Interview with Cynthia Maniglia from Sand Salt Moon

I’m talking with Cynthia Maniglia from Sand Salt Moon at http://www.sandsaltmoon@wordpress.com Run over and visit her blog, Cynthia’s work is fantastic, she really captures the each subject. The piece above is called Fall Mums.

Did someone teach you to color as a child? Did you color in the lines?

 

Coloring in coloring books was a big thing for me and my generation when we were younger. I suppose it still is today with kids, and I know it’s become a big thing with adults as there are many adult coloring books on the market. I used to color with my girlfriends – we’d sit or lay on the carpeted floor and color all afternoon. If we went visiting, we brought our coloring books and crayons with us. We were all around kindergarten/first grade or so age, so at that time we were coloring in school with our classmates and art teachers or classroom teachers. I would say we learned from each other, although I did have a slight little advantage. My dad. He was an artist – so I grew up with paints and paper and art around me. My father was never educational about it at that age, simply encouraging. He brought home paper and paints for me to play with in my playroom. I colored in the lines, but I also liked to draw and color what I drew. I always enjoyed art. It was always a fun thing for me to do as a child.

 

How did you discover your artistic skills? What age were you?

In school, I noticed that I did well in art class (my teachers and grades affirmed that), and I enjoyed the projects I did in the Girl Scouts (we did lots of arts and crafts). In college, I pursued writing but wanted to drop out and go to art school, which I wished I had done instead of continuing with my degree in English Literature. My artistic skills really came to the fore when I discovered craft shows in my late 20’s/early 30’s. I used to make handmade brooches and they were a big hit in the 80’s with career women and their women friends; my crafty pins made great gifts and sold like hot cakes! My mom was my best critic – she’d tell me what was good and what wasn’t, and then my dad chirped in with his opinion. They were both brutally honest and at the same time encouraging. Eventually, I stopped selling the pins, which I was doing for extra money, when the craft show circuit started dwindling, and I moved onto selling handmade cards to retail shops. The cards sold for $7 wholesale and $15 at high-end retail shops in Los Angeles, California (on Rodeo Drive) and at Longwood Gardens Gift Shop in PA, to name a few prominent locations. I did that for a couple of years for fun. It was a hobby I ran as a business on the side of my day job/career. Those crafty endeavors were just a hobby, but they were certainly a good way to gauge and hone my artistic skills. I would say it was in my 30’s and 40’s that I found out my artistic ability was marketable and I could be successful with it, and when I was in my teens, it was just something I was “good at and had fun with” rather than a career path. I’m glad I pursued writing for my career, however, because I did well with that and was able to retire early. Now, I have art in my early retirement to pursue and have fun with, and I’m never bored.

 

What advice would you give an artist just starting out?

Decide if art is something you want to do for fun, as a hobby, or as a career. It can evolve and be all three, but if you want to make a career of it and be successful, there are definitely some disciplines and things you may want to focus on in order to give your path positive direction, rather than just being willy-nilly about it and “seeing where it goes.” There’s a lot to be said about developing your own style and having natural talent, but nothing replaces hard work and discipline as well as a good understanding of “basics” concerning mediums, drawing, and other learnable skills in the arts.

 

Your art is shown at http://www.Society6.com, what lead you to the site?

Another blogger on WordPress, actually, had a Society 6 shop, and so I looked into it. I have a scanner and can upload high quality images of my art to Society6, which is easy to do. Then I promote my work via social media, and most importantly gift items from the site with my artwork on it to friends and family! I have a few things from the site that I bought for myself (a shower curtain, a bath mat, and a few of the zippered canvas bags).

 

Your favorite or favorites piece of art and why?

I’m going to have to say anything done by Monet and Van Gogh. I really enjoy looking at their brush work. If you mean my work … well, I’m too critical of it to think it’s a favorite – I always see what’s wrong with it!

 

Do you want to grow into other mediums like oil or etching?

I’m interested in finding more clarity in my painting. I scrumble a lot and am not as good of a line artist as I’d like to be. I want to have fewer strokes, be more definitive with my lines and choice of color, and rely less on mistakes. It’s that discipline thing I was talking about earlier that they teach you in art school that I lack. I’m not really interested in oils, but I would like to do more with pastels as I enjoy drawing.

You mentioned painting is therapeutic, do you see other applications for therapy?

Art as therapy to me means a chance to quite my mind and be in the moment. It’s peaceful and meditative. Or it can allow me to work out stress and emotions. Often, I rip up or throw out art created out of negative emotions, and I still get something out of the experience that is more positive. I turn it around inside myself or let something go then. If I am creating out of positivity, I find the resulting artwork is something I want to share. No matter what, I turn to art as a form of expression and gratitude. I find it soothing to be in my art space creating or even just reading, if I. Am frustrated or stymied and don’t know what to create next.

Cynthia, I’ve enjoyed talking art with you. It’s up from here. I look forward to following your progression and finding more favorites. If you are not following Sand Salt Moon at http://www.sandsaltmoon@wordpress.com you are missing out.

I’m having trouble inserting the images of our favorties pieces, they are posted above.

Melinda

 

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