I always find something interesting to examine.
Where do you do most of your work?
I have a home studio. It was originally designed as a den when we bought the house. It’s a little cramped, but everything is within reach. The organization is essential!
An inspiration that you can pass on to others:
Just Keep Working! Even when the work is not going well – work through it. Working as an artist is not an easy path to take. It’s tough. Things don’t always go so well. Competition is tough. There will be disappointments. Just Keep Working.
Are you doing anything to help others/organizations?
A few years ago, I started a personal giving program and I called it Kids Need Crayons. I donated art supplies to local children’s shelters. After the first couple of years, Covid restrictions made that difficult. So now, rather than shopping for children’s art supplies and dropping them off, a simple check in the mail will have to do. Also, when I sell a painting, I buy a small painting or piece of art/jewelry/sculpture/ceramic from another artist. It’s a small way to help other artists.
Anything else you would like to include:
You are what you think! Free your mind of anger. Think kind, healthy, and peaceful thoughts. You’ll feel good.
The works featured here are available for purchase directly through the Artist. The Artist makes 100% of the profit from the sale of the artwork, so this is a great time to support them while enhancing your art collection. The artist will directly pack and ship the product to you. All works are original and signed by the artist! For more information on these featured artworks or to make a purchase you can email: Cheryl directly at [email protected]www.CherylEgglestonArt.com