Résumé and Bio


My work is spontaneous, often quickly completed before fleeting subconscious thoughts evaporate. Perhaps because of their immediacy, the main mediums I work in are acrylic paint and colored pencils, (often combining the two), and occasionally small three dimensional works of same type creatures as in my two dimensional work. I also do collages of my own drawings that usually start as doodles, and draw in ink and pencil.

A Bachelor’s degree in studio art, and years of art related jobs, have helped shape the techniques used to create creatures and scenes that have been a continuous thread throughout my life.


Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona: Bachelor of Arts degree, (Studio Art), 1986. Focus: painting, drawing, and ceramic hand building.

Phoenix College, prior to transferring to ASU, drawing classes; after ASU, computer graphics and more ceramics.


{9} The Gallery, solo show “Fatal Farm” Sep. 2016; various group shows, 2015, 2016, Phoenix AZ

Olney Gallery at Trinity Cathedral, two person show, “Abstract to Absurd,” Sep. 2016, Phoenix, AZ.

Herberger Gallery at Arizona Center, invited participant in “Derivatives,” working with permission from the photography of Archie and Connie Tucker. Phoenix, AZ.

Cats & Guitars (Jan) and Mutant Pinatas (Mar), Chartreuse Gallery, Phoenix, AZ, 2016

Lotus Gallery, group show Icelandia, 2014/2015, Phoenix, AZ.

Firehouse Gallery, group show, 2016, Phoenix, AZ.

The Arizona 45, Tieken Gallery, Paradise Valley, AZ, Nov 2015

“She Deck” Chartreuse/{9} The Gallery, Phoenix, AZ. Numerous women artists painted on skateboard decks for this show.

“Everything After,” two-person show at R. Pela Contemporary Art, Phoenix, AZ, March, 2015

“MOVE!” A group show about things that move, at {9} The Gallery, Phoenix, AZ, February, 2015

Phoenix Festival of the Arts mural, December 2014

“Dry,” a group show about living in the Arizona desert, at R. Pela Contemporary Art, Phoenix, AZ, July 2014

“For the Birds,” two-person art show at R. Pela Contemporary Art, Phoenix, AZ, April, 2014

Phoenix Festival of the Arts mural project, December, 2013
R. Pela Gallery, “Klown” show, June, 2013, Phoenix, Arizona

“CHOMP” A group show at the University Club, Phoenix, AZ, 2012

Nielsen Design Studios, solo show (Month of April 2012, opens April 14th during Sunnyslope art walk in Phoenix, AZ.)

Bragg’s Pie Factory gallery, The Women’s Room show featuring local female artists, Phoenix Arizona, Sep. 2011.

Shemer Art Center, House of Fun, Phoenix, AZ, April & May, 2011.

Willo North gallery, Phoenix, AZ, 2010-2012.

Small Treasures, Arizona Art Alliance Gallery, miniature painting exhibit, Scottsdale, AZ, December, 2010.


I ran across these on a very old version of my resume, and don’t even remember what I had in most of these events!

Sky Harbor Airport Art Program, Phoenix, AZ, 1991.

Mars Gallery, Phoenix, AZ, 1988, 1989, 1990.

Tempe Arts Center, Tempe, AZ, 1988.

Deer Creek Gallery and custom leather shop, Tempe, AZ, 1988.

Phoenix College Student Art Exhibit, Phoenix, AZ, 1981.

Arizona State Fair, Phoenix Arizona, 1981.


Governors Arts Awards 2014, Purchase Award There are numerous categories and recipients in the Governors Arts Awards annual event. The Arizona Commission on the Arts purchased one of my paintings which was presented to Rosie’s House of Music.


Most recent full time employer:

Nielsen Diversified/Nielsen Design Services, owner: Mike Nielsen
1994-1997. Custom faux finishing for the interior design trade.
8801 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85020

Prior employers:

Prior to working at Nielsen Diversified, I did faux finishing, convention displays, TV and film sets, theater sets, and murals, for several companies and individuals, often on a returning freelance basis. One of my most memorable jobs started during college and continued later as a freelance artist, for Lyric Opera Theatre, in Arizona State University’s music department, painting sets and constructing costumes. I also worked for Southwest Scenic Group, and Sunbelt Scenic, (Tempe, AZ), and Southwest Props, (Phoenix, AZ), and similar companies, (1980s-1990s) as well as various local theater groups, and companies providing sets and decorations for corporate conventions and theme parties.


Arizona is “home.” I’ve lived longest in Arizona, and lived here twice, but have also lived in a few other states.

Early art influences probably included cartoons, elaborately illustrated books on prehistoric creatures from the grade school library, and the illustrations in advertising and designs. I recall, as a very young girl, critiquing in my mind the drawing quality of cartoons or the shading and color of illustrations. I admired the ones that were very well done. The town I grew up in was small, and there were no museums or galleries. I didn’t become aware of the genre of surrealism until I was in my late teens, but I did identify with it as being closest to what I did, though not quite an exact fit. It was about that time I also discovered magazines like MAD and admired the quality of some of the artists. As a kid, I read some comics, but only those with an art style and concepts that appealed to me. I won’t name names, but there were a few Sunday comic strips, and kids’ cartoons, that I hated because of how they were drawn!

