We had the good fortune of connecting with Cyndy Hinkelman-Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cyndy, why did you pursue a creative career?
Prior to delving into my painting life, I enjoyed dabbling in photography, crafts and other artistic endeavors. I believe that my painting path found me ~ my father’s health was declining about 10 years ago when I serendipitously signed up for a weekend intuitive painting workshop. The night before the workshop began, my family brought in Hospice to assist us w/ my father. A powerful, emotional, healing and soul-filling energy flowed through me while painting that weekend. Playing with the paint, colors and shapes, while having permission to paint in a free and intuitive way, I felt magic and excitement, and I’ve been on my painting path ever since.
I feel like I’m constantly in a state of curiosity and wonder about painting and art, always experimenting and seeking new ideas. Whether painting abstracts; life’s simple pleasures such as an old barn or truck, a coffee cup; animals, birds & owls; or nature – landscapes, trees & water; I revel in painting many subjects and often work on 10+ canvases at a time. Lately, I’ve been exploring a more limited palate of black & white, and softer colors rather than the zealous colors I’m used to painting with.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Using bold color and a looseness in my paintings are likely my strongest characteristics. I’m not afraid to light up a canvas or board with color! (Though lately I’ve been exploring black & white and a limited palette, fun to try new things.)
My husband and I live on 5 acres in east Boulder County, and I have my own special creative retreat, a detached studio that used to be a horse barn. Inspiration surrounds me daily: bald eagles, hawks, owls and other birds that nest nearby; foxes, rabbits (many, many), coyotes, raccoons, cows, and other critters; the landscape, the sky. My hope is that my joy of painting shines in my work, especially with subjects I paint.
Showing up and not being afraid to try new avenues & opportunities to show my work has helped with the success in my art practice. I began by showing my work at local restaurants & businesses, and hosting art shows/events at my home and studio. Participating in Boulder’s Open Studios, East Boulder County Artists tour, and Girl Painters West communities have been very positive for me the past few years. Last, but not least, I believe it’s important to give back to my community whether it’s contributing my artwork to local organizations such as the Marshall Fire relief fundraiser, or painting bears & benches for Colorado Chautauqua fundraisers.
The lessons I’ve learned along the way: you’ll never know if you don’t show up & try, and always be grateful for this amazing opportunity to be an artist (even if you don’t get your work accepted to a show or gallery 🙂 ). My favorite catchphrase is: “What is Possible?!”
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d start in Boulder with a hike and brunch at our beloved Chautauqua. Then we’d head up Flagstaff to take in the beauty & the view, take a few pics, then drive by some other special attractions like NCAR, CU, etc., then head down to Pearl Street for a little wandering and dinner. The next day it would be fun to check out Nederland and hike in the area, then Gold Hill Inn for dinner. Other must do’s/visits during the week: Boulder’s Farmer’s Market (if open), local thrift stores or flea markets, a goat farm, hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, Denver Art Museum, Union Station, a concert at ETown, the Boulder Theater or Red Rocks, and have a couple fabulous meals at local Denver restaurants.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m SO very grateful for the many friends, mentors, teachers, etc. that have helped me in my creative story, but I must say that my best friend, Julie, definitely deserves heartfelt dedication for her ongoing support. My painting friends Jacque & Margot, and my husband & my daughter have also been incredibly supportive & cheerleaders on my creative path.
First photo credit goes to Evan Tennant I certify all others are my own