Cynthia Taft is an abstract acrylic painter whose works are as diverse as they are vibrant. She frequently paints to music, allowing the sound to influence her ideas and her works to take on lives their own. See Cynthia’s paintings at Cornerstone throughout April.
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10% of the proceeds from every painting sold will be donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease.
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Tell us briefly about your background & how you got started in your medium.
I grew up with an appreciation for art and various art forms. When I was young, my mother would sketch out characters to entertain my siblings and me. She always encouraged our creativity – through drawing, pottery, crafts, music and more, according to our interests.
I started my career in the medical profession. Later, I moved on to become a flight attendant for United Airlines. On layovers or days off, I savored the opportunity to take in various museums and galleries, including a highlight trip to the Louvre in Paris.
A few years ago, I took a painting class. I enjoyed it so much that I began painting on my own.
How does your medium inform your viewpoint? Or what do you like most about your medium?
Acrylic paints are a versatile medium in that they have a quick drying time, can achieve crisp lines if needed and are workable on almost any surface. In addition, acrylics offer the option to add different mediums to the paint to create texture and interest.
Who or what have been your artistic inspirations?
I am drawn to Van Gogh’s thick application of paint and color combinations. Monet’s soft palette, soothing style and depiction of the beauty of nature is inspiring to me. I also appreciate Pollock’s energy and uninhibited enthusiasm. Additionally, I support upcoming artists in the area by attending local exhibitions and “3rd in the Burg” activities.
Do you have a favorite piece in your portfolio?
Yes, my favorite piece currently is “Light into Darkness.” This painting expresses my interpretation of creation. It depicts the beginning of time, when God created light, followed by water, in which began the forming of vegetation.
What would be your advice for artists just starting out in your medium?
Don’t be afraid to express yourself; just have fun!
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I enjoy everything about paint: the endless colors and textures, the variety of tools and mediums that I can combine in seemingly limitless ways. I enjoy adding mixed media to paint. Micro-beads, text, scripture and eggshells: countless choices give me the freedom to have fun experimenting. Painting as a form of self-expression and inspiration brings joy and healing to my soul.
I have carried a love of art with me throughout my life, but I started my career in the medical profession. Later, I moved on to become a flight attendant for United Airlines. It was only a few years ago that I took a painting class. Since then, I have taken classes from notable instructors both in and out of the area. I continually try to incorporate these teachers’ techniques into my style of painting. Using different methods keeps my work fresh.
Music has become an integral tool I use for inspiration. When starting a painting, I have a vague idea of what it will be but allow myself to go with the flow of my feelings. I allow the sounds of music to influence my ideas and the painting to take on a life of its own. In fact, I am a member of a Worship Arts Team that paints to inspirational, spirit-led music. We use this process as a spontaneous and intuitive expression of worship at church services and meetings.
I am currently a member of the Art Association of Harrisburg, where I take classes periodically. Last year, I received a second place award in Acrylics for my painting “Light Into Darkness” at the AAH Art School Annual Exhibition.