Emerging Artists | Cindy Procious

Eye on the details

Cindy Procious, Young Love, oil, 16 x 16.

Cindy Procious, Young Love, oil, 16 x 16.

This story was featured in the June 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art June 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

As an artist, Cindy Procious relishes stepping outside her comfort zone. Once in that edgier space, she often assumes a whole new identity, she says. For example, to paint a still life depicting a basket brimming with hydrangeas, Procious briefly becomes a florist or flower arranger. To paint a tableau featuring a bagel, cream cheese, and lox, she morphs temporarily into a food stylist.

It’s not unusual for the Tennessee-based artist to take as long to set up a painting as she does to paint it. For a favorite still life, YOUNG LOVE, Procious first let the idea “live in her mind” for a long time before giving birth to her vision. She then recalls some tireless treasure hunts for the needed objects—the perfect Formica-top table, the iconic milkshake glass, and the tastiest crinkly fries. “I’m not sure I can repeat that performance, but the bar has now been set,” she says.

When it comes to portrait painting, Procious is also known for painstakingly working on the details, capturing a subject’s personality and likeness to her satisfaction. “I try to be faithful to nature, but I try also to make sure I show my subject having a good hair day,” she jokes.

Procious studied graphic arts and illustration at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, and spent the early part of her career illustrating books and working as an editorial cartoonist for news-papers. In 2001 she picked up a paintbrush and says she basically learned to paint from the internet, joining online painting forums and suffering through some devastating critiques. Today she considers light a key element in her work, and for inspiration she turns to artists she considers masters of light, like Daniel Sprick.

As this story was going to press, Procious was ensconced in her Chattanooga studio preparing works for a spring show at Haynes Galleries in Nashville. Meanwhile, she says, visions for her next series are also brewing. The focus? Downtown Chattanooga, including the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel and the scenic arts district perched atop stone cliffs that plunge into the Tennessee River. For this next series, Procious no doubt will assume the identity of an intrepid urban explorer. 
—Bonnie Gangelhoff

Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ, Jackson, WY, and Bozeman, MT; Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA, and Charleston, SC; Haynes Galleries, Nashville, TN; Susan Powell Fine Art, Madison, CT; Gallery 1401, Chattanooga, TN.

Featured in the June 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art June 2015 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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