Mostly, I retreated into my own mind and shut out everything else when I drew. Still do for the most part.

In later high school and college art history classes I learned more about the old masters, surrealism, and other genres, styles, and techniques. Though I identified with the bizarre works of Hieronymus Bosch and others, and greatly admired the wonderful shading and modeling in paintings by Caravaggio, I didn’t aspire to be like any particular artist or category. I preferred to experiment on my own as well as learn techniques, and recombine it all into what worked for me in that particular piece’s mood.

Sometimes my work is fairly detailed; other times it’s looser. When I work very large, I like to use tools and methods that allow larger movements, like palette knife paintings. This method is especially useful to “loosen up” after doing very detailed or intricate work.

Regardless of medium or size, the character of my creatures are still recognizable to those familiar with my work.

The overriding theme is one of absurd creatures that exude some emotion or condition of the human race and perhaps exist in a symbolic landscape or situation. Because these images mostly come from the subconscious, it’s my belief that they are about timeless and basic components of our nature.

As a young girl I often filled the backs of flattened paper bags with creatures and scenes. My main tools were pencils and ball point pens, both as drawing tools and clay-modeling tools. In early grade school I often got into trouble for drawing on test papers. No matter what the consequences, I drew in school, (something that never stopped even as an adult, whenever a pen and paper are within reach). My notebooks were often more illustrated than written, sometimes with relevant drawings, but often just senseless.

In the early 80s I found myself an adult, trying to find my way in life, and entering college a little older than most students. My heart said major in art, so, despite many dire warnings and a few false starts, I got a degree in 1986 in studio art and have never regretted it. The years in art school allowed me to focus on art, something I could not have done if I’d gone another direction. And, it got my foot in the door in the arts industry, so I was able to support myself with my talent.. The work experience had great practical value.

My main project in my junior and senior year of college was an idea that spontaneously came to me in a drawing, and evolved from there; a giant, wicked, pink rabbit that took an irreverent look at a holiday that had become commercialized; the Giant Killer-Pink Easter Bunny. It started out as a series of large drawings in soft (chalk) pastels, and oil pastels, on paper, which have long since disintegrated. There was one oil painting that survived long enough to take a photograph of it, (below). That photo has now faded and this is the best image I still have of it.

(© Cindy (Pollock) Schnackel)

I made a costume of the Bunny by coloring white fake fur, with watered down paints and I don’t know what all, such a hideous pink that I called it killer-pink, sewing it together by hand with no pattern, and constructing the head from a heat moldable plastic mesh called Veriform that I learned to use in the costume shop at Lyric Opera Theatre. I covered the mesh head with pink fur and other features. The slanted, elliptical eyes were made of a fine, dark blue, iridescent mesh so I, or whoever might wear it, could see out, but no one could easily see in. The costume came out well and was one of my prized possessions until a year or two after graduation, when I discovered it had been destroyed by mice. All I have left of the Bunny is a technologically outdated dinosaur era ‘color separation’, done in a graphics engineering class, (pre Photoshop), and the photo of the oil painting. I take more pains to make my art more archival these days, as well as to document it.

Midway through college, after settling on pursuing a degree in art, I started working at Lyric Opera Theatre, first in the scene shop and later in the costume department.

After college, I continued to do similar work for companies, for trade show displays, television sets, film, and theme parties, as well as theater. Occasionally I’d work on a mural in a commercial setting like a restaurant. My last art related full time job was for an interior designer in Phoenix, mostly doing faux finishing of large scale objects and furniture, which were sold by the interior design and furniture trades.

I married my husband, Brian, in 1993. (My maiden name, Pollock, still appears on older work. No relation to Jackson Pollock, that I know of!) After Brian and I married, I continued to work as a faux finisher for a few years, until we moved away from Arizona for his career, in 1997.

While we were in Oklahoma, (2000-2009), life took an unexpected turn. I became involved in internet research and consumer advocacy. I also obtained a paralegal certificate from the University of Oklahoma’s law school program.

Without realizing why it was happening, I began to drift away from art and became more and more immersed in politics, crime, news, consumer fraud, research, and law. I made trips to the state capitol to speak at legislative committee meetings and task forces, and did online and legal and news research, and writing for a consumer organization. For awhile, I considered entering a paralegal career. After several years, I realized legal work and consumer advocacy were too far removed from art, for me to ever get back to being the artist I am, and feel whole and happy again. So, I left that world and went back to art full time, in about 2009.

I simply missed art too much.

The theories in Betty Edwards’ book, “Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain,” began to make perfect sense to me; I was caught up in left brain work like law and politics and could not switch gears back to the right side, (art), quickly enough to be artistically productive and truly happy. I could not do both, and had to choose.

I chose art.

In 2009, my husband and I returned to Phoenix. I reconnected with some old friends, acquaintances and former co-workers, looked into the galleries and shows, and was thrilled to have work accepted. Now, I am thoroughly enjoying being able to devote full time hours to my personal art again.

Join me at the Juried Invitational Exhibition…


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My domain is bycindy.com which currently defaults to my blog above.

All work © Cindy Schnackel, all rights reserved. Copyright Info

Me in my studio, 2015.

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