Artistic Excellence 2012 | Cecile Baird

Honorable Mention: Cecile Baird, Ohio

Cecile Baird, Beauty So Deep, It Makes You Weep, colored pencil, 14 x 20.

Cecile Baird, Beauty So Deep, It Makes You Weep, colored pencil, 14 x 20.

What inspired your winning entry? For a long time I have been exploring how light can transform objects. I am fascinated with backlighting, and I am always looking for subjects that lend themselves to it. This picture is the second in a series that began with garlic. When I peeled back the thin layers of the garlic and let the light shine through, the transformation was amazing. This led to the red onions. I peeled back the papery layers and shined the light through from the back, and it was magnificent. The onions glowed, and the colors were varied and vivid.

Where did you study art? I have bachelor’s and master’s degrees in graphic design from Ohio State University. I did not turn to fine art until much later and studied with a wonderful local art teacher. I discovered colored pencil at least 15 years ago and instantly fell in love with the medium when I learned that I could create the richness of oils with the pencil. Having always loved drawing, it was a perfect fit.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you? You would think, with my very pristine art style, that I am a very organized and neat person. Oh boy, is that not true. If you could see my studio, you would wonder how I find anything, let alone work.

What is your pet peeve? That I have to 
stop doing my art to take care of everyday things, like paying bills, cooking, etc. Why can’t I just do art?

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be? I would have to be doing something creative with my hands and mind.

How did winning first place in Southwest Art’s 21 Over 31 competition in 2010 influence your art career? Winning that competition has been one of the most invaluable boosts to my career. I immediately sold a painting on my website to a customer who saw my work in Southwest Art. Then I was invited to participate in the Collectors’ Reserve Art Show and Sale in 2011 at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, OK, at which I won the top award, the People’s Choice award, and sold all three [of my] paintings. I sold two more pieces from my website to attendees of the show, and as a result of the show, I was invited to be artist-in-residence at Holland Hall in 
Tulsa in November, which also included a fabulous solo show.

Featured in the December 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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