Inspired by whimsy and purity of the feminine form, Cindy Shaoul is known for her impressionistic and abstract style. She is best recognized for her series ‘Brides’, ‘Dripping Dots’ and ‘Hearts’, as well as her ‘Plein-Air’ street scenes of quintessential New York locations. Shaoul’s works can be found in hundreds of permanent private and corporate collections worldwide. This is Part 1 of Cindy’s exclusive interview to The World Art News.
What inspired you to become an artist?
I pursued becoming an artist when I was studying in Boston in my second year. I think that not knowing what I wanted to do when entering college greatly helped me to get on my artistic path. Honestly, it’s what I wasn’t doing that made me realize what I should be doing. Returning home to New York and entering into a new phase in life, when I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen next, directed me towards becoming a professional artist. All I knew at that time was that I wanted to paint, and I took every opportunity to do just that, so I enrolled at art schools that would help me learn this skill.
You were born in NYC but lived in Budapest and Israel. How do the countries and cities you lived in impacted your art, and what drew you back to New York?
Living in Budapest and Israel offered different perspectives on life. It opened my eyes to beautiful energies and allowed me to absorb these unique cultures. This, in turn, helping me breath new ideas into what I want to communicate through my work. During my travels I was greatly impacted by the idea of ‘Freedom’ so I decided to explore this in my art. As for New York, it is my home and my heart will always be here. While being inspired by amazing life experiences it always felt inevitable that I would return and continue on my journey here.
How long did it take for you to become successful and what lessons have you learned along the way?
I began taking classes at the Art Students League in 2009. By 2014 I began selling my art in a more serious way by using the skills that I learned, and applying them in my body of work to attract clients. Even today, more than ten years later, I am still learning, growing, and striving to work more efficiently to produce, scale, and market different collections that I offer. I’ve discovered that failure is never actually a failure, it’s a way to take what you’ve done and reinvent it to make your art better.
“I learned that being true to your feelings and emotions is a large part of being a successful artist”
For example, I have many old canvases that were never sold. One might look at them as failures; instead I use them to develop new styles that I am focused on today, turning them in to highly desired paintings. I learned that being true to your feelings and emotions is a large part of being a successful artist, because the audience can feel that energy. It’s totally real!
What makes your paintings unique?
Being authentic is definitely something that I feel makes me unique. It’s that listening to your gut and going with what you feel is right is a massive part of what makes any artist unique. I try to listen to that inner voice, or feeling rather, and I think that’s what helped surface many series in my art today.
How would you describe your art style and how long did it take for you to master it?
Impressionist Abstraction. I love impressionism and I am drawn to abstraction. I think over the years, these two passions intertwined so a lot of my work is characterized with these movements that are working hand in hand. I would say, it took me about ten years to “master” it but I keep working on my style every day.
How do you come up with innovative art ideas?
A lot of ideas actually emerged back when I was at my easel while attending the Art Students League, practicing the impressionist techniques. There would be moments when I felt as if I just needed to communicate something without the technical aspects influencing my hand; that I just needed to loosen up and let go. Actually, this is how the ‘Dripping Dots’ got started. I was just cleaning my brushes and these dots would float on the canvas so I began connecting them with linseed oil. I liked the colors and how they interacted with each other; how they would make me feel. And this is how the motif was created.
With ‘Brides’, I had some old canvases from a series I wasn’t very adamant about, it was an abstract minimal piece with a black background and gold layering. I saw an image of a woman standing with her back toward the viewer, and so I began to paint her out. Over time, these pieces became loosely inspired by artists of French Impressionism such as Renoir, Degas, and Mary Cassatt. Bringing this series to life over time, I try to capture impressions of ‘Ballerinas’, which are found in many of Degas’ works where he masterfully captured their movement.
Were there any significant events during your art career that impacted your artistic development?
The lockdown in 2020 for sure had an impact on me and actually helped me develop my styles as well as create more art. I began a new series called “Girl with Balloons” which represent hope, unity, and a light heart to get through such difficult times together. I became more active on social media and this helped engage my audience exponentially, allowing me the opportunity to become inspired and help others to become inspired too. I took part in charity events over social media to help raise money for COVID and I couldn’t be more grateful to the teams who helped make that happen!
What challenges did you have to overcome as an artist?
Rejection is a huge one, but the best motto out there is “No, Next” right? So I have a way of painting no matter what, even if there is a big “No” in front of me, I’ll just keep painting anyway because it’s what makes me feel happy and complete.
Which artists or artworks influenced you – and why?
Artists from the French impressionist movement like Degas, Manet, and Renoir. I love to study the brushwork, how the light is captured, and am just in awe by the beauty and energy of this art movement. I also adore Elaine De Kooning and other female artist like Joan Mitchell from the Abstract Expressionist movement. Again, it’s the two worlds of impressionism and abstraction that I am so passionate about and feel a very strong connection to. I just feel this is translated into my work easily and freely.
Interview organized by Maximus Communications. The World Art News (WAN) is not liable for the content of this publication. All statements and views expressed herein are only an opinion. Act at your own risk. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission. © The World Art News