Cindy Cradler

“My paintings evoke memories of childhood and fun. I want my work to remind people immediately of something they have seen, touched, tasted or smelled. I use the subject matter to appeal to the senses and emotions.”

Cindy Cradler

carmel store | french lick store

An internet challenge refocused Cindy Cradler, diverting her attention from drawings and pastels to oil paintings.

The challenge involved creating a painting each day for 50 days.

“I figured if I still liked painting after 50 days, I would continue,” she says of the 2009 internet challenge. “I haven’t stopped painting in oils since.”

The majority of her paintings capture familiar toys she and her husband own, though she’s always looking for new subjects to make her arrangements different and more interesting.

“I take a great deal of time determining my subject matter and setting up the still life to represent something in my memory or to represent a sentiment,” says the Hendricks County artisan. “This makes my work very personal and original. I enjoy spending time remembering my childhood in Indiana and work hard to reflect those memories and emotions in my paintings.”

Seeing a painting of a Fisher Price toy or the quintessential yellow rubber ducky stirs strong childhood memories in the people who buy and admire Cindy’s work.

“Part of the reason I select the Fisher Price Little People for a number of my paintings goes back to the endless number of hours my sisters and I would spend playing with them,” she says. “Many times my customers will comment on the memories they have as children playing with the same toys.”

This artist’s process doesn’t follow a traditional path. She applies paint very thinly with a sable brush, primarily mixing the paints on her palette and finishing the blending on the canvas. Cindy completes most of her paintings in one day, which allows smooth transitions of colors and brush strokes, enabling her to capture the realism she wants.

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